External Documents


Why are external documents necessary?

Instructional materials that we use everyday in our classrooms have been developed to appeal to wide audiences. Computer-based instructional materials are no different. They have been developed with a specific target audience in mind that will likely not fit all of your needs. Therefore, external documents are necessary. These range from: extra readings, visual aids, individualized exercises, links to other technologies, or a host of other activities. Essentially, external documents are additional materials that you find and/or create to accompany instructional materials. You have likely done this to supplement a classroom textbook or workbook in the past. This is the same thing, just for supplementing computer-based resources.
A good external document can:
  • add interaction
  • add more information
  • get students to apply information
  • get students to use the information
  • make the information more relevant to students
  • expose students to information in a different form
  • let students express themselves differently
  • give students more control

Instructions

The goal of this assignment is to help you find ways to work with a website or a piece of software to make it better suit your needs. You will create external documents to go along with it. Include the following:
  1. Use a language learning website/software that you have evaluated (must have a evaluation posted on your blog).
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# Write a short lesson plan (about 30 minutes) based on using a website/software. Do not make it any longer than this. A longer activity will take up way too much of your time.
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  1. Include instructions on how to use the website/software. I would consider this an external document, though not the only one you can submit. This should be something that could be given to students to guide them in the use of the website/software. Make it short and sweet. No more than a page.
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# Create external documents that support and/or extend learning activities. As stated above, these can:
    • add interaction
    • add more information
    • get students to apply information
    • get students to use the information
    • make the information more relevant to students
    • expose students to information in a different form
    • let students express themselves differently
    • give students more control
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  1. Include a paragraph or two detailing information about your target users. What is the class? Where is the class? Who are the students? Where does this lesson belong in the larger unit? and so forth. This information establishes a context allowing readers to see where this lesson is situated in the bigger picture.
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# Identify other websites that you could use to in conjunction with the main site in the lesson. Include a short description of each (it would be ok to cut and paste from a review in the "CALL Class Resources" or your student blog as long as you attribute).
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  1. Design/create your document using Microsoft Word. Keep in mind the characteristics of good external documents mentioned above. Pack all of this into 1 Word document file. I don't want a bunch of files. I'll lose them external image smiley.gif (not really kidding).
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# Post your rough draft of the assignment in the Moodle discussion topic for this assignment.
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  1. One of your classmates will be assigned to lookover the assignment and to give you feedback (using the reviewing feature in Microsoft Word).
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# Revise your external document(s) based upon the feedback from your peer reviewer and then post the document in the proper discussion topic in Moodle.

Evaluation

This assignment is worth 30 points, divided among these criteria:
(6 points for each criteria, 0 does not meet at all, 3 meets the criteria, 6 = more than fully meets this criteria), based on:
  • Completeness - addresses each of the requirements from above including participating in peer review and editing based on peer review.
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* External documents explicitly support/extend main website/software resource.
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  • Extent to which activities help accomplish goals/objectives of the lesson plan. First of all, this assumes that the goals/objective of the lesson plan are explicitly stated. Secondly, the activities in the lesson plan support these goals/objectives as do the external documents.
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* Effective integration/appropriateness of websites - These are not just other websites, they are introduced for a reason. The support/extend the original resource. These connections are made explicit.
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  • Professionalism - the document has a neat, well-organized appearance. Organization and style are consistent throughout. No grammatical or typographical errors. All URLs work as expected.