Nov 132011

(LSZPOS (LT2MOD last mod LT8K31=2011.11.13(Sun)pst2029) (LT2VER version 1.1) (LT2STA 100% complete 1st draft) (LT2NAM

(LUMDBI=an optimized agenda for in-person group teaching when (topic takes many cumulative sessions) and (students are at different skill levels & attend unpredictably)  )

  1. (LSZDEF Definition

    1. (LUMUOS=In short: an method for in-person group teaching which physically sorts the students by skill level in the topic according to a common text used by all students and where each student works on his/her own sequentially following the text except gets help generally provided by the student(s) just above him/her.  The time to setup this arrangement is then more than offset by numerous dramatic benefits as full freedom of attendance, complete self-pacing,  all-level teaching, plus high student collaboration where instead the students teach the subject to each other.)
    2. (LUME75=Before the meeting time, the instructor(s) obtain a document, called “our text”, which all students can easily & independently access and which teaches the topic in a sequence of small steps/assignments.
      (LUMFGR=Most instruction texts are written in this fashion, often in say 10 to 30 small steps; so for nearly all common topics, a text like this should already exist.)
      (LUMEDP=Ideally it’s online tutorial where each student has a computing device in order to access. More traditionally, it can be a text book where each student has a copy.))
    3. (LUMEGK=Every group teaching session proceeds as follows:
      1. (LUMEHO=Once all students are present and ready, the instructor says “Every student: when I say to begin, look in our text, and, within a minute or 2, find the skill level best matching you. You can ask other students what they think if you’re not sure. If you were here before, remember where you stopped last time. Begin.”)
      2. (LUMER5=Once the prior step is complete, the instructor says “Students, now stand up and physically sort yourselves according to this skill level, forming a long line from thefront to the back of the room facing the front of the room, with the person in front of you having the next lower skill than yours and the person behind you having the next higher skill than yours. Talk to the person in front of you & behind you until you are sure you are in this order.”)
      3. (LUMF1S=Once the prior step is complete, the instructor says, “Students, snake or zigzag this line into the rows of chairs in the room.  I want the front left chair to start with the student with the lowest skill, and then fill in down that first row from-left-to right in order of increasing skill; then on the second row I want to wrap backwards, filling in then from right-to-left, then the third row fill in left-to-right, and so on, altering each time. Filling from front to back, every odd row should go left-to-right and every even row should fill right-to-left.  This insures all chairs nearest the front by us instructors will be filled with the lowest level students nearest us. And it insures whatever level you are, the other students nearest your level will be physically closest to you, generally to your left-and-right and when that’s not possible, just in front-of-or-behind you.”)
      4. (LUMFLF=Once the prior step is complete, the instructor says, “Every student, when I say begin, work through the text at the level you are at, doing your own study, but getting help as I will describe.
        (LUMFYM=If you get stuck, the person who is to first help you is the student at the next skill level above you, who should be right next to you; and if that student can’t help you, then s/he gets help on it from the student above him/her, who should be right next to him/her, and so on.)
        (LUMFZO=In addition, instructors MAY be on hand to walk around and help such chains of students who are still having trouble, but make sure at least 2 students immediately above you try to help you before your stuck chain calls on an instructor for help.)
        (LUMG1K=Now you may not have picked the right level for yourself and even if when you are at the right level, everybody works at his/her own pace, so the order you are physically in will need to change to match that.
        (LUMGE5=But it must change by minimal swaps, nothing drastic. So if you feel you are out-of-order, you may swap places with the person adjacent to you in the order if the person agrees, but no bigger than changes than that; bigger jumps in order are instead done by doing multiple minimal swaps of this kind.)
        (LUMGEQ=Now if you have a disagreement where one student wants to swap with another but the other doesn’t want to swap, then ask the student just above both of you in skill level to arbitrate; and if even that doesn’t work, then get an instructor to arbitrate.))
        (LUMGM6=Also never be so noisy so the others around you can’t work.)
        (LUMGRL=If ever the student next above you is not available, then the responsibility falls on the student next above him/her who is available, until there are no higher students, at which case it falls on the first available instructor.)
        (LUMGO3=At any time any attendee can take a break (as to go the restroom or handle a phone call or whatever, and even leave early if they must), provided there is at least 1 instructor on duty at all times when this session takes place, and provided that whenever you pause or stop your work, that you make a make a note of where you at in our text so you can quickly come back to it when you return to us again.)
        (LUMGGW=We will work together like this for __ minutes.  Begin.)”)
      5. (LUMGLQ=Once this step is complete, the instructor says, “Students, we’ve completed our training for this session. And Thank you for your participation.”)
    4. .


