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ASSURE Learning Model Lesson

Abstract The ASSURE Learning Model represents a manner of planning for student learning that will assure success. ASSURE is an acronym that stands for Analyze Learners, State Objectives, Select Methods, Media And Materials, Utilize media and materials, Require Learner Participation, Evaluate and Revise. Planning learning sessions around the ASSURE Learning Model will ensure effective and valuable learning for participants. The ASSURE Learning Model can be used for students at any grade level, including adults in professional development situations. This document reviews the ASSURE Learning Model as the representation for an actual professional development session designed for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District by Anne Thorp for the state of Michigan. The session is intended to prepare professionals in the field of education from Michigan to effectively plan and lead professional development sessions via video conferencing technologies. The session will take place February 24 from 9 12 a.m. EST and will be connected with six other sites, including Mi Streamnet so it is streamed live and will be archived. Subsequent sessions will be held around the state at later dates. The ASSURE Learning Model has been a valuable tool in planning for the effective delivery of this program.

ASSURE LEARNING MODEL LESSON Background The ASSURE Learning Model represents a manner of planning for student learning that will assure success. ASSURE is an acronym that stands for Analyze Learners, State Objectives, Select Methods, Media And Materials, Utilize media and materials, Require Learner Participation, Evaluate and Revise. Planning learning sessions around the ASSURE Learning Model will ensure effective and valuable learning for participants. The ASSURE Learning Model can be used for students at any grade level, including adults in professional development situations. The ASSURE Learning Model was used as the representation for a professional development session designed in partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District by Anne Thorp and the state of Michigan. The session, entitled, Quality Videoconference Facilitation, is projected to prepare professionals in the field of education to effectively plan and lead professional development sessions via video conferencing technologies. The session is scheduled to take place February 24 from 9 12 a.m. EST and will be connected with six additional sites, including Mi Streamnet so it is streamed live and then will be archived. Subsequent sessions will be held around the state at later dates through the Michigan Regional Education Media Centers. The ASSURE Learning Model has been a valuable tool in planning for the effective delivery of this program. Analyze Learners Effective planning of any professional development begins with the intended outcomes for participants. Understanding learners is key to preparing a successful session beginning with the knowledge of their general characteristics. For example, in this case the general makeup of participants is they Currently facilitate videoconference professional development sessions
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Have plans to use videoconferencing in 2006 to lead professional development sessions Have access to videoconferencing facilities to host professional development sessions Are currently in a job or position where the use of videoconferencing as a professional development tool will be implemented

In order to effectively plan for the success of the participants attending, it is significant to include a synopsis of entry-level proficiencies so participants will have an understanding of what is expected of them as the session begins. Included in the prerequisite list should be skills the participants should already possess and understand, the intended outcomes they will leave the session capable of, and the attitude they need to bring to the session. For example, the Quality Videoconference Facilitation requisites include having a basic understanding of videoconferencing methods and purposes, not necessarily, how to utilize the processes and equipment effectively yet. The target skills include being able to successfully plan for and hold a professional learning session via videoconferencing. The motivation for attendance is for participants to leave the session having successfully planned and held a mini lesson via the technologies available with a positive attitude toward learning and participation. Additionally, understanding learners includes having an idea of their learning styles, motivation for attending, and the goals they may have in mind. Once the planning team understands potential participants and learners, the planning may progress to the next element of the ASSURE Model which is that of Stating Objectives. Stating Objectives Stating the objectives of the session allows participants to understand ahead of time the purpose of the session. This element serves several purposes such as granting participants the opportunity to know what lies ahead, or the intended outcome. It also serves as a guide for the session designers and presenters so the outcomes are met for participants.
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Included in the objective statement should be the audience for whom the session is appropriate. Additionally, the statement should include behaviors to be demonstrated by the participants during the session as well as what they will be able to once they leave the session. The conditions under which the participants will be observed as well as the degree to which the new skill must be mastered should be part of the outcome statement. The objective of the Quality Videoconference Facilitation session is for participants to leave able to enhance the quality and impact of professional learning opportunities that are offered in a videoconference format. The audience is anyone in education who will have, or already has the means to lead professional development via distance using compressed video equipment, and who would like to learn to effectively provide learning opportunities. Participants will engage in collaborative, active and constructivist learning with participants at their own site as well as participants at the remote sites. Participants will leave the session with a sound understanding, practical experience, contacts for further assistance, resources and materials to assist them as they move into the use of distance learning as a professional development delivery method. The objective statement then leads the session designers and presenters to select delivery methods, materials needed, and the media that will be utilized during the session. The next element of the ASSURE Learning Model is selection. Selection Methods Selecting the method of delivery is key in any presentation; however keeping in mind the method of the physical delivery is significant when planning a nontraditional delivery such as via videoconferencing. As the design team worked on the planning for the session, first in our minds was the fact that this delivery will not take place in a face-to-face format for most of our
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participants. For this session, we must keep in mind that as the presenters we will not only lead the group to understand effective videoconference delivery, we will be modeling effective practice every minute of the connection. Therefore, planning around the modeling of effective practice as an element of the delivery method is imperative. Our preparation in looking at methods includes starting from scratch especially when planning a nontraditional delivery. Included in a planning such as this must be the fact that there are different types of equipment that can be utilized for the delivery and we must address methods for learning the equipment as well as steps for gaining tech support along the way. The methods section of delivery includes Preparation for the session o Planning details o Rehearsal of the session o Room setup for each site o Facilitator Far sites Securing Preparing Presentation of the session o Delivery Methods Equipment o Voice needed to effectively reach all participants o The anxiety level of Participants
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Presenters o Eye contact with all participants, not just those at the near site location o The use of body language as part of the delivery o Incorporating significant visual representations as needed Burmark (2002) states on page 10, visual aids have been found to improve learning by 400 percent? Materials Material selection is an element that cannot be left out of effective planning. The planners need to be sure to select materials that will effectively reach participants enhancing their learning experience as well as be used for modeling effective delivery. The materials that need to be at each location for the Quality Videoconference Facilitation session include Name tags for each o Participant o Facilitator o Presenter Dark markers Light blue 8.5 X 11 paper Pens Note taking paper Various flavors of Tootsie Pops one per participant Document camera if possible 4 X 5 note cards

