Blog Post #5

For my personal learning challenge, I have learned many useful and important cooking skills and different famous recipes of traditional Chinese dishes. In my opinion, cooking is one of the most useful, important, and effective personal skills for people to learn more about; therefore, it will be meaningful and significant for me to follow my personal learning challenge clearly. Based on our course materials, my learning challenge has always changed during the course as well. 


In the first week (Blog Post #1), I spent more time on learning new cooking recipes and watching relevant cooking videos. In my opinion, I could connect my past cooking experience with the new recipes I have found, and then, I can modify the new recipes and learn new cooking skills as well. From the article, the author describes that it is possible to provide guidelines based on best practices, theory and research, that must then be adapted to local conditions (Bates, 2015).  


In the second week (Blog Post #2), I focused more on learning and practicing a specific dish, called “Coca Cola Chicken Wings”, based on the recipe I have found. In this week, based on our course materials, I have learned that there are five main perspectives on teaching, including transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing, and social reform (Bates, 2015). Also, many different types of skills that are related to teaching methods, such as conceptual skills, developmental skills, digital skills, and manual and practical skills (Bates, 2015). In Bates’ opinion, we can directly learn by listening, doing, experiencing, and feeling and it will be much more helpful and important to improve personal skills (Bates, 2015). Therefore, during this week, I spent more time learning and practicing this specific dish. 


In the third week (Blog Post #3), I have learned the importance of a thoughtful instructional design and basic information of blended learning from our course materials; therefore, the design of my personal challenge has been changed a lot. According to the article, it is important to know how to create a clear and thoughtful instructional design because it provides a “framework for principles and guidelines that shape the design process of content, creating students learning activities of collaboration and interaction, and identifying assessment procedures” (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013). Based on the materials, I used a recipe of cooking Chinese-style tea eggs as an example to design a specific and clear instruction. My instructional design includes prepared ingredients, specific cooking steps, process decision points, and assessment. 


In the fourth week (Blog Post #4), I have learned the relationship between technologies and education and pedagogical difference between different kinds of media clearly. As Bates states, the internet can be one of the most powerful, significant, and meaningful medium because it encompasses all the dimensions of education media through a variety of tools and media (Bates, 2015). Therefore, in this week, I used many different media and online tools to learn the basic knowledge of cooking skills, including texts (blog posts), videos, and images. In my opinion, it is important and necessary for me to use different kinds of media and online tools to learn new knowledge of cooking skills and It can make my learning process become more interesting, engaging, and attractive. 


In my opinion, based on our course materials, the design of my personal learning challenge has improved and changed a lot. In the beginning of this course, I did not know how to create a thoughtful and well-organized instructional design, so I just found my interested recipes and followed other people’s cooking steps. However, the course materials make me know that a good and clear instructional design should include three main parts: relevant content, interactive activities, and learning assessment. Also, the use of different kinds of media will be important and attractive as well. Therefore, I begin to design my personal challenge specifically and clearly, based on what I have learned from this course. 


However, during my learning challenge, the things that I do not think I did very well is about assessment. When I read the fourth post of Yana Zhang, I realized this problem. As Yana mentioned, different from face-to-face classes, it will be a little bit challenging for learners to get feedbacks immediately from online learning. In my opinion, Yana’s post is very helpful and important for me. In order to improve this problem, I invited my friends to come and get more feedbacks to me about my cooking directly as my assessment, instead of just learning and following online recipes. 


I believe that my learning challenging still needs to be improved in some aspects. However, I have learned a lot from this learning experience and I will keep using the knowledge I have learned from the materials to design my personal challenging in the future as well. 

Reference

Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age. Retrieved from: https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/


Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., (2013). Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. Retrieved from: http://aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229

Peer Review

The link of interactive learning resource of group 9: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/14vkNudjFeh8Jg2IyezK2TG3IJsD9SqIaPgpQj9K88Lg/edit#heading=h.buwz1tcz7y35

Personally, I feel really interested in the topic of the interactive learning resource of group 9, which is about income inequality and violent crime. According to the web article, “The Stark Relationship between income inequality and crime”, the author declares that fifty years ago, as Gary Becker, a Nobel prize-winning economist, stated, “all crime is economic and all criminals are rational” (2018). In Becker’s opinion, assumed that all other things being equal, places that have larger gaps between the poor and the rich will have higher crime (2018). Also, in my opinion, the violent crime caused by income inequality has always been one of the most important and biggest problems in our society for many years. From your project, I have also learned more about this issue clearly and specifically. 