  2. (LSZCMP Comparison with Alternatives, from most to least similar

    1. (LUMTCQ=vs. (old American) single-room school house with 1 teacher teaching K-thru-12
      (LUMTE5=similar in that one instructor has to teach at all levels at the same time)
      (LUMTGY=likely similar in students may or may not be present on a routine basis (as in those days school was a newer concept and optional for kids, so parents might keep the kids home at various times and for various reasons, as to work on the farm))
      (LUMTKC=CON: only covers one topic, where as this 1 teacher would have to cover all topics –I have no idea how s/he did it!)
    2. (LUMN3L=vs. Khan Academy self-paced online lessons
      (LUMNCE=On 2011.11 CNN featured & praised as one of America’s greatest education innovations. Many other praises.)
      (LUMN6X=NOTABLE PRO: Works using any segmented text, doesn’t require an online system or even that each student have a computer: each student could be working out of a book.)
      (LUMNGU=NOTABLE PRO: Much more closely links similar skill level students by physically sorting by skill.)
      (LUMN4N=QUITE SIMILAR in that each student is self-paced and usage reports say students tend to help each other rather than depend on the teacher.)
      (LUMNV5=QUITE SIMILAR in that both were independently invented by a graduate of MIT.)
      (LUMNID=CON: Lacks an automatic & standard method to monitor & report student progress.)
      (LUMNMP=CON: Training not included but provided separately by the text.)
      (LUMNKJ=Note these two methods could be combined no problem.)
    3. (LUMHXD=vs. the traditional multi-session class requiring near-complete attendance of all sessions by all students, OVERALL seems a BIG PRO
      Pros thru cons:
      (LUMJ49=HUGE PRO: Students can attend whatever sessions they can make; no longer are they required to attend virtually every session.)
      (LUMI4V=BIG PRO: Allows any new student to join & leave the training  series at any time, not have to wait (often weeks or months, as to the start of a new quarter or semester) to start the class, nor wait to finish the series else have to start over)
      (LUMI1T=NOTABLE PRO: allows every student to progress at his/her own pace.  Fast learners can complete the training in minimal time, slow learners can take all the time they need.)
      (LUMI3M=NOTABLE PRO: Accommodates all speed-of-learners without having to slow down the rest of the students to accommodate the slowest learners.)
      (LUMIAZ=PRO: Allows any student to miss a significant portion of a training session (as arrive late, leave early, or take long break(s)) without ever putting them at risk of having to restart all the sessions nor significantly disrupting instruction nor have to have instruction repeated for him/her (provided the student has already ascertained his skill level and knows how the sessions are run, which almost always the case as that’s done at the start of each session).)
      (LUMJA5=NOTABLE PRO: Students get to learn & learn to work with each other, not just learn & learn to work with the instructor(s).)
      (LUMIR2=PRO: For the many cases where students are stuck or need motivating, instead of burdening the instructor(s) with this, have the students handle this themselves and evenly distributes that load among them. In these cases when the text alone won’t do it, the students teach themselves! –Dramatically minimizing the need for separate instructors.)
      (LUMIYW=PRO: Every student not only learns the subject, s/he learns to teach the subject.)
      (LUMJD2=NOTABLE CON: Totally new & untested. Not just non-standard, never heard of: never been done before, or even proposed before, as far as I know.)
      (LUMJGM=NOTABLE CON: at least for students unfamiliar with this process, a significant (I estimate ~11 minutes) of instruction time is taken at the start of each session for the instructor(s) to read the generic instructions of this method and get the students physically sorted as desired. Once students are familiar with this process and know where in the text their skill level is, this process can probably be done in practically no time (students just enter and seat themselves in the proper order). By providing the instructions in writing to the students, they wouldn’t need to be read over for every class session, just possibly to the new incoming students, saving significant time.)


  3. (LSZMOT Motivation

    1. (LUMPAW=How can you teach training where each session depends on the next when you probably can get ~10% attendees attend every session?
      1. (LUMNXW=In 2010.10 I and others noticed that even in well-attended successful Meetup group events (both socially as an Ed’s Party or career as an OC-PHP meeting), only about 10% of the attendees attend most every event in that series; instead it seems about 70% of attendees just attend say 1 of every 4 meetings in the series (some more some less), and 20% are just 1-time visitors never to return again.  Thus one has to attend at least 3 meetings in the series before significantly starting to see the same faces again, and for the most part one doesn’t have the sense of “combing back to see the same people” as only about 15% who were there last time will be there the next time. Indeed it seems the only people one can count on seeing event after event are the series leaders!  (LUMOJ7=And this appears to be not a momentary situation; I noticed this same thing happening 1 year ago in 2010.11 in the first historic meetings of and I have no indication it’s going away soon.))
      2. (LUMOD9=This represents a marked shift between community group & club meetings of the last decade & before, where one would expect, between each meeting of the same kind, about 70% of the same faces, if not more.
        (LUMOIU=I don’t know what causes the change but I think it is due to the new Web 2.0 technologies (as Meetup) which make it super easy to join and come or not come to events and offer so many more events to choose from, plus MySpace/Social Networking idea of having 1000s of “friends”.))
      3. (LUMP1J=This situation presents a real problem if any Meetup group is going to offer classes/training where the topic/material must span several sessions which build on each other.
        (LUMP7K=This is exactly the situation is in as it prepares to offer two new tracks: training meetups for developers for Beginner-to-Intermediate and for Intermediate-to-Advanced)
        (LUMPPV=The problem is traditional multi-session cumulative classroom training requires about 90% repeat attendance but the default seems to be 10%.))
    2. (LUMPSF=If it turns out some training is hot, but it takes 6 months or a year to complete because the sessions only take place once a month to build up the critical mass, who wants to wait another 6months or 1 year to hop in? –especially in the IT market (what OCAndroid does) where by that time it could be out-of-date.)
    3. (LUMPYH=Say we pack the whole training into 1 day, as was done by http://LADotNet.Org to train on putting up a database driven .Net blog in ~2006 so the instructor only has to be paid for that day, this then becomes an overload on the students who really can’t absorb that much.  Plus now the instructor has to be paid, as it’s a whole day of hard work to contribute.  Sure, students could take it again, but if it whizzed by them the first time it would likely whiz by the second time, too.)
    4. (LUMQ7W=What about the real reality that people learn stuff, especially IT, at different rates, arewilling to donate different amounts of time to it?)
    5. (LUMQ91=For the additional significant motivators, see (LSZCMP Comparison with Alternatives…))
    6. (LUMTXM=Because it doesn’t rely on even computers but also works on traditional book & paper technology, the utility could be huge, many times greater than Khan Academy, potentially applicable & enhancing to the majority of sit-down class-room training. )


