In this series of portfolio projects, I document ways that attempt to break down barriers to understanding instructional content by using instructional scaffolding techniques and tools. My learners for much of my teaching career have been English language learners, so many of these projects are aimed at this group of learners with varying degrees of language proficiency.
1.Graphic Overview of Course Content
Project Details: This graphic overview was part of the syllabus in an intermediate level Writing and Grammar course I designed and am teaching in the fall of 2020 at Saint Louis University.
Tools Used: Lucidchart
Instructional Design and Development Process
One of the major barriers for my English language students in comprehending lengthy and wordy documents like a course syllabus is that the vocabulary written by institutions like a university is not often meant for someone who is still developing their language proficiency in English. In their book, The Online Teaching Survival Guide, authors Judith Boettcher & Rita-Marie Conrad mention that “one of the most useful additions for your syllabus is a graphic overview of your course content” (p. 123).
Putting myself in my student’s place, I realized the biggest questions they often had was what the major assignments in the course were. In an integrated skills course like grammar and writing, they also want to know how these skills are taught. I found that by showing some of the major rhetorical modes of writing in this graphic along with some of the major grammatical structures would be the best way to show this.
I created the graphic in Lucidchart. Then I downloaded it as a png file and uploaded it into my syllabus that I created in Apple pages. Then I uploaded the syllabus as a scrolling document by embedding it into my Blackboard LMS.
This graphic is similar to creating a learning map, except that a learning map is usually created for smaller unit or module of learning experience, where in the graphic content overview, it is being created for some of the major projects in the course. As many of the courses I teach are writing, helping my learners get a birds eye view of major course projects gives them tools to manage their own project management process.