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Checklist of Assignments for Most WISR Online Courses


Typical Course Assignments

**for more details go to: https://sites.google.com/wisr.edu/guide-to-wisrs-online-courses/home   

In designing our online curriculum, WISR faculty have attempted to follow a rather standard, recurring set of assignments for most (90%) of the WISR online courses.

First, a couple of added considerations (and at the end a few details about the items on the checklist). The assignments for each course are always listed on the “home” page for that course—although there is other content on the home page that may make it difficult to “see” all the assignments. Second, it’s crucial that you be in regular communication with at least one faculty member who can help you to understand and remember what to do, and answer questions you might have, and provide you with direction.

1.    Module Assignments

    • Discuss briefly two or three important insights and/or questions that came up for you in the readings and/or videos–write about 2 pages per module (about the readings and the module learning outcomes–see below)
    • Module Learning Outcomes, write 1-3 sentences about what you learned in relation to each module learning outcome

2. Online Forum Posts

For each module completed, you are to post a paragraph

  • in the online forum accessible on the “WISR Private Wall” in Google Currents
  • the paragraph must include a question or issue for others to ponder
  • also reply to another student’s post

3.    Term Paper/Action-Research Lab/Project

  • For courses that are three (3) semester units, or less, this may often not be an assignment in these courses, and may occasionally vary
  • For courses that are four (4) semester units or more, there is a term paper, and action-research lab/project.
  • The recommended writing length is noted on the course home page
  • Generally, you can do a term paper on any action-research project (e.g., interviews with others, and/or observations and involvements in community or professional setting, or perhaps gathering data from first-hand information about people obtained online, such as videos of the behavior and views of people, and/or films that directly portray people’s behavior, not just documentaries “telling” about behavior
  • Pick any topic of interest to you so long as it can be related in some way to the course topic
  • You must get faculty approval for your action-research lab/project, before starting it—for example, you may need to give people you interview an informed consent form to have them fill out and sign
  • Note: some courses may give you a more specific term paper assignment—such as reflecting on what you learned in a course text
  • About 75% of the time your term paper will be on your self-designed action-research project

4.    Log of Collaboration

For all course work, keep track of your hours

  • log hours of: your seminar participation, involvement in informal student study groups, informal interactions with other students or alumni (faculty and community people interactions alone do not count), and/or
  •  extra viewing of seminars from the videos available in the WISR Google Drive–must also do a short ½ page write up if you weren’t at the seminar in real time,
  • or one hour of credit for each extra post/reply combination on the online forum beyond the one required for each module
  • Download the excel spreadsheet and use a “tab” at the bottom for each course.

5.    Annotated Bibliography

Write a solid, long paragraph on each of, what you consider to be the most valuable, 4 to 8 articles you read, videos watched, and/or chapters read in a text (for clarity and variation of specific expectations in each course, refer to instructions and/or options for each course)

  • often, you will find that you can make use what you’ve written for some of the module assignments; however, you will have to make revisions or additions to format the annotation properly, to include the citations in a professional format, and quite importantly to do added analysis and evaluation to relate the reading or video to course learning outcomes. (see point #3 below)
  • ensure citations to books, articles, and documents are incorporated.
  • in writing each paragraph, discuss what you learned in relation to one or two course outcomes.

6.    Self-Assessment Form

Respond to the questions on WISR’s Student Self-Assessment form by describing the main highlights of your learning activities, processes, and outcomes /accomplishments

  • download this as a word file, and at the end of each course answer the questions on the form.
  • for each question there is a suggested number of sentences for your answer to that question. With practice, you should be able to do each self-assessment form at the end of each course in an hour or two.

7.    Self-Assessment by Learning Outcomes

Write a self-assessment of what you consider to be the main evidence of your learning in alignment with course learning goals/outcomes and two degree program outcomes.

