This being the most advanced generation in the history of the world since its beginning, teaching and learning using the old methods of learning have become a monotonous thing to do. Well, the blame cannot be placed on anyone because as other sectors continue to advance to suit the needs of the modern, the modes of teaching and learning also have to be improved immensely (Fadel, and Lemke, 2012, p.2379). As a result of this, new ways of teaching and learning have to be adopted. One of them being the multi-modal learning approach where students learn from a number of vast sensory modalities.
Multimodal learning is based on using various teaching and learning methods such as the creation of a multimedia presentation which breaks the monotonous modes of learning. Multimodal learning is more appealing and fun as compared to unimodality methods where only one method of learning such as listening to lectures for the whole of the lesson hence making it an ‘outdated’ mode of learning (Miller, 2015, p. 449).
This section of the essay will focus on the various effective multimodal learning methods that can be applied hence making learning more effective. Firstly, a teacher can practice multimodal methods of learning by avoiding overload. When the content the teacher covers becomes too much, students begin to lose focus on the main principle or subject that they are being taught. Hence it would be wise to moderate the load of work introduced to students in a lesson. The teachers should also change the activities the students take part in during the lesson at intervals of twenty minutes since that is the time it takes for students to get bored with an activity.
Secondly, the lessons should be well organized and focused. The teacher should ensure that each lesson is assigned its objectives. This ensures that by the end of each lesson, the students have gained a new skill which they did not have initially. Well organized lessons also ensure that the curriculum content is well covered and the teacher is able to follow up on the progress of the students in their classwork (Bezemer, and Kress, 2009, p.171).
The other strategy that the teachers should apply is by making the lessons more interactive. One of the ways is by ensuring the students answer questions asked during the lesson. Another method that could be implemented is by engaging the students in group discussions and getting the various groups to present their findings in some of the lessons. This ensures that the students capture the content taught in different ways.
After making my observation, I decided to apply all the multimodal approaches with my year 9 students. Year 9 is among the years when students get to learn some new mathematical concepts (Kalantzis, 2006, p. 9) The mathematical concepts taught during this period is mainly a gateway to more advanced mathematics. The concept taught doesn’t have to be complex as one may interpret so but rather be very useful in the career development of most students.
I introduced the year 9 students to Trigonometry. However, in my observation, I’d say is that they were not engaged in math as I’d have expected. They also didn’t show much interest in the subject. (Beavis, 2017, p. 19). I then used multimodal methods of learning which included Kahoot which was used as a pre-assessment of the Pythagoras theorem and on properties of a right-angled triangle. It has animations which are lively and interactive with numerous sets of questions that makes it more fun to learn and work with. The second method applied was the Geoboard where the students were expected to use their mathematical thinking to come up with a right angle. The right angle should be up to their applied dimensions. The students were also expected to calculate the values of the triangles they construct by using the sin, cos and tan concepts. By using this method, they will have to apply their learnt principles to come up with triangles of different dimensions which makes it very interactive and demands of the students to be attentive.
The importance of trigonometry is that it enables the students to gain knowledge that they did not have earlier. It enables a learner to think critically and come up with great solutions. This skill enables them to become competent even in future at their workplace most especially those in the engineering and other related sectors (Narey, 2009, p.7).
As there is continuous improvement in technology, there are tools that have been innovated hence making the learning of maths easier. Examples are the Desmos and Geoboard which I stated earlier. Another important tool is the Kahoot which is a set up where the teacher displays some questions on a screen and then the students answer with their tablets. The most active and the winners are displayed at the end of every question. This creates a competitive spirit hence enhancing how students participate in class. However, I didn’t use desmos as much as I used kahoot in the development of my students. The only reason that prompted me to use desmos is their close relationship with Kahoot in the learning of trigonometry.
Each and every student has their own goals which they look forward to achieving. Hence, each and every student has their different learning needs. At an early stage, the learning needs of a student are not normally well developed as the student isn’t yet conscious of their goals. The learning needs of a student could also be described as their engagement in learning. I can evaluate this using Kahoot where I am able to see the students who have grasped the concept or those who are capable of applying the formula. I can then use this data to help the all the students concentrating on their weak points and help them grow.
In my case, I will involve the use of a geoboard. A geoboard is a is a math manipulative instrument that students can use to explore the various mathematical shapes and geometry such as the area of a given shape. As simple as it looks, a geoboard can be used in the learning of the various most especially for the younger students. As for the students in the higher level of the curriculum, geoboards are important as they help students develop advanced writing skills, learn how to plot points on coordinate planes and in the creation of bar graphs and line frequency. Hence geoboards are an important tool in the learning of math and to some extent writing skills. Since geoboards are also practical, they tend to make the learners more interested in what they do, to most of the learners, it would be described as a fun method of learning new stuff.
A padlet is a virtual board that is online. Its main purpose is the sharing of leaning link and pictures which I will use to share what the students are going to work on using the Geoboard. The site also provided an interface which enhances the collaboration and interaction between me and the students. I will interact with the students by sharing work that requires everyone to work on a geoboard. A padlet also provides an interface where students can post their research findings. This enhances the way students think as they are able to exchange ideas and even discuss the ideas they post on the padlet. Exchange of ideas among students brings about common knowledge amongst students hence enabling the students to assist each other on the projects assigned. Generally, padlets will enhance students’ creativity, class participation and the class are also able to move as one body.
