ECT 300 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Can you analyze Small Group Work and Use of Examples as a skill in micro (peer)-teaching?

CHAPTER 9

DISTANCE EDUCATION

9d iii).Analyze the use of Small Group Work and Use of Examples as a skill in micro (peer)-teaching.

SKILL 4: SMALL GROUP WORK AND USE OF EXAMPLES

This is a method that involves a cooperative effort by learners to perform a learning task. The nature of the problem of the learning task determines the duration of time spent in the group activity. Groups can be formed through random sampling, natural socialization, learners abilities gender, and competencies.

Types of groups

There are 3 types of groups a teacher can use in the small group discussions method.

Buzz-groups.

The learners share a few minutes to discuss a question or problem in pairs or triples without rearranging the seating. Buzz groups are meant for quick informal exchange of ideas, opinions and suggestions. The task is normally simple and may be accomplished in 2- 4 minutes. The task is the same for all the groups in the class. A few groups report their points and these are compelled and used to develop the lesson further.

Task groups

These are extensions of buzz groups where the task is now more detailed, more demanding and more time is allowed. Also the group organization is formal with a chair and a secretary to coordinate the discussions. The group size is also larger maybe 5. The reports are normally exhaustive as each group may generate points on a different angle of the same task and thus stimulate discussion.

Syndicate groups

These are the same as the task groups except that the tasks differ from one group to the next. Each group will then be allowed time to report its findings. The teacher must finally synthesize the points and draw conclusions. Its advantage over task group type is that more ground is covered albeit shallowly.

Advantages of group work

  • Improve understanding through sharing of ideas
  • Stimulates self-expression, listening, and reasoning
  • Can lead to development and emergence of leader
  • Sharing of ideas when there are limited resources
  • Development of interest due to practical involvement
  • Fosters cooperation and reduces individual frustration
  • Gives learners opportunities to practice the democratic process
  • Practice of oral communication and enhancement of other skills

Limitations of small group work

  • It is time-consuming
  • Not convenient for large classes
  • Assessment of individual contributions is difficult
  • Difficult to choose suitable task and to form groups

EVALUATION GUIDES

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES

  • Involvement of learners in group activities
  • How effectively did the groups present their reports
  • Teacher’s role in group activities, was the teacher playing the role of:
  1. Observer
  2. Resource person
  3. Mediator, group to group Participants
  • What follow up activities did the teacher plan for the class

 

USE OF EXAMPLES AS A TEACHING SKILL

I). OBJECTIVES

  • to lead pupils from simple to complex concepts
  • to make difficult ideas easy to understand
  • to clarify rules, principles, or concepts
  • to test understanding of concepts/ rules
  • to enliven a lesson and stress important points

II). COMPONENTS

  • Simple examples, to bridge new knowledge with already acquired previous knowledge
  • relevant examples. applicability of the teacher’s examples to the particular rules or concepts being taught.
  • interesting examples, that arouse the learners curiosity and interest.
  • appropriate media for examples e.g using analogies, stories, models, pictures, diagrams, the choice of media to be determined by the age and ability of pupils and the content to be aught

III. GUIDING EXAMPLES

  • examples should be prepared in advance
  • the teacher should be observant of pupils behaviour and their verbal responses to be certain the examples are appropriate
  • sufficient number of examples must be provided while at the same time a variety of situations in which the rules/concepts may be observed are indicated.
  • there should be a clear and unequivocal link between the example given and the relevant rule or concept

IV. APPROACHES TO USING EXAMPLES

  • Inductive i.e. moving from particular examples to the generalization or starting with the examples then giving the generalization based on the given example
  • deductive i.e moving from the generalization to the examples. Starting with the rules then giving examples to further illustrate. .

EVALUATION GUIDES

USE OF EXAMPLES

  • did the teacher provide adequate examples to highlight the concept, idea being taught
  • did teacher move from simple to more difficult examples
  • did the teacher occasionally suggest non-examples (Irrelevant examples)
  • were the learners encouraged to provide additional examples
  • were the examples always related to concept under discussion

MEDIA PRACTICALS TOPIC: CONSTRUCTION OF 3 DIMENSIONAL MATERIALS

Definition: 3 dimensional materials have length, width and height. they occupy space whose size can be described in terms of 3 coordinates x, y, and z.

UTILIZATION OF 3 DIMENSIONAL MATERIALS

We can bring real things into the classroom, but we must locate them, acquire them and find profitable ways in which to put hem into use in order to achieve the objectives. they could be live living things, preserved materials and models of mounted specimens.

we can look at real things in 3 categories:

  1. Unmodified real things
  2. Modified real things
  3. Specimens

Unmodified real things

are things that are without alteration except for change of real life surroundings. they usually have all segments intact, they may operate, work or be alive, they are normally or normal size.

Examples are:

  1. an old Kenya Uganda Railway engine at the KR Museum can be useful when teaching the development of rail transport in East Africa, the building of the Kenya Uganda railway, Transportation in East Africa.
  2. the national flag
  3. a visit to Fort Jesus in Mombasa or Gedi in Malindi, Lake Nakuru for flamingoes etc.
  4. a visit to the museums of Kenya when teaching “Evolution of modern man”

Modified real things

is a simplified version of reality, a reality, a representation of the real thing so constructed as to highlight essential parts and functions. they include mock-ups and cutaways (cutaways applies to mechanical devices such as engines through which cuts have been made to allow observation of hidden parts, either in motion or static. Includes sections and slices).

COMMON TYPES OF 3- DIMENSIONAL MATERIALS

  1. Objects
  2. specimens (samples)
  3. models
  4. dioramas
  5. outdoor laboratories/learning experiences e.g. field trips
  6. chalkboards.

OBJECTS

It is the real thing e.g. using one of the pupils to name the body parts.

SPECIMENS

These are objects that are a representative of a group or a class of similar objects e.g. a display of various food crops eaten by a named Kenyan community; a display of different soil samples representing loam, clay and sandy soils; when teaching urban planning the teacher can take pupils to the local urban councils and use the road patterns, market position, industrial area location, offices to explain problems of planning a larger town or city. they may sometimes be unmodified.

MODELS

is a recognizable 3 dimensional likeness or representation of the real thing. they can be made using clay, wood scraps, cloth, wires, grass etc.

Characteristics of models

  1. they are 3 dimensional
  2. they reduce/enlarge objects to an observable size e.g. globe, atom etc.
  3. they enable us to see interior view of objects.
  4. they simplify complex objects, show only the necessary features.
  5. emphasize important features with colour and texture

DIORAMAS

these are 3 dimensional scenes incorporating a group of models, objects, figures in a natural setting e.g. a typical traditional African homestead consisting of models of grass thatched houses arranged in such a way that explains which house belongs to who.

OUTDOOR LABORATORY

this is an exterior learning area on or adjacent to a school site which is suitable for environmental studies e.g. aquatic environments (streams, fish ponds, marshes; geological environments (soil profiles along roads); terrestrial environments (farmlands, woodlands, grasslands etc) and field trips.

MATERIALS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION OF 3 DIMENSIONAL AIDS

Materials that can be used to develop these materials include:

  1. cement mortar (prepared in the ratio cement: sand + water in the ratio 1:2)
  2. glue
  3. flour paste. this is made by mixing flour with water to get a smooth creamy mixture
  4. flour and salt mixture. To prepare it we use 2 cups of flour and enough water to mix into a creamy consistency. Add 1 cup of salt, it hardens when dry.
  5. Papier-mache. this can be made in several ways:
  • Soak torn paper bits in thin paste and mix well
  • Boil the paper bits, mix them well until they form a smooth mass, squeeze out the water add glue and plaster of pads.
  • Tear toilet paper into shreds, bowl and beat until smooth, squeeze out water and add paste.
  • Dip 1st wide paper strips into paste and lay over torn or wadded paper centre to produce the desired form .

