Cultural Differences in Global Online Learning Communities (Final Draft)

Question: How to nurture team trusts and develop effective collaboration in multi-cultural online learning communities?

Introduction

Nowadays, our online learning communities are increasingly diverse and multi-cultural. Students all around the world can attend the same online courses and form different learning communities. Team members interact with each other by sharing knowledge and obtaining feedback, connecting solely via technology. They not only have to complete their individual assignments, but most of the time, have to finish a group project in collaboration. This research paper explores cultural differences in the globalized online learning communities and gives solutions for developing team trust and effective collaboration. It introduces two of Hofstede’s five dimensions (revering hierarchy, and individualism versus collectivism), showing how people from different cultures think about their relationships with superiors and teammates. Also, this paper describes two of Hall’s five dimensions (time, and friendship), which talks about people’s different opinions on friendship and different habits of time management. Furthermore, it explains the inefficiency in communication caused by language barriers and temporal distance among community members. Lastly, developing cultural awareness, embracing different opinions and habits, as well as conducting frequent interactions through video-conferencing are the three essential solutions for nurturing team trust, developing effective collaboration within global online learning communities.

Brief review of literature

This research paper is written according to four literature which introduces Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture, Hall’s dimensions of national culture, different cultural learning styles, and barriers in global software development. Charle’s article is about Hofstede and Hall’s dimensions. It mostly describes that Hofstede used data collected between 1967 and 1978, conducting over 100,000 surveys from IBM personnel in 40 countries to conclude the five dimensions. Judith work also talked about their dimensions, with further explanation of synchronous and asynchronous groupware in distributed team. Adeoye’s literature explains different learning styles of Nigerian university students according to their cultural backgrounds. Lastly, John’s work about global software development explains the barriers and solutions to collaboration, which are geographic, temporal, cultural, and linguistic distance.

The articles can help me find a solution for my research goal, which is figuring out ways to overcome cultural differences and build team trust within globally distributed learning communities. Charle and Judith’s work can provide enough information for me related to Hall and Hofstede’s five dimensions, helping me conclude the importance of cultural awareness in team trust. John’s work specifically describes various barriers in global collaboration and shows me proper methods to overcome those barriers to build team trust.

Hofstede’s five dimensions

Hofstede’s five dimensions are revering hierarchy, individualism versus collectivism, task- or relationship-focused, risk avoidance, and long-term orientation. Revering hierarchy and individualism versus collectivism are more frequently happened during globally distributed learning community. Revering hierarchy refers to how people think about the “equality and relationships with superiors and subordinates” (Charles, 63). For examples, Individuals in some countries (China and Russia) are careful about expressing their opinions to team leaders and show “proper respect” (Charles, 63). However, in some countries (United States, Netherlands, and Germany), team leaders are less concerned with status and are more willing to even expect their teammates to speak out. Individualism versus Collectivism is to the extent of how an individual sees himself/herself as an individual rather than part of a group. For examples, In collectivist cultures, people are expected to work well in group, which protect them “in exchange for their loyalty and compliance” (Adeoye, 4). In individualistic cultures, learners are concerned with their personal achievements and individual rights. “The United States and the Netherlands are very high on individualism, whereas China, West Africa, and Indonesia” are collective (Judith, 54).

With the purpose of developing team trust, individuals in online learning community need to develop the awareness of cultural differences, understanding various opinions among each other. As values of hierarchy and personalities of whether being individualistic or collectivist are different, these should be “discussed and resolved” in a group that is willing to be productive and building trust in the long run (Judith, 58). For example, a learning community needs to have conversations about how they are going to work and learn together before they started working, “[developing] shared team work habits” (Judith, 58). By building the awareness of teammate’s different values and personalities, they can build team trust and understand each other.

