Wednesday, December 12, 2007

E-tivity 10...

...or mid-term paper

The aim of the mid-term paper is for you to stop, sit down and reflect on what you have done in this course in the past 10 weeks as a continuation of the reflecting you've done do create your PLE. Knowing facts and being able to repeat them is only a small part of the learning process. Learning to learn, knowing what you have learned and what you still need to learn are aspects that are rarely considered in formal education but which are fundamental for your personal and professional development. You’ve been very active in this course, you’ve worked a lot, done a many e-tivities and now it’s time to reflect to consider whether or not you have actually gained new competences, linguistic and not.

Purpose: To reflect on the semester and write a mid-term paper.

Task: Write a mid-term paper with min. 1,000 max 1,500 words (about 3 pages). Similarly to your blogs, the register of your paper does not have to be formal. Like your PLEs, the paper is a personal reflection on your learning. However, it is an academic essay in the sense that I expect the language to be accurate and the text coherent. You will be assessed according to 4 categories:

Task fulfilment:

Organisation: cohesion, coherence, paragraphing and punctuation

Vocabulary: range and accuracy

Grammar: range and accuracy

Here are some examples of steps you could take to start your reflecting.

- Go to the course syllabus and look at the course description and aims. Do you feel that for you personally you have met these aims? Maybe not all of them? Why or why not? If you think you have, what makes you think you have and vice versa if you haven’t. Think about reasons/examples that demonstrate what aims you have or have not achieved.

- Make a qualitative evaluation of the course. What did you enjoy and/or find useful and what not? Remember, we’ve all done the course so we don’t need a description of the tools used. This is all about considering the process (what you’ve been learning and its meaning for you) and not the product (the e-tivities).

- What do you know now that you didn’t know before you started the course? What helped you learn what you learned?

- Think about the future. What has this course given you that you think will benefit you in the future. What did you not learn that you still feel you need to learn? What role do you think social software has in learning and could potentially have, or not have, in your lifelong learning process after you graduate?

Timeline: I would like you to send me your papers via email ( by January 30th, preferably before so that I can start correcting them before the semester starts. Send them to me as a .doc with LASTNAME_mid_paper. I would suggest you get peer feedback before sending it to me ;-)

N. B. Here are some indications from my Master’s course (therefore, in Italian) on why you should reflect.

Perché riflettere
§ Perché, come sostengono Bereiter e Scardamalia, la competenza professionale non si sviluppa soltanto tramite l’esperienza, ma attraverso la capacità di ragionare criticamente sui problemi.
§ Perché il processo di apprendimento che conduce all’acquisizione di competenze presuppone:
- consapevolezza circa la necessità del cambiamento,
- autovalutazione della propria condizione e delle aree di miglioramento,
- sperimentazione e pianificazione di obiettivi
- miglioramento assistito da feedback (Boyatzis, 1999)
§ Perché la professionalità è definibile come la capacità di controllo e direzione del processo in cui si è inseriti ed ogni processo si sviluppa attraverso “movimenti interni e non necessariamente compiuti, nè tanto meno lineari, monodirezionali, univoci o in qualche modo definitivi, conclusi, nè immediatamente visibili” (Pascucci, 2003). La professionalità pertanto, così come la competenza e il sapere professionale, va letta in chiave evolutiva, non è data una volta per tutte, ma è sottoposta alle dinamiche del cambiamento e sente l’emergenza di fondersi con pratiche proprie della ricerca.

Come riflettere
Attraverso quella che Donata Fabbri definisce “strategia di distanziazione”, un cambiamento di prospettiva che consenta di osservarci da una certa distanza e dunque di definire e definirci : “C’è un luogo dove si fanno i mattoni e un luogo da dove ci è permesso di guardarci mentre li facciamo, e questi sono due aspetti complementari dei processi di apprendimento: il saper fare e la consapevolezza del saper fare” (Miorandi, 2001). E tra “consapevolezza” e “saper fare” ci aggiungiamo anche il “far sapere”.

If you’ve got questions or doubts, write a comment to this post. Your peers might have the same ones ;-)



Letizia said...

Hi Sarah,
as I wrote you I couldn't come on Wednesday to the lab lesson. As regards the e-tivity 10 in your indications I read it's better before sending you our mind-term paper to get peer feedback. So have we to write a post in our blog with our mind-term paper? And then have we to send an e-mail to you with it?

Thank you a lot!
Bye bye,

Lamericaana said...

Dear Letizia,

In the past I did 'organized' peer feedback, but I did this using the wiki and at this point in the course - especially seeing that the holidays are just around the corner - I didn't want to give you all a new tool to learn. Therefore, what I meant in the e-tivity is that you should ask a friend, or group member, to read your paper over and give you feedback (language and contents) before sending it to me because peers often see mistakes we ourselves don't see.
If you can't manage to get this, it's no major problem. I just think it's helpful.
Hope that answers your question.


Martina said...

Dear Sarah,
I sent my mid-term paper but I've just received a delivery status notification of failure. Did you receive my email?


Martina said...

I found the mistake...I didn't write "sarah" with "h". I've just send you another email. :-)

Martina Torresan

Martina said...

It's me again. I've got some problems with my mail so I'm not sure you received the mid-term paper I sent you on January 30th. Did you receive it?

Martina Torresan