Monthly Archives: January 2018

Looking at the story from a different point of view…or…. a useful Model!

While reading the  New Culture of Learning I really enjoyed the story of Teaching in a galaxy far, far away. A year ago, I was enrolled in a course called Motivation and Education offered by the Educational Psychology department. Dr. Brett Jones, the instructor of this course, developed a model called the MUSIC Model of  Motivation. This model is designed to make the current motivation research and theories applicable to teachers and educators. Based on this model, there are five factors that contribute to students’ motivation in a learning environment.  These factors are eMpowerment, Usefulness, Success, Interest, and Caring. According to Dr. Jones, students’ will be motivated to learn if they perceive that:

  1. They are eMpowered. In other words, if they perceive that they have autonomy and control over their learning experience.
  2. The material is Useful to them.
  3. They can Succeed in meeting the objectives.
  4. The material is Interesting to them.
  5. They perceive a sense of Caring from the all the members of the community (teacher and peers)

Incorporate these factors into your course design or any learning experience and your students will be motivated and eager to get engaged and learn. Looking at the story of Teaching in a galaxy far, far away through the glasses of the MUSIC model, the main two factors that made the students incredibly engaged and made the course a very fun experience for them are the U and I of the model, Usefulness and Interest. The design of the course was in a way to make the material relevant and interesting to the students. Also, allowing the students to decide about the order and the timing of the tasks and activities of each session probably gave them a sense of eMpowerment.

 

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Social media: distraction or education?

Being overwhelmed by the amount of useless information that I was bombarded with and the unnecessary details shared about personal lives, I abandoned the realm of social media. Despite recognizing the trend to introduce social media as tools for education, I always looked at them with a degree of suspicion. With the development of social media, a new culture and language have come into existence. The current social media culture provides the space and opportunity for sharing for everyone with the price of eliminating the concern for credibility. The diverse but shallow nature of the content shared through social media makes it more an addictive and distractive place for entertainment rather than a place where meaningful connections and communities are formed for learning. Also, the constant exposure to the stream of relevant and irrelevant, reliable and untrustworthy information keeps us from the quiet and reflective time which is the birthplace of ideas and inspiration. Given the current dominant culture of social media, and the well-known quote from McCluhan: “the medium is the message”, the preceding step prior to introducing these media as educational tools should be to reform the manifested culture.

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