530 ASSIGNMNET 3 Option A

Option A. A Lesson Plan for Students. Prepare a detailed and constructivist lesson for teaching a curriculum topic to students. The lesson should be approximately for 60 to 80 minutes. Part A of the assignment should include about a 1200 word statement on the lesson that clearly reflects salient concepts from Module A, B, and C and draws upon the books and readings from every module in the course.  Revisit your ideas on knowledge from the discussion fora, summary notes on the book chapters and course readings, and your earlier Assignment 1. as a way to get started. Include a review of primary journal articles from the field that enrich your understanding of constructivist e-learning and that were not utilized in the course. Part B. should include the lesson plan itself and student assessment for the lesson objectives. Clearly identify in the lesson, using “#tags” or keywords in the margins, aspects of the lesson plan that are synonymous with course concepts. The student assessment should also reflect a constructivist approach to assessment and feedback and plan for diversity in terms of learning. Submit your assignment to your instructor to their LMS e-mail by the Calendar due date and also provide a copy to the “Legacy of Learning” sharing forum in the course if you wish to share your plans with course members.

Part A – A Constructivist Approach to Identifying Fake News

Teachers are tasked with the responsibility of fostering propositional knowledge formation amongst their pupils. According to Pritchard (2014), essential to any knowledge formation is the development of truth, belief, and justification (Pritchard, 2014). How teachers foster and develop knowledge formation based on Pritchard’s aforementioned tenets is a challenging task. In fact, there are a multitude of different theoretical and pedagogical approaches to achieve this task. Constructivism is one of many learning theories but is unique in that it promotes student centred formulation of knowledge. Baviskar and Whitney (2009) offer a solid theoretical foundation of constructivist which will guide the structure of the lesson. They argue that constructivism is when “the knowledge possessed by an individual is connected in a comprehensive ‘construct’ of facts, concepts, experiences, emotions, values and their relationships with each other” (Baviskar and Whitney, 2009, 543). They go on to define four essential criteria for a lesson to be constructivist which are 1. Eliciting prior knowledge, 2. Creating cognitive dissonance, 3. Application of knowledge with feedback and 4. Reflection on learning (544). Baviskar and Whitney’s definition and essential criteria serve as the foundation and structure for the following constructive lesson plan.

The Identifying Fake News lesson plan is based on constructivist principles and will specifically tackle the realm of digital literacy. From an educational perspective, digital literacy is increasingly gaining prominence and importance in educational curriculum and student competencies. In British Columbia for example, the Ministry of Education has identified that “Digital Literacy is an important skill to have in today’s technology based world” and as such has recently developed a comprehensive K-12 Digital Literacy Framework designed to ensure that students are acquiring the digital skills to meet the demands of an increasingly technology based society (Province of British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2017). As such, this lesson is designed for a Digital Communications 11 course and specifically targets the learning standards as outlined the BC Digital Literacy Framework. The plan is designed to be delivered via a blended learning model and supplemented with face to face direct instruction where students will work to construct knowledge individually and in pairs while navigating a series of scaffolded web based interactivities.

In module A we focused on propositional knowledge formation as it relates to truth, belief and justification among other important epistemological tenets such as coherentism, reductionism and priori knowledge. Identifying Fake News explores these themes by forcing students to reflect on their “true beliefs” as they navigate and evaluate online sources and fake news. In other words, students are exposed to the concept that “mere true belief does not suffice for knowledge” and further that truth and knowledge with respect to online sources is critically important to the value of knowledge (Pritchard, 2014, p 5). Central to knowledge formation is also value. Information is transformed to knowledge if and only if the information acquired is valued (Pritchard, 2014). Given that most people today rely on the internet for facts, information, and knowledge, students will inherently see the value in exploring the topic of evaluating online information sources.

In Module B we explored central themes of constructivism and how this learning theory relates to knowledge formation generally and educationally. Central to this portion of the course was Fosnot (2013) who, like Pritchard, argues that students individually construct knowledge based on truths and beliefs gained via experiences, experimentation, social interactions and guidance among others (Fosnot, 2013). In this regard, the lesson is designed with key constructivist principles in mind, one of which is student centred learning where students are allowed and encouraged to explore the topic at hand. This falls in line with constructivist proponent Von Glasersfeld (2006) who suggests that students ‘learn how to learn’ through a process of intrinsic, self generated reinforcement (Von Galsersfeld, 2006, 47). In this lesson, I am not the “dispenser of truth” rather a facilitator that is guiding student centred and self constructed knowledge. Identifying Fake News begins in a constructivist nature by eliciting student prior knowledge via classroom a think, pair, share activity and discussion on the topic of Fake News. This introductory process features collaborative learning, interaction, and questioning generated by both students and the teacher which is one of many important constructivist elements according to Fosnot (Fosnot, 2013). Once students have explored and discussed their experiences with online information sources; accessing their prior understanding of this topic, they will move into an online environment (accessed on a computer or mobile device) for the remaining portion of the lesson. At this stage in the lesson, students are required to watch a short video clip entitled “How to Spot Fake News” with pre and post viewing questions to again illicit prior knowledge but also to reflect on newly acquired knowledge which ultimately will play a key role in fostering cognitive dissonance, two key elements in constructivist learning. (Baviskar, 2009). Questions will be answered online via Google Classroom discussion board where students have the opportunity, and are encouraged to view each others responses and generate discussion.

