CONNECT Module 1: Embedding Module 1 into a College Course

by Johnna Darragh

Learn how one faculty embedded Module 1 into both online and face-to-face classes
as well as both early childhood and early childhood special education classes.


CONNECT Modules are designed using an evidence-based practice approach to professional development.  Module 1: Embedded Interventions includes over 20 videos activities, and handouts. This month, instructors from both college and in-service training settings share how they incorporated Module 1 into their  professional development activities.  Your questions and comments are invited.

I had the great pleasure of being a participant in CONNECT Module 1 pilot study during the Spring of 2010. This wonderful opportunity presented a challenge: How do I integrate the wonderful, rich resources that were timely, relevant, and greatly needed into both online and ground (i.e., face-to-face) courses within a short timeline in terms of syllabi development and a myriad of existing standards, objectives, and required assignments? I was presented with a puzzle of sorts, but hoped that putting the pieces together would result in an effort that more effectively prepared my students to support the development and learning of each and every child and their family whom they will work with.

Prior to the start of the semester, my first step in tackling this challenge was to carefully review the CONNECT materials, spending a good deal of time within the Instructor Dashboard to determine (1) how the module complemented existing course objectives and (2) which course assignments could be adapted. As I was including the module in an Introduction to ECE course (ground delivery) and an Introduction to Special Education course (online delivery), there was a great deal of variance in the decisions I made between courses and delivery formats. Across both formats, however, I recognized in the planning stages that whatever material I included needed to be accompanied by facilitation—as this was material that represented practices that many students may not have previously been exposed to, I could not integrate materials as out of class assignments in the ground course, and had to plan for facilitated discussions within the online course.

About the Author: Johnna Darragh is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Heartland Community College.

Community Questions

  • If you have used the module before, do you have additional tips for getting started?
  • If you would like to use the module, what additional tips would help in initially preparing to use the module?

 
 

Comments

Module 1 videos

I have been using the videos from this module since 2010 also and love using them in my Intro to ECE course. I use them teaching in class and online both.  I break the module up a little especially in my face to face class.  When I first introduce the word inclusion toward the beginning  of the semester we watch the first intro video and then later on as we talk about family we watch the videos of the dilemma and then later we do the embedded interventions, just watching a few and talking about the ways they may have seen these, because by this time in the semester they are supposed to have done a 5 hour observation of an inclusive classroom and found what supports they think the teacher does for the child with special needs.  Online I use a quiz and a wiki along with the videos in a three week assignment, again, they are having to do the 5 hour observation so then we can have discussion on what they have seen as well. I teach at the Community College level and use Johnna's book for my class. I think the classes have loved these video clips as they are short and to the point.

Videos- Online Class

Hello Johnna!
I'm a professor at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit, Michigan.
What a pleasent surprise to see videos clips added to the site!
My second semester teaching on-line classes will start in August. While taking another look at the assignments that were used during the Spring semester I took a look at the Frank Graham information.
The short video clips will provide a wonderful opportunity for new students in my Introduction to Early Childhood Education on-line class. What a wonderful learning tool for them, especally for the students that have no experenced in an early learning center. Gail

Videos- Online Class

Hi Gail,
I agree, the video clips are such a wonderful resource--I think one of the things they have done for my online class is just made it so much more vibrant and alive! As well, for students with a lack of experience in early childhood programs--particularly ones that provide high-quality inclusion--the clips and resources are such an asset.
Would love to hear how incorporating them goes, as well as your student reactions...hope your semester gets off to a great start!
Johnna

Videos- Online Class

Thank you Johnna!
I will keep you posted.
Gail

Video clips of practices

Johnna - Thanks for the thoughtful reminders about considerations when implementing new content and resources in existing courses. One of the priorities for the CONNECT modules was short, powerful video clips of effective practices. Module 1 has a number of these meaty little clips. Were you able to incorporate the clips in both courses? Could you give an example of how you prepared your students for what they were going to see? And what you did after they viewed the clip to extend the learning? Camille

Video clips of practices

Hi Camille,
I agree--the video clips were both short and powerful--the clips were one of the factors students consistently identified as most beneficial in terms of helping them process the Module and overall course content in their course evaluations. I did incorporate the clips into both the online and ground course in slightly different ways. In the online course, where we use Blackboard, the video clips were embedded within scripts that explained what they were about to see and linked it directly to their course content. The scripts always included an reminder of the initial dilemma. Following video viewing and related resources, there was always a discussion prompt related to the content. This provided essential opportunities for facilitation and immediate feedback loops regarding knowledge, skills, and dispositions introduced. I found the discussion invaluable, particularly as a good deal of the material was not something some students were familiar with.
In the ground course, the same basic formula in terms of set up, video and resources, and discussion was followed, but there were opportunities for small groups, brainstorming and problem-solving around issues that arose (these could be manufactured in the online environment, but the asynchronous environment presented some challenges). We were also able to our Child Development Lab on several occasions and observe practices students were exposed to in the CONNECT video, and then process and discuss. In both environments, the video truly provided an launch pad for many content-rich discussions and analyses.
Johnna