  4. (LT2HIS Additional History, in order

    1. (LUMMY5-~ 1 week ago I came up with the idea after SMSing Donna

      .. “Donna” ..
       (XXX) XXX-3423 – mobile
      11/3/11 10:38 PM 9 days ago
      “Donna”: Sounds good. The same Starbucks:) cool 9:25 AM
      Me: Yep. Also Subways there so I can get a breakfast sandwich. 10am? 9:27 AM
      “Donna”: Ok. See u at 10. 9:27 AM

      At this meeting, among other things, I told Donna, to her surprise, to expect only 10% the same people between every meeting of her meetup training series, as that is typical on Meetup. Consequently, don’t structure the training like a college class. Instead structure it like a single room old American school house teaching all K thru 12 by 1 teacher, where kids show or don’t show, each time, depending on the whims of her parents. She agreed, though it was clear this was a tall order.

      “Donna”: Michael, that was nice talking with you just now. I would like to make our group successful:) I’ll see you soon. 1:00 PM
      ..“Donna” .. (XXX) XXX-3423 – mobile
      11/6/11 6:30 PM 7 days ago
      “Donna” : I believe I took it way too seriously than other guys. I understand the “old american school” type of style we need for ocandorid now. see we live and learn….that is good:) 4:37 PM
      “Donna” : Oh. I just updated my post regarding our beginner’s group. You can go ahead release it then. 5:31 PM
      Me: Yes,lkg fwd 2 ur meetup rewrite. We need to advertise b4 Wed. Plan4success each time w/~90% new faces.So,rather than suggested homework, prob better wd be suggested prep-work, that way each mtg is complete in itself. 6:26 PM
      Me: No, being serious seems totally fine PROVIDED one is seriously ready & designed for way it will likely go: prob 90% new faces each time. 6:30 PM
      (and it was after this SMS that I thought about how break the Beginner-to-Intermediate into subgroups, as (Beginner, Beginner-Intermediate, Intermediate).)


    2. (LUMRS3=2011.11.11(Fri)
      (LUMSK9= In reviewing Donna’s topic & agenda post, I could see, via “after 6 months” and a single starter topic “Set the development environment up“,  she was still using the traditional college-classroom proposal, apparently despite my above explanation that each session be able to teach all levels (or at least 3: as low, med, & high skill); and, true, the challenge of this was hard. So I figured I would have to spell out what I meant. And when she wrote “the best resources online” it got me thinking of a text book resource which divides the training into many cumulative steps. From that I got the idea of using such a text to sort the attendees.)
      (LUMSRS=I then presented my idea, of having the attendees sort themselves physically based on the sections/steps of the text, to Lucy & Joan.  They didn’t know what to make of it.) but
      (LUMSUW=Joan related that Laguna Woods Art Association is an extensive successful non-profit community group with 400 members and 5 board members and maybe (8 instructors which may be paid) which teaches beginner, intermediate, & advanced traditional fine arts.)
    3. (LUMD99=(to …)
      (I created (this post (by copying ((LSZPOS (LT2MOD last mod LT8K31=2011.10.17(Mon)pst1731) (LT2VER version 1.3) (LT2STA in-starter-use) (LT2NAM (LSZTHR=(Meetup event listing’s )discussion thread of All Additional Aspects, from-conception-to-legend, in that order  )) then removing all that didn’t apply and correcting the rest)) and set its ID to (new ID LUMDBI)))
    4. (LUMUHH=completed version 1.0.)
    5. (LUMV2S=add a (LUMUOS=In short: …) point followed by a “more..” break; now version 1.1.


  5. (LT2PLN Additional Planned Changes, in order

    1. (LUMTSO= Want to try this start (OCAndroid (Intermediate+Beginner Developers’ Meetup) 1 (listing).)
    2. (LUMTV3=If it works & can be made to work well, it the other applications are huge:  see LUMTXM.)

    LT2PLN )

  6. )


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