6. Spray paint. this can be made by mixing one pint of white calcimine in water.

MEDIA PRACTICALS TOPIC: AUDIO PRODUCTION

The process of producing audio recording can be discussed under three major stages:

  1. planning
  2. script writing
  3. presentation/recording

Planning

The planning selection of topics to make up the series. a series of topics for a particular class is made of topic’s enough to cover a year. In some countries, a series is made up of 24 audio lesson topics namely eight per term. the selection is guided by the specific functions of the medium as well as the needs of the subject or course. we must bear in mind the weaknesses and strengths of the audio/television medium was we select these topics. We must also give priority to topics that are not well covered in the class textbooks as these are the topics that actually need the audio support. the need arises due to scarcity of instructional materials and the nature of the content. audio recordings can for example be useful in the teaching of music where the class teacher cannot demonstrate some of the tunes in the classroom or in the teaching of literature where different scholars give different interpretations of the same novel throughout the selection the writer must consult with the subject specialist.

the next step ner this tatege is writing the programme outline for each topic. this outline is made up of six elements. the first element is the programme title which must be concise and precise. for example the titles “Coffee growing” and “Coffee growing in Kenya” are different since in the former, the programme cannot conine itself to coffee growing in one country only or region but must address itself to coffee growing globally. the next element is the specific objectives we wish to achieve through the programme. these will depend on the class level the programme is intended for. it is important in writing these objectives to cater for the different domains of educational objective. the objectives must be achievable in the time available for the programme. the objectives if well stated become very useful in content selection.

the third element of the programme outline in the content summary. there the writer must now list the main facts, ideas, skills and altitudes to be covered by the programme. this content must be arranged in a logical manner for easy audio lesson development. the content summary if well prepared at this stage helps a great deal in deciding on the reference materials, resource persons to be interviewed and the illustrative examples if any. once the content summary is in place it is then possible to decide on the fourth element of the outline namely form and structure. deciding on the form and structure involves choosing whether to use straight talk, illustrated talk, interview, panel discussion, documentary techniques, dramatization, or a mixture of the above (magazine). the writer can then concentrate on the fifth element of the outline namely developing support materials to accompany the recording.the materials should encourage active participation of the learners in the programme. the material must involve learners at three critical stages of the lesson.the learning activities make up the sixth element of the outline. these stages are activities before the listening, during the listening and after the litening. once the outline for the topics have been completed, it is advisable to discuss them with other subject specialist as to the validity and relevance of the proposed content.

the programme outline which comprises the topic, instructional objectives, content summary, support materials, and learning activities will be properly written out to make up the Teachers’ notes. the teachers’ notes is the document that will guide the classroom teacher on how to make effective use of the recording.

Scriptwriting

The art of scriptwriting involves laying on paper a stimulation of how people really speak. the key point to remember is that the audio channel is for the ear and not for the eye. the sentences must be short, consisting of familiar phrases since we rarely use long sentences in everyday speech. long rambling sentences must be broken down into shorter ones. the active quality of natural speech ensures that the scriptwriter captures the attention of the listener and conveys information. the best way to write an audio script would therefore be to put down word by word the way you would tell the story to a friend. the words must sound warm and personal to compensate for the loss of visual communication.

The writer should consider whether the content suggests more than one presenter, a need for music, indigenous sounds, sound effects or simply one voice commentary. a good educational broadcast lesson should be voiced by #radio teacher and at least two radio pupils besides other presenters. it is good to have more than one presenter to give the programme some “taste” but itc oems but it becomes confusing when the voices are too many. consideration should also be given to using sound effects at appropriate stages to give the programme a natural outlook for instance when the script is referring to an event taking place at dawn then the sounds of birds and other insects could bring in the time perspective. if the script is referring to an interview involving a poultry farmer, then during the interview sounds of hens and cocks should be heard in the background. the programme must open and close with a signature tune. this is a sound effect that identifies the programme series, it should where possible show some relation to the content or theme of the programme.