Hall’s five dimensions

Hall’s five dimensions are space, material goods, friendship, time, and agreement. Friendship and time dimensions are more often occurred in globalized online learning community. Relationships and friendships among people are considerably different across cultures. For examples, Americans are more willing to develop short-term relationships between co-workers or co-learners. They make friends and then lose friends quickly, seeing “friends as transitory” (Charles 69). For those cultures with long-term relationships, people tend to take long time to build friendships. They are more willing to form a learning community with those they already know. In terms of the time dimension, “linear time cultures” (such as United States) take time very seriously, “in a very rationalist sense” (Charles, 69). They usually do one thing at a time with careful planning and scheduling. Other cultures (such as China, Russia, Middle East, Latin America) are more “fluid” as human interactions and relationships are valued outweigh time and material things (Judith, 54).

To build team trust for effective collaboration, community members need to embrace different people’s opinions and habits. In global online learning community, there are definitely friendly and approachable teammates, as well as shy and introverted teammates varied by cultural backgrounds. Those who are more approachable may not prefer long-term relationships with people. Individuals in a learning community need to embrace the difference in people’s ideas about friendships in order to build team solidarity. Also, understanding different people’s plannings for tasks are very important. Teammates need to figure out each other’s habits of time management for better collaboration. In addition, If conflicts happens during work, individuals in a community ought to look for attributions that are not personally negative, but directed more toward cultural understanding. In this way, individuals can embrace different ideas and habits of time management.

Language barriers and time-zone differences

Language barriers can impede communication in global learning community. Different levels of English in a community affect “not only the quality of communication, but the choice of communication media” (John 72). Those who are not confident with their English are more possible to prefer instant messaging or email in communication with community members. However, video and teleconferencing are most of the time regarded as more efficient communication tools in a global learning community. Also, cultural diversity can affect interpretation of communication. For instance, polite “expressions of acknowledgement” by Asian community members can be misinterpreted as “agreement or commitment” by European colleagues (John 72). Moreover, when people’s level of English are different, those who have stronger English language skills “[occupy] a more powerful position and can appear to be more powerful, and thus suppress important communication through unintended intimidation” (John 72). The second issue is the time-zone difference in a global learning community. When community members are distributed around the world, they will have fewer hours for synchronous meetings. Also, there are delay in response to “asynchronous communication”(John, 72). For example, in an online learning community, a student is in China, but other team members are all in United States. When the student in China asked questions to the learning community members by text messages in the morning when US is at midnight, it takes at least 8 hours for those who are in US to see his messages and reply.

In order to build team trust, the problems caused by language barriers and time-zone difference need to be solved by having frequent interactions via technology. Team members should use video-conferencing technologies to have both formal and informal conversations with each other. This synchronous face-to-face online meetings can definitely build trust by seeing each other’s facial expressions and through verbal communications. Also, choosing teammates who are in culturally similar locations can be a solution to overcome the language barriers, for example, Chinese and Japanese. The same idea to dealing with the time zone difference, online learning communities can be formed in the same or adjacent zones to avoid delay in response.

Conclusions

This research paper analyzes cultural differences in the global online learning communities, offering solutions to build team trust and enhance team collaboration. It firstly talks about Hofstede’s dimensions of revering hierarchy and individualism versus collectivism, which shows people’s distinct ideas on relationships due to multi-cultural factors. Then it explains Hall’s time and friendship dimensions, showing people’s different opinions on friendship and time management. Moreover, it describes the problems caused by language barriers and temporal distance among community members. Lastly, having cultural awareness, embracing different people’s ideas and habits, as well as promoting frequent communication through video-conferencing, are the three essential solutions for nurturing team trust, developing effective collaboration within global online learning communities.

Reflections on Learning Pod

The members of my learning pod are all very friendly and supportive. They gave me lots of ideas on my research work that positively impact my thinking. Veronica gave me suggestions on both the structure and the grammar of my article. She also pointed out the parts that requires more elaboration. Cathryn suggested me to write the research paper by posting questions and looking for solutions. I believe that I had a valuable and meaningful experience in this learning pod.

References:

Adeoye, Blessing F. “Learning Styles and Cultural Differences in Online Learning Environments in the Twenty-First Century.” Advanced Online Education and Training Technologies. IGI Global, 2019. 63-74. Web. 21 Aug. 2019. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-7010-3.ch004

Charles, Sam. “The Dimensions of National Culture.” Hofstede and Hall’s Cultural Differences, Sam Charles.

