I had the pleasure to be invited back for my 4th presentation for the DePaul Online Teaching Series, more properly known as D.O.T.S. Sharon Guan, Director of Instructional Design and Development at DePaul University, invited to my first D.O.T.S. presentation back in 2007 after I was awarded my Sloan-C award. I’ve been back three more times since then, twice in person and yesterday presented virtually. My topic, again, was VoiceThread which seems to have become a favored topic of the Depaul faculty audience (and many others I’ve shared it with).

In my presentation, I shared some of the varied ways I’ve used VoiceThread in my online classes and presented the feedback that students have shared about how it has enriched their learning experiences (which I’ve shared here previously). I created the slide below to illustrate how I design the use of VoiceThreads into my courses as formative assessments. I theorize these VoiceThreads, which are weekly activities that students complete at the end of learning unit and apply learned concepts and ideas that help them achieve the week’s learning objectives, are like “learning Spaces” where all levels of understanding are encouraged and made visible to all. The instructor’s role is to facilitate learning through modeling mastery and encouraging growth. Mistakes are ok and necessary. This approach is very much influenced by Branson’s “How People Learn.” Perhaps some will find this slide useful or helpful in some way:

Of course, the formative assessments tie directly into preparing the students for successful performance on the summative assessments which are more comprehensive, individual evaluations of learning objectives.

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