In my opinion, the design of your group’s interactive learning resource is very well-organized, clear, and informative. First, I like the way that you divide your topic into several small, but important parts, including overview, learning outcomes, evaluation, income inequality and violent crime by country, income inequality and violent crime among people, and the ways we can use to fix it. I think it can help learners to have a very clear and basic learning and viewing of your project. Second, many different colors, fonts, and sizes of words are used in your project in order to make learners find important content or key words and know what they should pay more attention to in your project directly. I think it can also help learners to follow your project easily and clearly. Third, many useful and important diagrams and images are used and added in your project in order to not only explain the contents deeply and clearly, but also make learners feel easier to understand the contents directly. Also, I like the way that you add a short video and more additional readings to your project. In my opinion, it can make your project become more attractive and informative. 

Based on my personal learning of this interactive learning resource, in my opinion, the learning outcomes you provided and the secondary resources you used are appropriate and clear, which can help learners to have a better and deeper learning of this topic. Also, the grammar and spelling are almost correct as well.

However, in order to help you to improve your project, I will also provide a few suggestions. 

First, I suggest you to use in-text citations in your project clearly as well. In my opinion, there are many advantages of using in-text citations, such as making your project look more professional and academic, avoiding plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors, and allowing your learners to track down the sources you used. 

Second, I suggest you to add more interactive activities in your project. In the beginning of your project, you provide a part called “Evaluation” in order to help learners to share their ideas, opinions, and reflections of this project. However, you do not explain too much on this part and do not provide a platform for learners to share their ideas and questions. In my opinion, you may improve this part specifically and build a strong connection between learners and teachers in this part. 

Third, instead of using Google docs, I suggest you to change to use other social media platform, such as WordPress. In my opinion, it will be much easier and clearer for your learners to follow your project if you use blog posts instead of using Google docs. Also, it will be much clearer and more useful for you to organize and design your project. Moreover, in your project, you shared a link of a video on the Google docs, but I do not think it is very clear for your learners to find and watch it. Therefore, I suggest you to use blog posts and insert this video into your blog directly. It will be much easier, clearer, and more direct for your learners to learn and watch. 

Reference:

The Stark Relationship between income inequality and crime (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/06/07/the-stark-relationship-between-income-inequality-and-crime

Blog Post #4

In this week, based on the reading materials, I have learned some basic information about the relationship between technologies or social media and education clearly and pedagogical differences between different kinds of media specifically. In my opinion, it will be much more useful, effective, important, and meaningful for people to use different kinds of media or technologies in their daily learning or teaching process. From the article, “Teaching in a Digital Age”, Bates describes that technologies are merely tools that can be used in many different ways; however, what matters more is how technologies can be applied clearly (Bates, 2015). In his opinion, the same technology can also be used or applied in many different ways as well; so it will be important and effective for learners to choose to use proper medias in their learning (Bates, 2015). Also, in his points of view, three main and important characteristics of educational media that may be identified (Bates, 2015): 


Broadcast vs communication 

Synchronous (live) vs asynchronous (recorded) 

Single vs rich media 


According to Bates’ opinion, media has tended to become more communicative, asynchronous, and rich (Bates, 2015). Therefore, it can provides both instructors and students more powerful, useful, and effective teaching (or learning) tool. Also, in his opinion, the Internet can be one of the most important, powerful, and meaningful medium because it can encompass all the dimensions of education media through a variety of tools and media (Bates, 2015). 


Moreover, in Chapter 7, Bates reflects that there are many different kinds of media, which will be available for teaching and learning, such as text, audio, video, computing, and social media. Social media provides more successful and powerful opportunities for learners to create their own learning materials and assess their learning directly. Also, it will be much more flexible, free, and accessible for learners to seek, use, and apply information over the internet. It also provides more learning opportunities and convenient learning environments for learners directly and clearly. 


My Learning Experience 


For this week’s personal learning challenge, instead of learning new recipes, I decided to use different media or online tools to learn some basic knowledge of cooking skills. The media I used for this challenge include texts (blog posts), videos, and images. For example, first, I used and read the blog posts from Food Safety and Inspection Service to learn some Basics for Handling Food Safely. The basics for food handling include many different parts, such as shopping, storage, preparation, thawing, cooking, serving, leftovers, refreezing, and cold storage chart. For example, 

There are four basic steps of Food Safe:

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate.
  • Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
  • Chill — Refrigerate promptly.