Noll, John, et al. “Global software development and collaboration: barriers and solutions.” ACM Inroads, 3 September. 2010, pp. 66-78.

Olson, Judith, and Gary Olson. “Culture Surprises in Remote Software Development Teams.” Queue – Distributed Development, December/January, 2003-2004, pp. 52-59.

Feedback Received for Draft #1

I shared my link of my draft #1 to the group chat on learning pod and two teammates gave me constructive feedback. Veronica points out several grammar mistakes, and suggests me to change my overall structure. Cathryn gave me advice on how I can find scholarly articles and structure my work.

Cathryn thought my work was well done, and suggested me to ask question at first and then doing research around that question. I used to not structure my work like that. After her valuable advice, I used her idea, and found out my thoughts went clearer when writing according to her suggestions.

Veronica agreed with my last point about language barriers when she read my second draft. But she suggested me to put solutions right after the explanation paragraphs. She also recommended me to restructure my paragraphs as she thought “it is a bit odd having examples in middle of the paragraph”.

Research Draft

Question: How to build team solidarity and nurture trusts in globalized online learning communities?

Introduction

Overview of literatures

Hofstede’s five dimensions

Hofstede’s five dimensions are revering hierarchy, individualism versus collectivism, task- or relationship-focused, risk avoidance, and long-term orientation. Revering hierarchy and individualism versus collectivism are more frequently happened during globally distributed learning community. Revering hierarchy refers to how people think about the “equality and relationships with superiors and subordinates” (Sam, 63). Individuals in some countries (China and Russia) are careful about expressing their opinions to team leaders and show “proper respect” (Sam, 63). However, in some countries (United States, Netherlands, and Germany), team leaders are less concerned with status and are more willing to even expect their teammates to speak out. Individualism versus Collectivism is to the extent of how an individual sees himself/herself as an individual rather than part of a group. In collectivist cultures, people are expected to work well in group, which protect them “in exchange for their loyalty and compliance” (Blessing, 4). In individualistic cultures, learners are concerned with their personal achievements and individual rights. “The United States and the Netherlands are very high on individualism, whereas China, West Africa, and Indonesia” are collective (Judith, 54).  With the purpose of developing team trust, individuals in online learning community need to be aware of the cultural differences, understanding various opinions among each other. As values of hierarchy and attitudes towards whether being individualistic or collectivist are different in multi-cultural learning community, these should be “discussed and resolved” in a group that is willing to be productive and building trust in the long run (Judith, 58). A learning community needs to have conversations about how they are going to work and learn together before they started working, “[developing] shared team work habits” (Judith, 58). They have to figure out how their relationships should be among teammates and team leader, and choose to be more individualistic or not.

Hall’s five dimensions

Hall’s five dimensions are space, material goods, friendship, time, and agreement. Friendship and time are more often occurred in globalized learning community. Relationships and friendships among people are considerably different across cultures. Americans are more willing to develop short-term relationships between co-workers or co-learners. They mostly make friends and then lose friends quickly, seeing “friends as transitory” (Sam 69). For those cultures with long-term relationships, people tend to take long time to build friendships. They are more willing to form a learning community with those they know. In global online learning community, there are definitely friendly and approachable teammates, as well as shy and introverted teammates varied by cultural backgrounds. Those who are more approachable are more likely to prefer short-term relationship, and vise versa. Individuals in a learning community need to understand the difference in people’s ideas about friendships in order to build team solidarity. In terms of the time consciousness, linear time cultures (such as United States) take time very seriously, “in a very rationalist sense” (Sam, 69). They usually do one thing at a time with careful planning and scheduling. Other cultures (such as China, Russia, Middle East, Latin America) are more “fluid” as human interactions and relationships are valued outweigh time and material things (Judith, 54). In order to build team trust within a multi-cultural group, understanding different people’s plannings for tasks are very important. Teammates need to find out each other’s habits of time management prior to work. If the conflict of time happens during work, individuals in a community ought to look for attributions that are not personally negative, but directed more toward cultural understanding.