Video clips of practices

Hi Johnna!
Surprise! As I was reading through all of the comments and came to this last one, I began thinking that the use of the videos would provide a valuable insight when first introducing students to the process of observations. My thought is that it would assist students in processing what it is we want them to gain from doing observations in early childhood settings. In the past, I have been challenged by how to appropriately introduce the actual process of observation. I tried an experiment last year in one of my courses that required seven separate observations. For the first observation, I gave them little direction and provided no details on focusing their observations. The only direction that I provided was that they had to observe for one hour. When we met the next week, we spent approximately an hour discussing their observations as well as their frustrations regarding the assignment and lack of knowledge of what they were supposed to observe. For the subsequent observations, I provided much more focus, detail and direction. We discussed their experiences and compared having unfocused observations versus focused observations. It was a learning experience for all, including myself.
What I appreciate about the videos is the opportunity to view actual experiences and being able to provide more direction for students. I am in a small community and in a district that has very rural areas. Our students do not have the opportunity to observe or experience the diversity that they would see elsewhere. The videos can provide a glimpse of different experiences than they typically experience themselves.
As always, I appreciate the knowledge and experience that you share.

Video clips of practices

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for the comment, and suggestion about how the videos could enhance your courses. I agree--the videos provide needed resources and examples that are of great benefit across the board, particularly when access to high-quality, inclusive programming is a challenge. As well, they helped my students tap into what to look for when visiting an inclusive site, thereby providing opportunities to develop focused observation skills. I appreciated your sharing your experiment, what a great way to really get students to focus in on the benefits of targeted observation...
For those of you looking at the Module for the first time, I am wondering if there are other ideas as to how people might use the videos and Module content?

Similar questions

Hi Johnna,
I used the module within an undergraduate infant/toddler course and encountered some of the same issues you mention. I struggled with how to incorporate the module with an already jam-packed semester. I would love to find a way for students to be able to use the materials outside of class, since class time is so limited. I did find the resources in the module very helpful in illustrating practices and helping students problem-solve and will definitely be thinking further about how to fit more into the course.
Margaret

Similar questions

Hi Margaret--
I agree, class time is so limited, and it is hard to gauge time spent up front, especially with new materials (and new students). One of the things I am trying to do for fall semester is prioritize videos based on feedback I received from my spring semester students--all the content was valuable, but some vidoes provided further examples of key points. I am looking at what video segments are essential for facilitated discussion, to ensure students have key concepts, and what can be used as "supplemental resources."
I am interested in adaptations you are planning based on the time issue?

Online Videos

Thanks for these examples. I was wondering if anyone (Johnna/Margeret/others) has assigned watching the online videos outside of class (self-paced), and if so how that went?
For example:
the Foundation of Inclusion video
http://community.fpg.unc.edu/connect-modules/resources/videos/foundation...
-or -
one of the video-based activities
http://community.fpg.unc.edu/connect-modules/resources/activities

Online Videos

HI all,
I used the videos in a purely on-line class, but found that they were great for illustrating content either within the CONNECT modules or for content that I had planned within my existing course structure. In a f2f (face to face) setting, I would think it would be easy to assign video viewing instead of, or to complement, reading assignments. Many times my students commented about how much clearer it was to SEE examples of practices rather than just read about them.

Course content

Hi Johnna,
I was excited to see that you used the module in a general early childhood class as well in a early childhood special ed class - were there more challenges to using the material with either group of students?
Tracey

Course content

Hi Tracey,
Thanks for the question--one of the challenges, or initial anxieties I had, was the level of knowledge students were bringing to the table--I was a bit anxious at first about varying levels of previous experience and how much that would come into play with their ability to process the Module material. The students in the special education course had a great deal more experience as a group...
I found what I felt might be a challenge was not an issue--many students who had direct experience in the field gained so much from the module, and were able to connect it with their past experiences in a way that was very meaningful for the novice members of the classroom community. This was particularly the case with the material related to identifying a question within evidence-based practices, which was very beneficial to students who had tried to problem-solve around providing appropriate supports in the past. Students who had not experienced this gained from learning about the process as well as what an improvement it was over previous struggles colleagues had experienced.
In the general ed course, where there was less experience overall, students really seemed to identify with the initial dilemma, and let that guide their processing and subsequent interactions with the module. In their case, where experience was not as prevalent, the video examples were essential as a teaching tool.
After one run in both classes, it seemed that the material was designed in a way that was meaningful to the diversity of learning styles and experiences in both courses, which helped make for rich discussions and connections for both the students and myself.