In my opinion, it will be useful and effective for me to have a basic understanding of all the basics of food handling. Second, I watched a few videos about learning basic cooking skills on YouTube (examples are shown below), such as how to cut up a whole chicken and how to cook wild rice.

In my opinion, the videos provide a direct and clear teaching for me to learn new cooking skills specifically. Also, watching videos can capture my attention and make me become more interested in learning cooking skills. Third, I used an online tool, called Kitchen Story to help me with improving my cooking and learning many new recipes directly. Many detailed cooking steps and images are provided in this website in order to help people, like me, who are not good at cooking to learn and follow the cooking steps easily. 


From this week’s reading materials, as Bates states, different media can be used to “assist learners to learn in different ways and achieve different outcomes” as well (Bates, 2015). Therefore, in my opinion, the use of different media for me to learn basic knowledge of cooking can not only make me to engage with the content, but also can help me to achieve different learning outcomes specifically. 

During this week, when I used different media to learn new skills, I tried to find my interested skills and took notes. However, one of my challenges is that I did not find a good and useful online tool to assess my learning of different cooking skills. I think I should practice more in order to understand different skills.


However, in this week, I have learned the importance of using different media and technologies in learning process. In my opinion, it is very interesting, effective, and engaged for me to use a combination of tools or media to learn new knowledge of cooking skills. 

Reference

Bates, T (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age. Retrieved from: https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

Blog Post #3

In this week, I have learned some basic information about a thoughtful and well-organized instructional design and I have found some main ideas, related to learning and learning design. 

From this week’s reading, “Teaching in Blended Learning Environments”, in authors’ opinion, design is a planning process that “includes consideration of many content and process issues related to the intended learning outcomes” (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013). Also, it provides “a framework for principles and guidelines that shape the design process of choosing content, creating student learning activities of collaboration and interaction, and identifying assessment procedures” as well (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013). 

In this article, the authors mentioned a kind of learning method, which is called blended learning. Blended learning means combing face-to-face learning with online learning activities clearly. The design of a blended learning requires considerable attention and effort prior to the start of the course specifically (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013).

Moreover, two main design principles are introduced in this web article as well. First design principle focuses mainly on social presence. In authors’ points of view, it is contented to “perceived learning and persistence and the academic goals of an educational experience by supporting a questioning and reflective predisposition and creating a secure climate for critical discourse” (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013). Additionally, second design principle focuses more on the goal of educational experience (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013).

Some techniques will be encouraged to cognitive presence in blended environment (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013): 

  1. Identify and present the key concepts or information to learners directly
  2. Make explicit the skills and knowledge learners should learn and develop through course activities 
  3. Use triangulation to provide multiple learning activities. 
  4. Promote active engagement in practical applications of knowledge.

My learning experience

In this week, I continue to try to improve my cooking skills, but based on this week’s reading materials, the design of my challenge will be changed. 

Based on authors’ opinion in this article, “thoughtful instructional design is guided by this framework, which provides direction regarding content and process decision points” (Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R., 2013). Therefore, before I start my challenge, I decided to design a thoughtful, well-organized, and clear plan for myself. 

The challenge in this week is about cooking Chinese-style tea eggs

The ingredients I should prepared for per serving before cooking: 1 egg, 1/3 cups water, 1/2 fl oz soy sauce, 7/8 tbsp black tea loose, 1/4 tbsp sugar, 1/8 tbsp sea salt, 1/8 tbsp black sesame, 1/4 tbsp ginger, 1/8 stick cinnamon, 1/3 star anise, 1/8 bay leaf, 1/8 pepper. 

The cooking steps are directly and specifically followed by the app called Kitchen Story. Here is the steps: https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/recipes/chinese-tea-eggs I listed both the ingredients and cooking steps before I cooked because it provided direction regarding content in my instructional design. When I first time cooking this dish, I use the wrong soy sauce, so the color of the tea egg is not good enough and it tastes salty. The soy sauce I recommended is Chinese dark soy sauce, so the color of the egg will be delicious. 