Language barriers and time-zone differences

Language barriers can impede communication in global learning community. Different levels of English in a community affect “not only the quality of communication, but the choice of communication media” (John 72). Those who are not confident with their English are more possible to prefer instant messaging or email in communication with community members. However, video and teleconferencing are most of the time regarded as more efficient communication tools. Also, cultural diversity can affect interpretation of communication. For instance, polite “expressions of acknowledgement” by Asian community members can be misinterpreted as “agreement or commitment” by European colleagues (John 72). Moreover, when people’s level of English are different in an global learning community, those who have stronger English language skills “[occupy] a more powerful position and can appear to be more powerful, and thus suppress important communication through unintended intimidation” (John 72). The best way to deal with the language barriers is more frequent interactions among community members, promoting more knowledge sharing and feedback.

Conclusions

EDCI 339: Showcase Post

This showcase post is expanding and elaborating my ideas on blog post #3. I have an experience of working with a scrum team, learning globally software development within a community of learners. The three main social media we used for learning and communication are Github, Zoom, and Slack. After the experience with the scrum team and reading Colin’s posts, I learned three new things that will definitely enhance my abilities of being an educator. First of all, I learned that frequent interactions with teammates in face-to-face method can create the most social presence. Also, I gained a better understanding of how important knowledge sharing and obtaining feedback are to develop community. Moreover, Peer review is a critical attribute in open pedagogy, which can build team trust among learners.

In my experience with the scrum team, our five team members were developing a web-based application for remote clients. Also, every team members worked distributedly so that we spent more time communicating by text messages and video conferencing. The strategy #1 states that “social presence is an important concept for developing community” (Johns 247). It is also very true that “the medium of communication has an effect on social presence, which is influenced by a person’s location in space and time” (Johns 247). Since we were working remotely, the social presence that we theoretically created, was not as much as the team which spends most of the time in face-to-face communication can create. In this way, in order to build team solidarity, we implemented agile methodologies to manage our team, increasing our social presence. We texted each other on Slack and had video conferencing on Zoom. By understanding that “face-to-face communication is thought to create the most social presence”, it is critical for individuals in a team to promote frequent face-to-face interactions among teammates, shortening the “psychological distance between communicators” (Johns 247). Therefore, if I am going to be an educator for a community of learners, I will try to let students build team trust by asking them making frequent interactions among each other.

Knowledge sharing and feedback are also very essential to help connecting with a community of learners. During the time I worked in the scrum team, our group constantly promoted knowledge sharing and obtaining feedback. We utilized Github and Google Suite to share our codes and documentations, “[creating] opportunities for sharing information and expertise” (Johns 248). We shared our own Google documents with each other to show our research progress. Also, we exchanged code snippets on Github with each other for assessing individuals’ code qualities. Moreover, we wrote documentations on wikis for everyone to search on the parts of the projects that they don’t understand. After reading the strategy 2 which states that “providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful tool in helping to develop community”, I started to realize the importance of using knowledge sharing tools in a learning community (Johns 248). With the purpose of making students’ learning more efficient in a group, educators ought to provide students with instructions of various social media for knowledge sharing. For example, I will use Slack and Github for teaching programming to a community of learners, and asking them to constantly using those two media to share knowledge.

Peer review is not the only one of the most important attributes in open pedagogy, but also vital in building team trust for a learning community. In my agile team, we implemented three basic agile practices, which are sprint planning meeting, daily stand-ups, and sprint retrospective. All these agile methodologies provided a safe environment for team members to make peer review, sharing their ideas and knowledge without the fear of being reproached. Everyone was encouraged by the instructors to not being scared of showing their work and thoughts to teammates or in public. If the environment was not as that supportive, “fear of criticism from peers [could be] shown to inhibit engagement in an open learning community” (Bronwyn 10). What I learned from this experience is that learners in a community can be inspired and have fast improvement “through peer feedback, tagging, sharing, and modification” (Conole, 2014). I originally thought that there is no such need to peer review in a learning community as people might be afraid of sharing real thoughts with others. But after reading Bronwyn’s article and the agile experience, I realized the importance of peer review in open education. If I am going to educate my students in the future, I will encourage every students to do peer review in their learning group.