The following rules should be followed in script writing:-

  1. the script must convey the message in a logical manner. it should be made up of one’s thoughts arranged in a sequence to drive the listener to stay tuned.
  2. all the facts must be factual, i.e. accurate honest, current, truthful and sincere
  3. the script must be “mobile”, intent and relevant the environment. it must illustrative so the lister is mentally visualized.
  4. the scriptwriter must have a complete story in him.
  5. a good script must have a “hook” which is catchy, to catch the listener’s attention and sustain it throughout the listening session.
  6. the script must avoid overloading programme with lots of data would confuse the listener.

The script layout should be standard as this helps in ensuring that all those involved in the production understand its form and structure. an audio script should be made up of four distinct parts. The first part should be the introduction. here the radio teacher should welcome the listeners to the programme and connect ( be it to previous knowledge. the second part is the main body of the programme where the content should be delivered logically, punctuated with the pupil activities. the programme should allow for pauses to give pupils time to respond to questions and tasks. the third part of the script is the closing. Here the radio teacher with the assistance of the radio pupils summarize the main points of the lesson. if necessary the next topic can be stated and the pupils asked to collect necessary materials. a series of questions to direct the follow up can also be posed. finally, some programmes finish off by giving credit to participants namely the script writer, script editor, the presenters, the producer, the technician and the station.

it is important to remember that the script should be:

  • typed, double or treble spaced with margins of 1 ½ to 2 inches for easy reading
  • with pages numbered sequentially
  • with each page starting on a new sentence
  • reproduced on single sided non-flimsy paper
  • with enough copies for all those involved in the production (producer, presenters and technician)

materials to be recorded in the studio should be separated from pre-recorded materials (taped inserts for interviews, music and sound effects). identifying details should be given for all inserts including name of interviewee, title of music, description of sound effects, cue in (opening words or sounds) and cue out (closing words or sounds) and exact duration.

PICTURE DESCRIPTION OF A SAMPLE SCRIPT

The sample script shown above could be improved by say inserting an interview with a nutritionist or school matron or including a conversation between a housewife and one of the presenters. As a means of enabling the classroom teacher to utilize the audio material effectively, the Teachers; Notes on the topic should be availed.

THE TEACHER’S NOTES

CLASS: Standard 7

SUBJECT: Home Science

TOPIC:Basic food groups for a balanced diet

Objectives

By the end of the rado lesson, the learner should be able to :

  1. Classify common foods into 3 food groups
  2. State functions of foods in each group.

Learning Aids

A chart showing drawings and mountings of the three food groups.

Activities before the broadcast

Pupils should be asked questions such as the following by the class teacher:

  1. Name 3 good eating habits.
  2. State at last 4 factors that influence eating habits.
  3. Name 3 ways of obtaining food.

The class teacher should also write the following on the chalkboard:-

  • Carbohydrates-energy giving foods
  • proteins -body building foods
  • Vitamins- protective foods

Activities during the broadcast

the class teacher should receive responses from pupils when asked to do so by the radio teacher. S/he should quickly write down these answers. The teacher should display the chart showing drawings and mountings of the 3 food groups. S/he should point at the relevant parts when asked to do so by the radio teacher.

Activities after the broadcast

the classroom teacher should ask pupils to write in their exercise books all the food they eat at home and finally classify them. the pupils can also be asked to choose foods from these three groups and plan balanced meals for a whole week. Once the script has been written and Teachers’ Notes compiled, the script editor should edit the programme. the editor should consider the flow of content, the timeslot allowed for the programme and the general layout of the script. he is to cross check the appropriateness of the recorded inserts and the music use. he also ensures that the signature tune chosen is appropriate. The signature tune is that piece of music or vocals that comes at the beginning and at the end of a programme. it is the same for a whole programme series and is regarded as the “trademark” of the programme series it identifies the programme. Usually the message in the signature tune is related to the theme of the series. the signature tune should never be used as bridge music. if the introductory remarks of a programme are to voiced over the signature tune them the tun should be instrumental for ti to be faded under the speech effectively.

Recording

Once the script has been written, edited and all the inserts and sound effects lined up than the next stage is to put the content on tape, that is recording. the producer must use voices that have been auditioned. during auditioning the voices are chosen for their quality in terms of pronunciation, clarity, fluency, pace , intonation general voice quality. the voices should also be chosen for their suitability for narration, drama, poem reciting and radio pupil roles. once the producer has assembled his artists (presenters) in the studio, each of them should have a copy of the script and thoroughly rehearse the script several times. this will help the producer and technician get an estimated duration of the programme. if there is need for further editing it can be done at this stage to reduce the programme to the prescribed duration and still have the message. during the recording session, the technician should ensure that the microphones are properly positioned to mained a good recording level throughout the session..

if the duration of the recorded programme with all the inserts, music bridges and pauses included is still higher than the prescribed time, then post-production editing can be done. this can be accomplished through mechanical splicing or dubbing.

Editing

editing a materials means removing parts of it and re-organizing the material to give it “shape.” editing can be done in two ways:

Script Editing

Before recording a programme the writer should allow a colleague to read through the script and give comments. A media specialist should also be allowed to judge the script for its suitability. The writer can then modify the script in line with the comments given by the colleague and the media specialist. Sometimes the time slot allocated for the programme is 20 minutes and on rehearsal the programme overshoots the time. it is then necessary to cut down on the quantity of material to bring it down to under 20 minutes.

Tape Editing

this is an important aspect of recording. it is conveniently done in tapes than in cassettes. this is because of two reasons. firstly, the tape speeds 7 ½ and 15 inches per second (ips) are ideal for editing than the slower audio cassette speed of 1 ⅞ ips. Secondly the tape is one track while the cassette is two track . the following alterations can be done on the tape programmes through editing:

  1. Reducing the overall length of the programme
  2. Rearranging the order of events by placing one sound sequence ahead or behind its original position on the tape, thus providing bases for comparisons contrasts or emphasis.
  3. inserting new material such as speeches, music etc.

There are two methods of tape editing:

Electronic Editing (Dubbing)

this is ideal for audio cassettes and involves copying (dubbing) one recording through a second recorder onto another tape or cassette. this is done without cutting the original tape/cassette. This method must be used very carefully as it introduces pops at the start and end of a sound sequence.

Mechanical editing (Splicing)

this method involves using scissors or tape silver and splicing the tape. it is highly recommended for “polishing” an interview by removing slight imperfections such as to add tape for lengthening pauses, reducing pauses or even to substitute a corrected bit of narration. the steps to follow are:

  • with the script in front of you listen to the recorded tape, listing spots that need editing and record the counter reading.
  • Dub the tape onto another fresh tape, file the original tape for reference. Proceed with the tape you have just recorded.
  • Lace the freshly recorded tape onto the recorder Play it and confirm the counter readings recorded earlier.
  • carry out rough editing first that is removing whole paragraphs, whole sentences and rearranging them in the appropriate order. to identify a point to cut we engage the “edit” key on the tape recorder, then we can move the spools manually back and forth across the playhead.
  • the point to be cut can be carefully marked with a fine tipped felt pen or a china marker (grease) pencil.
  • two points on the tape can be connected using the splicing tape> the splicing tape should be put on the shiny side.
  • after making a joint, playback the tape over the joint and satisfy yourself that it is well done.
  • if a new bit is to be added, identify the spot where you wish to add the new bit. Mark it with a felt pen.
  • playback the tape over the two joints and satisfy yourself that the joints are well done and that the new bit fits in very well.

(TAKE HOME ASSIGNMENT)

  1. In your subject area, identify a topic that in your opinion needs audio support
  2. after deciding on the programme level, identify the instructional objectives.
  3. prepare the Teachers’ Notes.
  4. prepare a script, rehearse it and edit to between 15 and 20 minutes
  5. Develop support materials for the programme.
  6. using your cassette recorder and an audio cassette/compact disc(of good quality) record the programme.
  7. Playback the recording and listen to it.
  8. Hand in the recorded material, the script, the Teachers’ Notes and the support materials for assessment.

Prepared by Lord Vicus S W Olanga

Lecturer Educational Communication and Technology, Kenyatta University.

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