According to the instructional design, the process decision points of this dish are: 

  1. Using appropriate Chinese dark soy sauce 
  2. Knowing how to cook perfect eggs: place eggs in boiling water and cook for approx. 8-9 mins 
  3. Gently cracking eggshells 
  4. Be patient and carefully peel eggs 

From the article, the authors also reflects two kinds of assessment: formative assessment and summarize assessment. The purpose of formative assessment is to diagnose misunderstanding and provide useful feedbacks or guidance. Summarize assessment is about assessing competence. It is about achievement, which is related to intended learning outcomes. In my opinion, the assessment of this week’s challenge is formative assessment. After I cook this Chinese-style tea eggs, I invited my friends to come and eat them so that I can get more feedbacks or suggestions about this dish. 

Through this week’s challenge, I have learned the importance of designing a plan before starting a personal challenge and I have known how to assess my challenge as well. In my opinion, designing a thoughtful and organized plan before challenges can help learners to have a basic and clear understanding of their learning process and the challenges they may face to. 

Reference

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. Retrieved from: http://aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229

Chinese Tea Eggs. Kitchen Story. Retrieved from: https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/recipes/chinese-tea-eggs


Blog Post #2

In this week, I have learned a few reasons why learning is very difficult. Based on the learning materials, everyone has misconceptions about the world and it will be very difficult to change their minds from the misconceptions because people always give more credibility to the ideas they have already agreed with, when combining the misconceptions about the world with people’s “confirmation bias”.  Also, in this week’s learning materials, it describes that learning focuses mainly on work and effort and it is about changing people’s mind about something, so it will be challenging. From Destin Sandlin’s video about “Backwards bicycle”, he spent more than 8 weeks practicing on learn and operate the new skill successfully. Based on his experience, it shows that “the cognitive process of integrating new knowledge into older knowledge structures can be a difficult one”. Our brain has a bias on the skills, but more practice can help us to pick up and convert the new concept into knowledge (Destin, 2015). 


From the article, “Teaching in a Digital Age”, Bates declares that there are five main perspectives on teaching (Bates, 2015):


Transmission: effective delivery of content

Apprenticeship: modeling ways of being

Developmental: cultivating ways of thinking 

Nurturing: facilitating self-efficacy

Social Reform: seeking a better society


It means that we can learn by listening, talking, doing, experiencing, and feeling respectively and specifically (Bates, 2015). Also, there are many different types of skills that are needed and related to teaching methods (Bates, 2015): 

Conceptual skills

Developmental or personal skills

Digital Skills

Manual and practical skills


However, the author explains and states that teaching methods are not determined by technology clearly. The methodologies of teaching will be different from different teachers. The teaching approaches can be decided by teachers directly, depending on the subject requirements and students’ attitudes (Bates, 2015). 

My Learning Experience 


In the first week of trying to make my cooking skills become better, I actually decided to start from learning some basic cooking tips or skills. The famous and traditional Chinese dish I intended to learn this week is called “Coca Cola Chicken Wings”. Personally, I like drinking Coca Cola and chicken wings are also one of my favorite foods, so I feel really excited to learn this dish. In my opinion, it is very easy for beginners to learn and cook by themselves and it is also one of the most popular dishes for young adults as well. The app I used to help me with this learning challenge is called “Kitchen Story”, which offers a clear ingredients that I should prepare for and easy cooking steps. I also asked my roommate, Cindy, who is very good at cooking Chinese food, to help me when I cook. Actually, she provides a few useful and important personal experience of cooking this dish to me directly, which helps me a lot. For example, how to marinate chicken wings with salt, cooking wine, dark and light soy sauce completely and quickly, and how to make chicken wings more juicy. As I mentioned, in my opinion, practice more and learn by listening, talking, and experiencing will be important and helpful for me to improve my cooking skills directly and clearly. 


Therefore, I start to practicing on cooking this dish several times this week until I can remember all the cooking steps clearly and will not feel confused about ingredients I should prepare for different servings. In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges for me to cook this dish is that sometimes, I cannot master cooking time easily and directly; therefore, when I first time cooking it, the chicken wings were overcooked. In order to solve this problem and work through challenge, I asked my roommate’s suggestions and changed a little bit about the ways of cooking it. 