In conclusion, after experiencing the scrum team and reading Colin’s posts, I obtained three new ideas for improving my education skills. I learned that frequent face-to-face communications among team members can create the most social presence. Also, I understand that knowledge sharing and feedback are very important in group study. Furthermore, Peer review is essential in open pedagogy, creating decent learning environment, and building team trust among learners. (816 words)

References:

https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/stable/44430383?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/lib/uvic/detail.action?docID=3318874

EDCI 339: Blog Post #5

Connected community and Peer Review are the two attributes I learned about open education that I had experience on.

Connected community is one of the essential eight attributes of Open Pedagogy. In order to join the connected community, “the conduit of social media and other technology is needed” (Bronwyn, 9). I had an experience in one of my course project of constructing an Intel 4004 CPU chip where my teammates and I communicated by Slack and Gitlab. This experience made me think that it is so true that using the social media within a learning community not only the connectivity, but also “sharing of resource and knowledge” (Bronwyn 9). When we were using slack, we were always staying transparent and talking about our codes on the general channel. In this way, everybody saw each other’s code so that everyone knows how our learning ability and coding ability is. Also, no matter how easy the question is, we talked about the question on the general channel to stay transparent. In this way, team trust was built as our learning community strengthened our connectivity.

Peer Review would also be one of the critical eight attributes of Open Pedagogy. In one of my course about learning Agile methodologies, teams were working distributively on a project for a remote client. In that project, my team implemented three basic Agile practices: Sprint planning meeting, daily stand-ups, and sprint retrospective. I used Zoom to do online video conferencing with my teammates, sharing my own thoughts and ideas about the implementation of features for the project. Everyone in our team shared their ideas without the fear of being reproached, which is also one of the key communication strategy in a scrum team. We created a safe online environment for everyone to share their ideas. If the environment was not as that supportive, “fear of criticism from peers [could be] shown to inhibit engagement in an open learning community” (Bronwyn 10). Therefore, what I also learned from open education is that Peer review is an important strategy to perform well in a distributed team. (342 words)

The eight attributes of open pedagogy (Hegarty, 2015) 
The eight attributes of open pedagogy (Hegarty, 2015) 

References:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/44430383?seq=8#metadata_info_tab_contents

Picture:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-eight-attributes-of-open-pedagogy-Hegarty-2015_fig5_320858962

EDCI 339: Blog Post #4

I have experience of working in a scrum team, using social media to connect with my teammates. At that time, I was participating in a scrum team, using web development tools to debug and add advanced functions for an application called VisualGit. The first two strategies that Todd shares in the book Teaching Online reminded me of that experience.

The strategy #1 states that “social presence is an important concept for developing community” (Johns 247). When I was working in that scrum team, we were developing the app for remote clients. Also, most of our teammates were working remotely. So we spent more time communicating by text messages and video conferencing. It is true that “the medium of communication has an effect on social presence, which is influenced by a person’s location in space and time” (Johns 247). Since we were working remotely, the social presence theoretically created was not as much as the team which spends most of the time in face-to-face communication can create. In this way, in order to build team solidarity, our team implemented agile methodologies to manage our team. We had daily stand-up meetings by video conferencing and everyone had both informal and formal conversations with each other to build team trust as well as increasing our social presence.

The strategy #2 states that “providing opportunities for students to share information is a useful tool in helping to develop community” (Johns 248). During the time I worked in the scrum team, we constantly promoted knowledge sharing and feedback. We used Github and Google Suite to share our codes and documentations, “[creating] opportunities for sharing information and expertise” (Johns 248). We shared our own Google documents with each other to show our researches and progress on the features that we are doing. Also, we exchanged code snippets on Github with each other for teammates to check individuals’ code qualities. Moreover, we wrote documentations on wikis for everyone to search on the parts of the projects that they don’t understand. By sharing our knowledge, our team finished every tasks on time before the end of the sprint. Therefore, knowledge sharing and feedback is very useful in helping to develop community. (376 words)

Image result for github

Reference:

