Navigate: Creation and Investigation into Courses Quest

posted May 18, 2016, 6:28 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated May 19, 2016, 8:05 AM ]
I actually went through this process a few years ago when I decided to flip my physics class.  I discussed the process of looking at various tools with my Technology Specialist and finally choosing Haiku in the blog post, Discussing the LMS and CMS Quest.  Last school year (2014-2015), I experimented with Google Classroom with my AP class and decided I liked Haiku much better.  I discussed this experience in the blog post, Commercial vs. Open Virtual Classrooms Quest.

I chose Haiku and created my physics course.  I will admit, building an blended course from the ground-up required MUCH work and effort.  I had to decide on a way I wanted the material displayed (3 columns for the most part corresponding to the three sections in each unit).  Then, I had to record videos for each topic.  I chose to record many short videos instead of a few long videos.  Then, I had to edit the videos, cutting out the parts I didn't like or where I made mistakes.  Then, I had to upload the videos to YouTube and Google Drive.  This process was long, like months, long.  Then I created modified Cornell note packets for each video and an organizational guide for each unit to give the students some structure to the unit.  Then I had to put links to all of these things on Haiku.  Then, I had to create multiple online quizzes (A version, B version, and sometimes a C version) for each section within the unit.  Then I had to link to those quizzes in the appropriate section on each page.  Once I was happy with the look of each page and the content was loaded, I published the pages.  

At the beginning of the school year, we spend the first class period registering for Haiku.  I used to have the kids do this at home, but I found that some of them registered for teacher accounts instead of logging into my class, so I started doing it in class to make sure everyone got registered correctly.

This entire process took a complete summer, working 40 hours or more per week.  Basically, my husband had to work every day and I couldn't afford to do fun things (and felt a little guilty that he was working while I wasn't), so I worked on this.  When I finally finished created my flipped classroom experience on Haiku, I added up all of the hours I spent working on it outside of school and added the hours I was at school that year and divided my salary by those hours.  Turns out, I made $7/hour that year.  But, now all that work is done, I only have to make minor modifications.  So its a lot of work on the front end, but makes your life easier later.

I chose to provide links to the videos and content rather than uploading it directly to Haiku because Haiku only allows so much free storage and my district provided me with unlimited storage in Google Drive.  In some sections, I uploaded pictures for key concepts, but for the most part, the pages involve links.

For my AP class, I did something similar except I did not create all of the videos.  AP Environmental Science is so broad and covers so many relevant topics that there were a ton of excellent videos online, so I used videos from a variety of resources.  I had to download each video and upload it into Google Drive (my district blocks YouTube), making note of where I wanted to use each video.  Then I followed a similar process by providing links in the unit pages for the videos.  For AP, I arranged each unit by day and created a rough "agenda" for the day.  This was mostly because I knew I was going to be out on maternity leave for a few months and I thought it would keep the sub and the kids on track.  Then, instead of creating quizzes from scratch, I used the online software provided by our textbook, Mastering Environmental Science, and created quizzes with their pre-made questions and posted links to those quizzes in Haiku.

This entire process for AP didn't take as long because I was already familiar with the software, I didn't have to make all of the videos from scratch, and I'd already created the online quizzes with the Mastering Environmental Science program.  I was able to complete this entire process during my planning periods throughout the year (after I found out I was pregnant) and during post-planning.  (Wow!  I was able to use my planning period for planning!  Shocker!)

I absolutely love this set up for my classes, and my students tell me time and time again that they enjoy the set up as well because it allows them to complete work on their own time and their own schedule.