Here is the website from Kitchen Story I have followed to learn how to cook “Coca Cola Chicken Wings”. To be honest, I have learned a lot from this learning experience, based on this week’s learning materials. For example, first, before, I had some misconceptions about putting Coca Cola in my meal. I had tried to put cooking wine or red wine to my food, but I never tried to put soft drinks. Also, when I began to learn to cook a new dish before, I always followed the cooking steps and ingredients directly and exactly and I never tried to change the steps of recipes. As I described in the post, my brain has a bias on the skill that I think I know, but I need to change ways of thinking clearly. Moreover, the teaching approaches can be decided by teachers as well. When I asked my friends to help me with my learning of this dish, she not only provides her own cooking experience to me, but also introduces me a much easier and clearer way to learn to cook this dish as well. 

Personal Learning Challenge

For my personal learning challenge, I intend to learn some useful cooking skills and different famous recipes of traditional Chinese dishes. In my opinion, cooking is one of the most useful and effective personal skills for people to know and learn more about. As an international student who comes from China, I feel very interested in learning how to cook traditional Chinese food as well. In my opinion, learning cooking skills can not only improve the quality of my life, but also can help me to save a lot of money on eating Chinese food in restaurants.

The main learning approaches I plan to use is to watch YouTube videos, follow and use cooking app, and practice the recipes by myself repetitively and weekly. Watching and following tutorial videos on YouTube is also one of my favorite learning methods to learn knowledge or skills on my own. From the article, “Learning – the Neuroscience and the Neuromyths”, the author describes that it will be much more useful and effective for learners to use their preferred and favorite learning styles to learn knowledge (2019). Also, in this article, the author outlines and states three main processes our brain will go through to learn new skills, which are about encoding, consolidation, and retrieval. I plan to follow all the three processes in my learning challenge as well. For example, encoding is about “incoming stimulus converted into a ‘memory trace’” (2019). In my learning challenging, I will use cooking app and YouTube videos to search and find the recipes of traditional Chinese dishes that I feel interested in directly. Then, I will connect my past cooking experience with the new recipes I have found to learn and store new cooking skills. This is in the process of consolidation. Based on the article, the retrieval process means “drawing on memories in new situations” (2019). After I learned new cooking recipes, I plan to spend more time practicing each of them and invite my friends to come and give me some suggestions. I think I will learn a lot from cooking experience, suggestions, and failure. Assessment of my failure or success in this challenge will be relatively easy and simple. I will either succeed in cooking delicious traditional Chinese food and follow the cooking steps correctly, or I will fail to cook and try more times.

References

Learning – the Neuroscience and the Neuromyths. Retrieved from: https://clarissasorensenunruh.com/2019/04/20/5r-adult-learning-assignment-learning-the-neuroscience-and-the-neuromyths/

App: Kitchen Story. https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/

Image: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/1cbfa587-d656-4521-ac0b-b2171dce49cb

Hi, I’m Xue Wang

Hi everyone, 

My name is Xue Wang. I’m from Lanzhou, which is a beautiful and peaceful northwestern city in China. My hometown is famous for many different kinds of traditional Chinese foods and one of the most well-known dishes is called Lanzhou ramen. 

This is my second year studying in Uvic with the major of Economics. I feel very interested in my major and I think it will be useful for my future career as well. I am very good at playing the piano and badminton. I have learned the skills of playing the piano and badminton for many years as well. Also, during my rest time, I love playing computer games with my friends and listening to classical music in order to relax myself. Chopin, Mozart, and Liszt are the three famous musicians I love the most. 

Learning Experience

Personally, it was not my first time taking online courses. One of my favorite learning experience is to use Coursera, a free, useful, and accessible online learning platform, to learn personal skills by myself. In my opinion, it is very convenient, effective, and flexible for me to take online courses because I can directly decide where to learn, how to learn, and when to learn by myself. For example, I have learned how to improve my presentation skills on Coursera clearly and directly. The online course is designed for beginners and learners can participate in the course freely and accessibly. There are four main parts in this online course on Coursera. which are about speech-writing and story-telling, PowerPoint slides designing, presentation delivery, and public speaking project. In my opinion, I can learn the ways of improving my presentation step by step specifically and clearly. Also, many useful and helpful learning activities and assessments are created and provided to learners, such as challenging quizzes, discussion questions, and assignments, in order to help me to assess myself and have a much more interesting learning experience. Based on my personal learning experience on Coursera, I think online learning is very interesting, flexible, and effective.