Week 5 : Synthesis and Evaluation

Originally published here.

Personally, I found this week quite difficult as I feel I am much better at breaking down sources finely than combining them to formulate and create fuller understanding. After tackling this task this week I definitely realise why this skill is such a valued quality seeing as it is hard to really grasp an understanding as to what is involved in synthesis and evaluation, but nonetheless most certainly it will be a key ability that will be needed as I continue through my education. We were asked to work in groups of three this week and create a short video reflecting on and synthesising our ideas on the chicken and the egg. I believe we managed to be co-operative and each took a different section to do, which was decided quite easily, which made the task easier to tackle. I found that I was unable to do a video as the technology I had did not permit me to film a video or at least add a commentary over some images. Despite being fraught with technical difficulties, I was able to create a powerpoint online to add to the video, to explore the responses to the dilemma and draw from various other reading and resources I had at my disposal. I think it was much more useful that we each had a specific section to do as we could focus much more individually on our areas, before coming together to gather all our ideas to create the video.
For my section I used an online powerpoint maker which cycled around the arguments and then came to a general statement which led to the conclusion provided by another member of my group. I combined ideas from the original article and then added to their ideas from other articles I had read and other websites that debated the topic. This weeks task was quite hard as it involved mixing some of the skills we already had and then being able to implement them as well as being able to present your findings, all the more collaborating as a group as well.
I found working in a group particularly useful this week as it is much easier to start once someone gets the ball rolling. We each managed to choose a section without any disputes which meant we could get started without too much worry on our own little bit. I think it was good that we just each got a specific part to produce in the assignment as it is much easy to work within constraints and knowing exactly what we needed to have in our sections than if what we had to do was ambiguous. It also means that hopefully the parts that we each bring to the assignment will not be too repetitive and provide a broader understanding.

Reflection on Synthesis and Evaluation – Week Five – Crit101

Originally published here.

I am much better at deconstruction than construction… at least, it is easier for me. After building a creative project for this course, I understand why synthesis is a higher level thinking skill on Bloom’s taxonomy. Creation is challenging.

We were asked to work in small groups with the goal of creating a short film. We were successful but it took quite a bit of work. We coordinated on our Google doc. I got more of a sense of collaboration this time around because there were three of us collaborating and we got to work on it earlier in the week.

I enjoyed checking in on the document to find responses to my input. We were able to hammer out a plan relatively quickly. Then it was time to get to work.

My responsibility was to explore the response to the question from the cyclical point of view. I was happily assigned this even though my first ideas were along a different line. It was nice to be assigned a specific task. It is always easier to work within constraints. I still added my original perspective because it tied in well with my assignment.

One of my partners posted her video first. This was a great inspiration because it was done so well. It was a great model. Ideas about what my product were solidified early in the week. Building the project was another challenge all together.

For my short portion of the project, I enlisted my son to help with art (he had a blast), and my colleague to help film chicken sex (Thank you Mrs. Felciano). I took a short video and a photograph myself, I wrote a script, learned a new tool (a piece of presentation software), narrated my film, and built the subtitles. Here is my script:

the actual question "what came first the chicken or the egg" demonstrates biases in thinking.

In many cultures, around the world, time, even existence, is perceived as cyclical. there is no beginning and there is no end. in these contexts, the question itself doesn't make sense.

The scientific perspective disregards the role of the rooster in the reproductive process. after all, chickens reproduce sexually. the question takes a gynocentric view of time.

Applying skills learned in the Crit101 COURSE leads me to believe that the age old question my not be worth asking.

It was a lot of work. I probably have three-four hours invested in my 45 second clip.

Synthesis is so high on Bloom’s taxonomy because all of the critical thinking skills that we have examined are implemented. I had to research my resources, read and write critically, evaluate my resources, and then build, present, and publish the project.

I am going to keep in mind that having students create projects demands that they engage all levels of the critical thinking process.


Week Four: Reading and Analysis

Originally published here.

This week’s assignment has been especially eye opening in terms of approaching a piece of reading. From taking part in the reading and analysis, I have been able to develop my analytic skills. Phoebe Ayers article on How to Evaluate a Wikipedia Article was especially useful as it taught me some valuable skills when using research from a Wikipedia article in the future and it also helped us to complete our assignment effectively.

Eleanor and I decided to assign a time when we were both available in order to tackle the assignment to ensure it was completed on time. I think this was especially important as collaborative tasks in the past have proven to be difficult due to the fact that the group members were never online at the same time and therefore could not discuss the issue at hand. The paragraphs were distributed fairly between us and we used the discussion section to give our thoughts on the sections and helped each other to add any extra information or to give feedback. The assignment was completed within a reasonable period of time therefore I feel that we worked efficiently together.

Overall, the course has made interdependent learning seem like a more natural and habitual method of learning to me and therefore I feel as if it has helped me in all aspects of learning. E.g. time management, analysis, independent research etc. 

Article Analysis:

Week 4 Reflection – Reading & Analysis

Originally published here.

This weeks assignment helped teach me not to always take for granted what is just written infront of you. Instead it is very important to always ask questions and consider the reliability of a source. Furthermore, this weeks assignment prompted me to criticise Wikipedia, and not just view it as a definite source of fact. I learnt about how it can be so very easily edited, and therefore its articles can become significantly subjective. 

As for the process of this weeks assignment, once again it was collaborative, however this time just in pairs. This collaborative work was much more efficient and successful than previous weeks. Towards the start of the week, I contacted Sana and we arranged a time to work and the google doc, as we both believed working online together at the same time would be a much easier process. Rather than constantly stopping and starting the work. We shared the work fairly and frequently discussed the contributions we would make. Therefore I think be worked together well.

Overall so far on the course, not only is it teaching me how to improve skills important for later life self-lead work, but also importantly, time management skills. It is key to organise yourself effectively in order to be able to complete all parts of the assignments set. 

Our analysis of the article:


Week 4- Due 07th April 2013

Originally published here.

How has this week’s assignment improved your skills of reading and analysis?

This week has improved my reading and analysing skills a lot. It has improved my reading skills as the assignment made me read an article that I would never normally read. Also, the sentences and words were complex and sophisticated. These helped me develop my vocabulary as I learnt new words that I will be able to use in future tasks. It has also helped by analytical skills as I had to read the article whilst constantly analysing. It helped to put my previously learnt skills of analysing into practise. Moreover, as the project was a paired task when analysing the article I had to ‘think out side of the box’ so that my ideas and comments didn’t clash with my partners.

Discuss how you and your partner worked together to complete the task.

Overall me and my partner created a good document that I believe was very relevant and valid. Although, we didn’t work great as a team. I think this was because we were both shy to initiate the project and we both were waiting for the other one to start the discussion. Due to this we had a lack of communication and a lack (none) discussion. In the end as I waited until later on in the week my partner started the task and wrote all her ideas and then I developed some of her ideas ad added my own. Our overall result was a success although we had little to no teamwork.

How is the course helping you to become a more in(ter)dependent learner?

Overall I think that the course is helping me to become a more independent learner as it is helping me to schedule my time and organise my week better. Also, it is helping me to be more self sufficient as I am having to research things that I don’t understand in more detail myself instead of just relying on a teacher to help or give me the answers. Although, I still think I need to become a more in(ter)dependent learner as I have found the group tasks hard to start a discussion.

Here is the link to our completed document: