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Reflective Teaching. NLII Presentation Summer Focus Session. Teaching. “Teaching is the intentional arrangement of events so that appropriate learning will happen.” Robert Menges and Ann Austin (1994), AERA

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Reflective Teaching

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Reflective teaching

Reflective Teaching

NLII Presentation

Summer Focus Session



  • “Teaching is the intentional arrangement of events so that appropriate learning will happen.”Robert Menges and Ann Austin (1994), AERA

  • Teaching today involves making choices in design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instruction and assessment of learning outcomes.

The goal

The Goal

  • To make it possible to put faculty in the center of a problem based model where faculty are…

    • Learners

    • Reflective practitioners using inquiry to support teaching

    • Researchers contributing to a community for shared scholarship of teaching and learning.

Lewin s reflective cycle

Lewin’s Reflective Cycle

  • Concrete (Direct) Experience

  • Reflective Observation

  • Abstract Conceptualization (Comprehension)

  • Active Experimentation

So what do you need to know to teach better

So, what do you need to know to teach better…

  • Methods or approaches to teaching

  • Knowledge about what, how, who

  • Feedback and evaluation of results

What you need to know to teach better

What you need to know to teach better…

  • Methods

    • Eg. Systematic instructional development

    • Principals of teaching

  • Knowledge

    • About content to be learned, discipline communities, learners, possible strategies

    • Interpretation of research and published evidence

    • Interpretations of facts, ideas, knowledge domain, Internet searches.

    • Personal experience

  • Feedback

    • Eg. Student learning outcomes

Impediments problems


  • Method

    • Knowing what options are available, vocabulary, strategies, how to choose for what context?

  • Knowledge

    • Hard to assess, reliability, validity, what research to read, differences among disciplines

  • Feedback

    • Timely, hard to get, how to interpret results.



  • Method

    • Instructional Design

    • Strategy matched to learner

  • Knowledge

    • Statistical support – Item Analysis

    • Organization tools - concept mapping

    • Try it, experiment

    • MOATS – example to learn about teaching methods and strategies.

  • Feedback

    • Change in student behavior

    • Test results, student ratings

    • Student retention

    • ValaNator – example of using technology to get feedback.

Method example

Method Example



  • How is teaching and learning measured?

  • What are the targeted and expected learning outcomes?

  • How are the learning outcomes developed and measured by what standards?

  • Student conference/discussion participation

  • LO tracking with LMS – SCORM

  • Online surveys, quizzes

  • Student portfolio assessment

  • Student projects/presentations

What if we can

What if we can…?

  • Learn about teaching options and strategies for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of teaching and learning.

  • Have an environment where inquiry, experimental design, and assessment is supported.

  • Have ability to create teaching and learning environments for specific needs and convenience….

What is vala project

What is VALA project?

  • Virtual Adaptive Learning Architecture

    • University of Arizona, originally FIPSE-LAAP grant (3 years)

  • Design and develop environments for facilitating teaching, learning and assessment.

    • MOATS – Information about what and how?

    • VALAnator – Inquiry, test ideas and situations.

    • Instructional Learning Objects Repository

    • VALA Ontology/Thesauri



Module Organizer and Teaching Suggestor

  • What instructional strategies work best for what teaching and learning situations?

    • Teaching Scenarios

    • Browse

    • Interviewer and suggestor

    • Teaching tool

    • Resources

    • My profile









  • Promote reflective practice in teaching and course development in e-learning contexts by enabling inquiry ranging from formative evaluation to informal or formal research concerning how to “arrange events…”



Allows a teacher to explore…

  • the reliability of a test, exam, or survey used to measure a student characteristic or learning outcome.

  • data that shows the frequency of student interactions with the learning management system, content, instructor, or classmates.

  • looking at associations between a student characteristic and a learning outcomes measure.



  • an overall difference in a student characteristic or behavior  associated with a particular instructional strategy, tactic, or method versus another strategy, tactic or method.

  • an overall difference in a learning outcome associated with a particular instructional strategy, tactic, or method versus another another strategy, tactic or method.

  • differences in a learning outcomes related to a student characteristic and associated with a particular instructional treatment (strategy, tactic, or method)

Valanator integration with learning management system lms

ValaNator Integration with Learning Management System - LMS

  • Make groups

  • Assign resources and tools.

  • Track usage data

  • Evaluation of results

  • Setup based on conditions configured from ValaNator to the LMS.



What are ontologies and thesauri

What are Ontologies and Thesauri?

  • Ways we define, relate and map knowledge domains?

  • Ontologies map definitions and relationships of terms and concepts in a subject area, field, discipline, with examples, instances.

  • Thesaurus have words and terms linked as similar, related, broader-narrower, hierarchical.

  • Terms and concepts in instructional design.

Valaontology thesaurus


Many potential research questions

Many potential research questions…

VALA tools enables us to join a national stream of inquiry…

  • Communities of practice.

    • National Learning Infrastructure Initiative - NLII Spring Focus Session

    • Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

    • NLII Summer Focus Session

    • NSDL – National Science and Math Digital Library

Reflective teaching


  • A project from the University of Arizona, Learning Technologies Center.

  • Project Team: Jenny Franklin, Jean Kreis, Wayne Brent, Sue South, April Andrian, Garry Forger, Jan Knight, Jimmy Reynaert.

  • For more info:

    • Wayne Brent,

    • Jean Kreis,

    • Jenny Franklin,

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