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At the lead site, there must also be a computer with Internet that will be used as part of the delivery. Additionally, whenever one is planning for an alternative delivery, there must always be a back up plan in the event that the technology fails for one or all sites. Media The media selected needs to be carefully considered in any planning, however, in nontraditional delivery plans, it is even more significant due to the fact that partially it is the media selected that will drive planning and participant learning. This session is being planned around the use of the distance learning media, therefore a CODEC, a piece of technology equipment for compressing and decompressing data, is absolutely essential. My site is the host site as well as the bridge for the connection. We are able to connect either through IP (Internet Protocol) or ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and that is significant information for the remote sites to be aware of as well as to plan around. Through the CODEC we will be able to share audio, video, Internet and still images. We are fortunate in that this session will be streamed live and then archived for future reference. Additionally, incorporated into the session will be projected still images as well as computer presentations. The media necessary for the successful transmission of these elements is key to have on hand and in good working order. Once the planning for the above elements has taken place, the planning for effective utilization must take place. Utilize We have our media, we have our materials, now what? We have a great plan for the incorporation of these elements, but how will we use them as an effective delivery tool? The utilization element of planning is just as significant as all other elements. Utilization in this case of nontraditional delivery and participation must be reviewed, rehearsed, and revised as the planning progresses. The utilization of all planned elements must be designed to effectively
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model this method of nontraditional delivery. Effective learning is not a passive activity; participants must be active learners and practice the skill throughout the training in addition to the modeling that is taking place. Require Learner Participation Learner participation in any learning environment is a key element of success. In face to face delivery methods, learner participation may come more easily than when participants are spread out statewide. Planning participatory activities throughout the session is a significant factor in the learning and application on the part of the learners. The Quality Videoconference Facilitation session has several involved activities for each learner, both individually and in collaborative groups. Additionally, each participant will deliver a mini lesson to participants at all connections. The activities planned include Brainstorming the worst connection ever participated and the best connection Round robin introductions that include the above experiences Lollipops will be used to determine collaborative partners o Teams will become scientists who discover a nontraditional use of the lollipop o Teams will work together to create a short presentation introducing their use Requirements for the presentation will be assigned by site Interactivity Use of the document camera Group reporting

Question and answer sessions will take place every 30 minutes or so to minimize interruptions

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Learner participation is a key element in successful understanding and the ability to apply the new learning. Finally, evaluating and revising the plan is significant to successful delivery and learner application. Evaluate and Revise Evaluation of the planning can take place in a number of methods. In this case each time we rehearsed our session, we made revisions that will better impact the learning of our participants. Additionally, the plan was reviewed with the professional who made the design request and created the partnership with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. Participants will evaluate the session via an Internet link to Zoomerang after the session has concluded. This evaluation will lead to design and delivery revisions as needed. Taking into account the experiences and learning of the participants is crucial to continued effective delivery and participant learning. While this statewide presentation through the Michigan Department of Education is going to be completed once, there will be other opportunities through the states Regional Education Media Centers (REMC) Associations. Revising the session based on learner input will assist in creating a program that can be ongoing and effective. Taking it One Step Further Not included in the ASSURE Learning Model, but essential to ongoing learning and revision is post contact with participants when possible. A week or so after the conclusion of the session, I follow up with each participant to determine further needs or requests, and follow through with them. Additionally, a website is being created for the participants to refer to as they move from learner to active presenter.

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Conclusion Heinich, Molenda, Russell, Smaldino (2002) state, All effective instruction require careful planning (p.54). Incorporating the ASSURE Learning Model into the planning and delivery of instruction will ascertain successful delivery as well as learner outcomes.

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References

Burmark, L. (2002). Visual Literacy. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino, S. (2002). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning (7th ed.). New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall.

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Anne Thorp is an Instructional Technologist at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District in Holland, MI. Prior to joining the OAISD, Anne was a classroom teacher and Technology Integration Mentor in Houston, TX for 20 years. She has her MBA in Technology Management from University of Phoenix Online, and is in the process of completing her dissertation for her Ph.D. in Education Technology Management at Northcentral University.

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