    • In relation to each course learning outcome, write one (1) solid paragraph for each–be specific and detailed enough that an outside reader can really visualize what you learned that makes your achievement of this outcome sound “convincing”
    • Note: a few courses will have more than 6 to 10 course learning outcomes, and for these courses you will likely be asked to write about two outcomes or so, in each of about six learning goal “areas.” Further, in some cases, it is indicated that the course learning outcomes are best summarized by the learning outcomes in one or two course modules, and in these cases, you will be referred specifically to those module outcomes.
    • Note: the number of course goals or outcomes may differ, refer to course instructions, but
    • Typically, there are six to ten course learning outcomes.

For degree program outcomes, write one (1) solid paragraph about what you learned in relation to just two of the program outcomes–the purpose here is for you to keep in mind, critically reflect on, and write about your progress on the “bigger picture” of degree program outcomes as you move through the program.

  • Note: on the navigation tab at the top of each online course site, the second tab leads to “Overview: Goals, Outcomes.”
  • Please note and study the following! Below the course goals and outcomes, there is a fairly long list of DEGREE PROGRAM learning goals and outcomes. You should familiarize yourself with your degree program’s learning goals and outcomes (to understand the orienting concerns for student learning in your degree program) and specifically, you should read and understand (and if need be, discuss with faculty) the articles about the Dreyfus Model of Expert Knowledge which has been used to help guide and design some of the degree program goals and outcomes. However, for the purposes of this assignment, you need to write about only two program outcomes (from the ten or so program outcomes listed at the bottom). You are to write one solid paragraph about what you learned in relation to just two of the degree program outcomes. Still, as you go through your studies at WISR, you are expected to be aware of the importance of all of these learning outcomes for your particular degree program. You will likely need to discuss this with faculty on an ongoing basis, and may well be asked to discuss progress on program learning outcomes in the oral exam.

8.    Oral Exam

An oral exam with supervising faculty member

  • verifies that you are the person who did the written work you submitted and that you understand what you submitted
  • is an opportunity for in-depth critical reflection at the end of each course, on what you learned, what was challenging for you, and where you want to head next (e.g., which course or courses to pursue)
  • is an opportunity for you to discus what you have (and haven’t yet) been learning in relation to each of the degree program learning outcomes.

9.    Course Evaluation Form.

  • Respond to a questionnaire, evaluating course and estimating the amount of time you spent engaged in various activities for the course
  • The link for the questionnaire for each course is found toward the bottom of the home page for that course, under “assignments.”
  • It should take only 5 minutes to fill out, and then you click the “send” or “submit” button, and that’s it!

A few tips!

1.      In many cases, the above assignments overlap, and it’s ok if you use some sentences or paragraphs of your writing to address two (or in a few cases, three) of the above assignments. The important thing is for your writing to be relevant to what the assignment is asking for, and hopefully also somewhat meaningful to you. We want you to try to write in your own voice, and use straightforward language, and only use jargon when it is absolutely necessary (for example, when discussing some precise terms from the diagnostic manual or psychopharmacology). There is a lot of writing, but it is designed to be (hopefully) substantive and meaningful, even though some of it is to provide “evidence” that addresses how WISR, and our students, must be accountable to outside agencies—to prove that you really learned what you and we say you learned.

2.      Some students have found that it is useful to take notes as you read, and to have course and/or module outcomes right next to you—to keep those in mind while reading or watching videos. Faculty have found that it is helpful for students to become comfortable in writing imperfect drafts, so as to not inhibit themselves or delay in getting their “ideas out on paper.” Feel free to give rough drafts to faculty to help you fine tune, when that’s helpful to you. Ask faculty for frequent support, suggestions and feedback. Consider teaming up with one or even several other students, and work together on helping each other with writing. At WISR, it’s also possible for two (or more) students to submit a collaboratively written document (especially a term paper on an action-research project—it’s best for students to write their own self-assessments). When students submit a collaboratively written document, they are expected to write one or two paragraphs about their collaborative process and the role and contributions of each person in the collaboration.

3.      Please give us suggestions on how to rewrite and improve on this highlighting of WISR online course assignments, and the related explanations and tips!  Email any member of the WISR faculty, and especially johnb@wisr.edu(John Bilorusky, CEO) and gerrard@wisr.edu (WISR Chief Academic Officer.