Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘analysis

If you Google “bloom’s taxonomy verb wheel”, the first page might show some image returns at the top and nine links to websites that claim to have this artefact.

I have a stake in what people find because I created what I think is a more current, accurate, and rationalised version of this job aid. My artefact is the second in the image returns. However, it is the tenth-ranked item and appears only on the second search returns page.

After quickly analysing the top 9 search returns, I concluded that Google search engine optimisation is more about strategy and popularity of a site than about accuracy and precision of the content. How so?

  1. The top return by Quinnipiac forced the levels in the wheel. The whole point of the wheel was to remove the levels.
  2. The second item was a Google Site that used the old domain items, i.e., nouns instead of verbs and two domains were in the wrong place.
  3. The third was from Clemson. It did not provide instructions for use or design rationale.
  4. The fourth was the only K-12 entry on the first page and had the most useful wheel so far. But like Clemson’s, it did not provide instructions for use or design rationale
  5. The fifth, from CUNY, simply created a PDF of my verb wheel of the revised BT. Thankfully, they left the attribution to me intact.
  6. The sixth artefact was from the University of Utah. Its wheel added an extra ring to explain the domain verbs but lacked concrete artefacts as examples.
  7. The seventh return was from and was not even a verb wheel. It was a table.
  8. The eighth was from and copied the outdated graphic of the second entry.
  9. The ninth search return was a WordPress page that featured Cal State’s preferred wheel — the same outdated wheel from search return number 2 and 8.

If I had the time and inclination, I could analyse more pages, codify the findings, and tabulate the results. But the first page is revealing: Google search returns are not sophisticated and nuanced enough to make judgements on whether an artefact has been created with critical research and reflective practice. Only people like teachers and educators do.

Sadly, the same people might not invest the time and effort to analyse and critique what they find. They might be told to use what a trainer or professional developer tells them is worth their while.

If only they explored the first item on the second page! It would lead to my entry on the design rationale of the verb wheel for the revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I also explain how to use the job aid and include a design update and a US English version.

I recently tweeted a Stanford press release about a research publication on Zoom fatigue.

The Stanford study suggested four reasons why video conferencing tire us out and offered remedies.

Reason 1: Looking at too many faces all at once in your personal space. This puts us in an alert state for an extended period. Remedy: Reduce the size of the video conferencing window to minimise the size of faces.

Reason 2: Seeing your own face is like facing a critical mirror all day. Remedy: Hide the self-view by right-clicking on your image.

Reason 3: Video conferencing reduces our visual mobility and range. Remedy: Use an external camera to create distance from the screen to “pace and doodle” like in a normal classroom.

Reason 4: Video chats require greater cognitive loads because participants need to put in effort to exaggerate cues that are nuanced and natural in person, e.g., showing agreement. Remedy: Identify segments that do not require non-verbal cues so that you do not require video.

The first three remedies have technical solutions and the last is part of pedagogical design. The first two are relatively easy for all to perform (reduce video conferencing window size and hide self-view). The third requires a special set up that not all can afford or take advantage of.

The fourth approach offers more promise, not just in minimising cognitive load during a video conference, but in online teaching and learning in general. Pedagogical redesign to only use video conferencing when necessary is key. One such design is to rely largely on asynchonous individual work, and rely on synchronous work for strategies like peer teaching or one-on-one coaching.

Last month I pondered on how I could use a YouTube video on Trump’s tweets to teach discourse analysis.

Earlier this week I chanced upon a video that might be used to illustrate how to report discourse analysis.

Video source

By relying on the expertise of a debate master, the creators of this video outlined how Kellyanne Conway deals with questions that get thrown her way and how she frustrates journalists.

Her strategies were to:

  1. Deflect by repeating keywords and going off on a tangent.
  2. Take advantage of the politeness of interviewers and their need to move on to other questions.
  3. Pass the buck when she did not have answers.
  4. Fabricate information.

These strategies were a result of basic analysis: Listening and watching videos of Conway, noting patterns, chunking patterns, and verifying patterns. That is a simplified version of a how-to of video content analysis.

What is valuable in this video is how the evidence was presented. The pattern was textbook: Present each main strategy, illustrate it once, illustrate it again, and explain it concisely to remove doubt.

As much as I would rather not have videos of Trump or Conway as fodder for learning these skills, they are a reminder that good things can emerge from bad if we know how to look. The content itself is emotionally charged and this can be leveraged on to create memorable lessons and to show novices how to be objective when it matters.

I never thought I would ever type this: There are valuable lessons in Trump’s tweets.

I am not referring to learning how NOT to be inflammatory. I am thinking about how his tweets are good for discourse analysis. I am doing this thanks to this insightful video by Nerdwriter1.

Video source

The video creator did a great job of chunking Trump’s tweets by type and nuance in numbers, and analysing their design and impact.

I might use this video as a resource if I get a chance to work with a group of teachers who need to learn how to do discourse analysis for the purpose of narrative-style reporting and research writing.

If I do, this will show how one might learn from something negative.

The Onion, the news satire website, is always good for a laugh, that is, provided you know that it’s poking fun at real life events or people!

One of their latest “news reports” was a stab at Justin Bieber (gag!).

Video source

But not everyone realized that it was satire. Here is a snapshot of group of local students and a teacher having a Facebook conversation about it (click to see larger version). I have blocked out the names and faces to protect their identities. (Bieber, on the other hand, needs no protection. Quite the opposite, really.)

Click to see larger version

It’s enough to make you cry. I’m not referring to The Onion, but to the use of English and the digital ignorance.

I won’t say much about the teaching and learning of English because that is the domain of English teachers. I will say that what I have captured is quite typical and yet still decipherable. (It is almost impossible to read the tweeny and teeny tweets that come my way accidentally because my handle is @ashley.)

What worries me is that the analysis and evaluation of digital resources does not seem to feature prominently in our schools. It is not taught or modelled in any significant way. You don’t need a special course or teacher to do this. It should be done in every academic subject by every teacher!

Yes, what I have captured is a snapshot. But any teacher who takes advantage of social media experiences this every day, perhaps several times a day. Put all these snapshots together and you see the bigger picture.

We need to teach our learners how to peel onions (or Onions) apart, layer by layer, to figure out if they are edible (have any worth). The process won’t be pleasant, but they must do this because they already live, study and work in the digital world.


Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: