RSS in Education

Prior to this week I had never used RSS. I had seen the ability to add the RSS feed of various websites but never understood what it would do for me. I have at least gained an understanding of what RSS is and what it has to offer. While I have added sites to my Feedly account (see the video demonstrating that here) I’m not sure I will use Feedly or any other RSS aggregator tool in the future. I like visiting individual websites. I only go to a few websites daily so Feedly really doesn’t save me all that much time.  I don’t really like the layout and look of Feedly on my desktop but it is slightly more appealing on my iPad. I am not sure I would use this tool in any classes I teach either. I put the requirement of adding a website to an RSS feed in the learning plan for this assignment but only because it was a requirement. I am not sure how many of my students use this tool in their daily lives. I guess one could argue part of a teacher’s job is to expose students to the possibilities that exist and then let them decide on how best to use a tool beyond the classroom. One problem I have  is that the learning management system we use at UAB School of Medicine has been developed in-house and does not allow the addition of a course RSS feed.  Hopefully as I read others’ posts I will gain a better understanding of how this tool could be used.

I didn’t find this assignment overly difficult. I feel comfortable writing learning objectives though I can always improve. I try to make sure the objective is observable and measurable in some way.  I always develop them first and then immediately write test questions (if there is a test). I believe in only testing on objectives. I then develop teaching materials that only teach to the objectives. I don’t believe in adding extraneous material that doesn’t meet the learning objectives. I rely on my adult learners searching out further information they need or want on their own (adults should be self-directed learners). You may or may not be surprised by how many of my colleagues develop content first then develop objectives and test questions. Furthermore, their test questions may or may not be related to the learning objectives. A lot of students are frustrated by this and don’t trust other professors who tell them to focus on the objectives when studying.

I will use this lesson plan when this elective takes place in the spring (possibly minus the RSS feed portion). I am revamping this elective, so this exercise afforded me the opportunity to start planning out the elective. Always make work count twice if you can.

Here is the link to my lesson plan: http://bit.ly/YUEzUn

 

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