EDCI339: Blog Post #3

The website named Clickclickclick Colin showed me in Unit 4 surprised me and reminded me of the web crawler, which makes me think that protecting personal information is essential nowadays. Clickclickclick is a surveillance game that keeps track of almost every actions users did on that website. It reviews how much browsers know about me. It is creepy since it has a man’s voice telling me what I was doing on the website, monitoring my action in a vivid way. I tried to open the source code to figure out how this webpage is built. But I can only saw a little part of its JavaScript Code as its main back-end code can’t be retrieved from the browser. The game noticed me that because of the growing technology, personal data privacy requires more intentional protection. The game Clickclickclick also reminded me of the Web Crawler, which is an internet bot that browses the web and visits sites mostly without approval. The Web Crawler can grab information from the web-page, getting personal data and information. There are lots of technical approaches for hackers to get our personal information. Therefore, protecting personal privacy is crucially important at present.

Terms of service are also a lie on the internet. It is often way too long so that people don’t read all of them and just click accept. It sometimes contains a vague description of how the website collects users’data, caused users’ information leakage. In the Turnitin example, one of the terms of use stated that “data and information will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary” (Jesse). However, this term is not considered as “optional for students required to submit their work to Turnitin” (Jesse). Most of the students will not read the whole description of the terms of service. So they will “blindly click ‘agree'” (Jesse). Therefore, most of the terms of service nowadays can mislead users about their true intentions, collecting users’ personal data when users don’ t know.  

As WordPress is classified as an ethical Edtech, I did some research about the WordPress to see how secure it is. An article says that “hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites get hacked” every year (Brian). However, hackers aren’t getting into the core software as the Security team does a great job in fixing the bugs and issue in the core software. Therefore, at the core, it is a secure platform, and it is also one of the most secure website today. (432 words)

Image result for clickclickclick
The Clickclickclick website

References:

A Guide for Resisting Edtech: the Case Against Turnitin

Is WordPress Secure? Here’s What the Data Says

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3957716/The-creepy-website-tracks-ClickClickClick-reveals-browsers-know-you.html

EDCI339: Blog Post #2

Major describes five different online courses conducted by different instructors. The topics are varied including building search engines, digital story-telling, teaching literature for young adults, technology in higher education, and western civilization. All of the courses successfully provide “rewarding and meaningful experience” for many students (Major 105). For examples, Lisa’s online course about western civilization used multimedia teaching tools to create “rich experience” for both the instructor and students. Also, J. Patrick thought that students’ posts online “exceeded [his] expectations” as he created effective and efficient online learning environment. Moreover, Cris’s online literature course successfully let students experience online weekly class meetings. The stories depicted by Major are all related to digital web tools that support different moralities of online learning. According to my experience, TalentLMS and Google Suite can be two effective educational tools.

Google Suite can be an educational tool that gives users opportunities for communication, collaboration, and creativity. Google Hangouts is an example of decent G Suite communication tools. In Google Hangouts, students can interact with each other by messaging, video chatting, and screen sharing. Students in the same class are able to communicate with each other by working on teams and asking peers for feedback in order to learn. Also, Gmail and Google Drive can be regarded as collaboration tools. Gmail is a free and web-based email platform make collaboration occur the class. Students can also share their files created by Google drive with each other. With those effective collaboration and communication tools, students can feel comfortable working with other people, developing their interpersonal learning skills. As what Patrick mentioned, “a social learning approach seemed a natural fit” (Major, 93). In addition, Google Doc, Google Sheets, Google Forms, and Google Slides are tools that allow users to creatively produce new content. Teachers can create their learning materials with these tools. Students can create their projects also by using them. Therefore, Google Suite can be a decent educational tool that provide users with opportunities for communication, collaboration, and creativity.

TalentLMS offers robust course creation tools for both educational and business use. I’ve used that in EDCI335 course to build a Java Programming Tutorial with two other teammates. I found that is a decent online teaching tool as it provides visual, textual, and social learning for users. In terms of visual learning, users can post videos, audios, diagrams on the platform, as well as create games for teaching purpose, which provides interesting content for students. Also, it is easy to integrate existing training materials such as presentations, Word, and PDF document to provide textual learning experience. Furthermore, TalentLMS has features of video-conferencing discussion forum for students to have interactions with each other. Instructors can also make quizzes, tests, assignments to create teacher-student interactions. Therefore, TalentLMS is an excellent tool for online teaching because it offers users opportunities of visual, textual, and social learning. (488 words)

How to create an online course in TalentLMS
TalentLMS

References:

https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/lib/uvic/reader.action?docID=3318874

https://www.talentlms.com/blog/how-create-online-course-talentlms/

Final Week Basketball Challenge

Finally all the weekly challenges are finished! By comparing the data from each week, my statistics (rate of shooting) obviously increased, which showed my shooting ability and layup ability both enhanced. I feel that using the knowledge gained from EDCI335 is crucially helpful to my overall growth in learning basketball. I will also apply the things I learned from this class to learning other skills in the future.

Here is my statistics for both last week and this week:

3-pointers Jump shotsLayups
DAY1 last week65/10077/10071/100
DAY2 last week72/10071/10085/110
DAY1 this week75/10079/10088/100
DAY2 this week66/10067/10072/100
DAY3 this week71/10076/10078/100

According to the table above, my 3-pointers rate of shooting is around 69.8%. My average for jump shots percentage is 74%. My layup rate stays around 80%.

What worked well

There are three aspects worked well for my one and a half month basketball practicing drill. They are following most of the schedule in initial planning, the enhancement of my three basketball skills, and use of all the learning strategies gained from EDCI335. I mostly followed my schedule for practicing. I planned to do three training for each week and I succeeded in the all the weeks except for last week. This shows that I followed my initial planning, which contributes a lot to my growth. Also, my three skills were evidently enhanced. My shooting percentage went from 40% to 70%, which is an incredible improvement. My layup percentage also stays around 80%, and this rate is very decent for nonprofessional basketball player. Finally, I used most of the good ideas from this class. For example, I used online interactive technology (YouTube) and some other coaches’ blogs to be my guidance in learning basketball. Also, I used each weekly knowledge and tried to apply them in my learning. Therefore, the things went well for my challenge are following the schedules, improving my abilities, and use of different learning strategies.

What didn’t work well

The three things that didn’t go well are injury that occurred unexpectedly, playing pick-up game during my shooting drills, and slacking off training last week. Due to not protecting myself well and over-exercising, my body got tired which can be easily injured. Because of the over-exercise, my left foot got injured during a pick-up game in week 4, which prevented me from performing my best ability during the shoot drill. I should have better self-management and cared more about my limit when practicing basketball. Also, sometimes during my drill, someone asked me to play a pick-up game with them. I mostly did not refuse and start play with them. Even though my daily training plan was completed, it became a waste of time and took me more energy to play a pickup game. In this way, I don’t have much energy in training myself with my original plan after I played the game. Finally, last week, I was a little bit slacking off on the training, so I only trained two days instead of three days as usual. In conclusion, the three things that didn’t go well are injury due to not protected myself wisely, playing pick-up game during training, and slacking off on training last week.

How EDCI335 improve my learning in basketball

EDCI335 improved my learning in basketball by teaching me how to learn. It teaches me what learning is, how people learn, how to design learning, technologies for learning, and assessment of learning. Each weekly section imparts a variety of knowledge to me and inspired me in planning and revising my weekly challenge.

The first week I gained useful theoretical knowledge about what learning is. I learned that with the purpose of mastering a skill, I need to build synapses in the brain to interconnect useful information or data. Consolidation and retrieval could be the top actions I could take when practicing basketball skills, building both muscle and brain memory. The theory of what learning is really inspired me when planning my basketball challenge, so I decided to do repetitions of shooting and layups in my drill, which was 80 3-pointers, 80 jump shots, and 80 layups for each drill in a day. Also, the idea of behaviorism described in Bate’s book influenced me when planning my challenge. He talks about that behaviorist did a demonstration in the lab, showing that “it is possible to reinforce through reward or punishment the association between any particular stimulus or event and a particular behavioral response”.  Then I decided to reward myself with chocolates if I achieve a certain percentage in a shooting drill, which worked very well in keeping me being motivated all the time.

