CATHLEEN ERIN MCGREAL
ISS318: Lifespan Development across Cultures
Both the fully online and blended versions of ISS318 were submitted for and won awards.
Both the blended and the online versions of ISS318 use a custom-designed, visually rich, personalized ANGEL web site, including personalized to-do checklists. The course was designed to:
- encourage individuality and have students drive their own learning;
- have students make the connection between the course and their own life experiences;
- encourage critical analysis and facilitate metacognitive skills.
Since ISS 318 focuses on Lifespan Development Across Cultures, it is emphasized that students are living the class in the everyday moments of our lives. “Cultural dialogues” in ANGEL introduce each weekly topic. These attention‐getters stimulate curiosity. Students go to a Custom Media Website and respond to media, writing one‐page reaction papers using a detailed rubric posted in ANGEL.
Students add their own relevant electronic material, such as scenes from YouTube, as well. Their leisure time begins to blend with “academic time” in unexpected ways. Students find that media encountered outside of class sites, such as favorite television shows and movies, can be integrated with course concepts. Students’ intrinsic motivation increases as they become more actively involved.
Games, role play and simulations were used to create an innovative learning environment. For example, Ayiti (Haiti): The Cost of Life game addresses the effects of poverty on family decision making and intergenerational choices. Mindstorm Schizophrenia Simulation allows students to experience everyday life as an individual with schizophrenia might.
Blended ISS318 (25 students)
In the blended class, face‐to-face time is used for lectures, for group interactions that reinforce points made in lecture, for plays and demonstrations. In‐class activities are frequently team activities which add a collaborative focus to lecture content or to work done online. Online time provides media experiences and other opportunities that would not be possible face‐to‐face.
Students feel free to make personal investments in the course, both in the face‐to‐face classroom and in the electronic classroom. The course is interwoven with these personal elements, representing a direct correlation between the course and the lives of the students enrolled.
Fully Online and Blended Teams
Cathleen Erin McGreal, Professor of Psychology
Nidal Karim, Psychology Department Teaching Assistant
Jessica Knott, vuDAT eProducer
Heidi Chen, illustrator