After the end of the lesson, I will conduct an online survey using SurveyMonkey. This is an online survey software that provides customizable surveys which will help me gather vital data and feedback. It will form the basis of the next lesson using their feedback whereby I can revise the previous topic or clarify some concepts.
Generally, the essay tries to discuss the ways in which the curriculum can be improved most especially through the multimodal learning approach. The essay goes into an explanation of what the approach is all about. What is the effect of these learning and teaching methods to the students? Does it improve how they understand the concepts taught or does it make them become less interested in their studies? The essay also focuses on the resources that have been developed to enhance the learning amongst the students. What is the impact of these learning resources on the students’ understanding and attitude towards the curriculum? Are the methods being applied in agreement with the curriculum? What are the methods do these resources use to impact the students’ reaction towards learning.
The essay begins the introductory section by discussing the various modes of multimodal learning. The section describes multimodal learning as an approach where a one uses the various learning approaches and tools to enhance learning among students. It is one of the mainly used methods nowadays that ensures the students understand the concept being taught in class. (Samara Koon, et al. 2013, p. 42)Multimodal learning approach doesn’t have to be about technological ways introduced but rather about different learning methods which make learning more interesting hence improving the students learning experience and more so their skills. Multimodal approach tries to shift from the old unimodal approach where a teacher would teach all through the lesson (Walsh, 2009, p. 39). Multimodal approach tries to get the knowledge imparted to them and apply that knowledge to enhance their skill. In the unimodal approach, this only focused on ensuring the students pass their exams rather than gain the skills required.
The other section of the essay is based on a study on how the reaction of the students to the approach used to teach them. The methods used included Kahoot and Geoboard. The students became more active by the introduction of this methods as they were now able to apply their already learnt concepts and enabled them to grasp them better.
As this report mentioned earlier, the various multimodal learning tools played an important role in ensuring that the students grasp the concept I introduce to them. As for the kahoot, it ensures that the students remain active throughout the lesson as they compete for the top spot. Kahoot also enables me to be able to identify the least interested students in the class. This enables me to come up with ways to raise their interests and also help them understand the trigonometry concept. The geoboard enables the students to develop their skills in the development of the shapes that I introduce to them such as the right-angled triangle. This also enhances their interest in trigonometry. The padlet provides an interface between me and the students while they are at their respective homes or away from the class setting. Using this tools I am able to issue assignments to the students and also interact with them. The interaction between me and the students enhances how we work together. When a student has a close relationship with me, he/she is able to easily address the issues he/she has. The padlet also enables the students to share their ideas with each other hence sharpening each other’s understanding. Hence the padlet, which I intend in using will enhance peer to peer relationship and hence some of the students are able to understand most of the concepts since some of the students best learn only through their peers.
The essay also focuses on some of the tools that can be used in the enhancement of the curriculum. Examples of these tools include the desmos, kahoot and the Google teaching tools. All of these tools have proved to enhance learning in the various ways they have been developed. They not only make learning interesting but also make it easier for me to organize the lessons more efficiently.
As per the Victorian Institute of learning guidelines and many other guidelines, it is important for a teacher in practice to abide as per the guidelines provided. One of them is providing each and every student with an equal learning opportunity (Black and William, 2010, p. 89). This ensures that every students’ potential is unleashed. This also makes the students feel they are part of a larger community and they feel they have an obligation to the society. Secondly, teachers should treat their learners with respect and dignity. This will help the learners also respect their teachers and also they are able to carry out their main objective which is learning. A teacher should also ensure they maintain a professional relationship with the learners. Generally, a teacher should ensure they abide by the law, the VIT conduct and also their own principles (Bruner, 2015, p. 34). The general purpose of these conducts is to ensure that learning goes on without being interrupted by silly issues caused by unprofessionalism between the teachers and the students.
As a professional teacher, it is important to understand the needs of students that one is dealing with as each student is different. The main reason as to why it is important to carry out an assessment of the class is so as to address their issues and also strengthen their strong points. Well in my teaching experience with the year 9 students, I was able to assess their interest in mathematics was low most especially in the trigonometry topic. The best way to assess their interests, knowledge and skill in a given topic is by using the formative assessment method which will tell how much they know after undertaking the procedure.
The second assessment method that I can use is through giving group works to the students and assigning a lesson where each group presents its findings. This kind of method helps one to identify their interests in the subject. If the research is well done, then the students have a keen interest in the subject. If not so the research will be poorly done. Another effective way one could assess the students is by giving asking them questions and classifying the most active participants to the least active (Sankey, Dawn and Michael, 2010, p. 859). After classifying, I would then follow up on the least active to understand their reasons for not participating actively. One could also asses the students by giving the students assignments and checking on those that have done it nicely and those that have not done it well. By this, you are able to know the weak students and work with them.
Results from kahoot can help me identify their previous knowledge levels where I can assess students, Working on geoboard will be formative assessments as they will use knowledge and new concept in it, padlet will help see how students perform and they are definitely engaged if they are working and pasting there work on padlet
The best way to evaluate a teacher’s work is by asking for a feedback from the students since they are the learners. An assessment of the teacher's efforts enables the teacher to know his/her weak points and hence improve on them. At the end of the assessment, a teacher is expected to become a better teacher.
In conclusion, this essay has gone through the different multimodal approaches, the reaction of the students to these approaches, how these approaches improve and enhance student learning. The essay also identifies the tools that are used in the various multimodal approaches. Moreover, the essay also focuses on student and teacher assessment styles and the impact of the assessment to the each of the parties. Generally, the essay explores the various ways education can be improved during these modern times.
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