The second week I gained knowledge about how people learn. I got the idea that “learning is changing your mind about something” by watching the video of a guy riding a backward bike. The guy in the video wanted us to learn that we should be careful about how we interpret things, as we are looking at the world with bias. It also shows that the way of integrating new knowledge to old knowledge is a very difficult process.  The same idea to learning basketball, changing my old shooting style to a new shooting form in order to generate higher percentage is a process of changing my mind. I found it very difficult in my one and a half month basketball challenge. Fortunately, I succeeded in increasing my shooting percentage. The riding-a-backward-bike example also shows that people have misconceptions between what they think is and what actually is. After watching that video, I corrected my misconception about shooting, which is jumping off hard doesn’t directly matter with increasing shooting performance. I also applied Bate’s ideas of being agile and trying different ways to learn basketball. I started realize I have to handle changes during training and also read various learning resources in order to improve.

The third week I obtained knowledge about designing learning. The video of Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher shows that sometimes learners will face problems with learning environment. I also realized that simply watching YouTube basketball tutorials is not enough for improvement. I need to use high level cognitive skills to learn shooting and layups. I need to make sure that constructive alignment exists every time when learning occurs. Most importantly, I read articles about blended learning, which is for creating purposeful communities of inquiry. I figured out that in order to apply blended learning of COI and its three presences to my learning in basketball. I should firstly find a group of people who are also willing to learn playing basketball. Then, I actively look for players on the court who frequently shows up in CARSA ball court. I met lots of people who like playing basketball, and we created a group chat and constantly sharing experiences and playing basketball together.

The fourth week I gained knowledge about different technologies of learning. I got an idea that educational technology may not necessary be a good thing by reading two articles talking about a “mind-reading robot tutor” named Knewton. This reminds me of a machine used for improving shooting abilities called Shoot-A-Way. When you shoot a ball, the machine will collect the ball you shoot, and then pass the ball back to you. This is a good example of educational technology that helps players get up more shots in less time. Also, after reading Bates’ chapters, I learned that internet plays a crucially important role in my learning of basketball. He introduced 6 key building blocks for media, which are face-to-face teaching, text, graphics, audio, video, and computing. I found that I used graphics, text, and video to teach myself playing basketball. I can try to apply other methods to train my basketball skills in the future.  

Karen’s learning Korean challenge is really meaningful to me as her blog decoration is decent and her documentation of learning progress is specific. The first thing inspired me is her blog decoration. She posted interesting pictures and had soft background color in her blogs which made me reading her post comfortably. For example, the first picture showed in her blog post #1 is a big red word “Korean” surrounded by a bunch of colorful small Korean characters. Seeing that interesting picture really stirs my interest in reading the rest of her blog. I think the decoration does change my mind. I used to think that it is useless to decorate my blog. But after reading her blog, I feel that it is necessary. Also, she documented her learning progress very well. She took video of herself explaining Korean characters and pronunciation. She posted some results of her notes which use different color pens to highlight different parts. I think she can learn a lot by making a video teaching us Korean as teaching is the best way to learn. Currently I don’t think I already mastered decent shooting and layup skills. Once I master them, I will post videos of myself teaching how to shoot and performing layups as what Karen did in her blog.

References:

  1. https://edtechuvic.ca/edci335/week-1/
  2. https://clarissasorensenunruh.com/2019/04/20/5r-adult-learning-assignment-learning-the-neuroscience-and-the-neuromyths/
  3. https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/section-3-2-behaviourism/
  4. https://edtechuvic.ca/edci335/week-2/
  5. https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/4-2-transmissive-lectures/
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0jB1TI0Plc
  7. https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/13/437265231/meet-the-mind-reading-robo-tutor-in-the-sky
  8. https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/knewton-gone-larger-threat-remains?utm_source=Academica+Top+Ten&utm_campaign=62fac2c01a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_07_04_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4928536cf-62fac2c01a-51939269
  9. https://www.eastbayteamsales.com/product/model:298614/korney-boards-aides-6000-gun-standard-shoot-a-way
  10. https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/chapter-8-understanding-technology/
  11. https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/karencheunggggg/
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