This section of the lesson ties into Module C, where we looked at areas such as assessment and supporting students learning issues though a constructivist lens as well as how the learning theory applies to learners at different stages of life. The transition to an online learning experience at this point in the lesson, offers students an opportunity to “ponder, analyze, and find more information” while “constructing their own meaning or knowledge” (Rahaman et. a, p 490). In addition, the online learning environment and discussion questions at this point in the lesson serve to foster confidence and create a digital space for anxious students that would otherwise refuse to engage. This is an important layer in the constructivist lesson and environment that offers opportunity for students with learning challenges such as anxiety. According to Rahaman, an online learning environment allows students to engage with the material at their own pace, in their own fashion, and can serve to foster confidence (Rahaman). Once students have completed the online video and discussion questions they are prompted to participate and engage in an online “Fake News” game. At its core, the game open ended and choice based with the ultimate outcome of illustrating to students how Fake News is created and disseminated online. Gamification and edutainment are constructivist strategies that serve to increase student knowledge and skills on the topic at hand (Diah, Ehsan, Ismail). Additionally, gaming in general can serve to enhance computer literacy, promote problem solving skills, and in this context deepen student understanding of Fake News (Delwiche, 2006). This activity in the lesson is building on prior student knowledge, but also building cognitive dissonance as they reflect and scaffold newly acquired understandings of Fake News and the game generated encouragement of how to create a believable fake news story. In addition, after completing the Fake News game students will again engage in an online reflective discussion via Google Classroom to share their experiences with the game which provides a second opportunity for student to reflect on their learning and to apply newly acquired knowledge with feedback from peers and the teacher – two essential elements of constructivist learning according to Baviskar.

The final, culminating activity of the lesson requires students to pair up and create their own piece of fake news to be shared, showcased, and peer reviewed in the form of an online showcase. In and amongst student curated Fake News projects will be a few pieces of authentic news. Each partnered group in the class will be challenged to identify which news story is authentic. This final activity weaves in all Baviskar’s aforementioned essential elements of constructivist learning into one place. The online showcase also serve to provide a setting that falls in line with Fosnot’s (2013) critically important idea that “constructing an understanding requires that the students have opportunities to articulate their ideas, to test those ideas through experimentation and conversation and to consider connections between phenomena that they are examining and other aspects of their lives (Fosnot, 2013, Chap. 4, para. 17). Throughout the lesson students have multiple opportunities to create “dialogue within a community” which ultimately leads to deeper thinking where “the learners (rather than the teacher) are responsible for defending, proving, justifying, and communicating their ideas to the classroom community.” Fosnot, 2013, Chapter 2, Application of Education, para. 1, bullet 4).

Literature Review
There are several themes that emerge in the literature when considering constructivism, technology and an online learning environment. The most salient are the role of the teacher and the role of the learning community.
Role of teacher
Historically, teachers have been the dispensers of knowledge while the students have been those tasked with the responsibility of acquiring said knowledge and committing it to memory. Constructivists have long argued that traditional styles of education are inferior and do not allow for students to own their own learning by actively and collaboratively creating it. According to Brown (2014), teachers who allow students to self-discover, to evaluate and reflect on the progress innate to their own learning, while providing function of a guide and coach during the learning process” are constructivist in nature. In an online learning community, constructivist teachers must recognize and understand that their their role is to facilitate, not dispense content (Brrown, 2014). Nanjappa and Grant (2003) similarly state that the most important role a teacher takes on in an online learning environment is that of a facilitator in a constructivist context (Nanjappa and Grant, 2003). They further argue that one of the key roles of a online constructivist teacher is to “constantly update information and technology for making learning authentic and relevant” (p. 45). Finally, it is imperative that a constructivist teacher in this context, offer, model, and encourage strong, open, frequent and clear communication in order to foster a strong online learning community (Brown, 2014, p. 4).

Role of the learning community
As we advance in technology and digital tools become even more ubiquitous, online, blended, and technology assisted learning environments are becoming more prevalent. From a constructivist perspective, online learning communities can no longer by synonymous with notions of isolation, loneliness, and disconnection. Rather, constructivists see online learning environments as communities where learners foster authentic relationships, develop shared goals, and offer a variety and diversity of opinions and ideas on various learning topics (Brown, 2014, p. 3). In this regard, much like a traditional face to face classroom, creating a sense of community rich with collaboration and expression of ideas and values is important in an online education context. In fact, according to Rahman (2011) students within online learning environments enjoy the opportunity to learn from their classmates where ideas are exchanged and information is shared via online discussion fora (Rahman, 2011, p. 489). This allows for students to construct their knowledge based on the ideas and discussion generated by their peers rather than the teacher which according to Rahman can be more comforting, less intimidating, and provides for more authentic, rich discussion and subsequent learning (490). Further, Azizinezhad and Hashemi argue that in true constructivist learning communities, “teachers and students collaborate in designing, developing, and implementing their learning experiences and students can actually take control of their learning experiences” (Azizinezhad and Hashemi, 2011, p. 867).

Part B – Identifying Fake News: Constructivist lesson plan
Below is the official lesson plan with detailed tasks and constructivist elements.

Identify Fake News – Official Constructivist Lesson plan
Dustin Hyde, Digital Communications 11, Penticton Secondary School
Allotted time: 80 minutes

What is Fake News: Introduction to Lesson and Hook (10 mins)
*eliciting prior knowledge
-display 5 news stories on the digital projector and get students to read the headlines
-explain that 4 of the stories are fake and have the class correctly identify the authentic news story
-have students complete a Think, Pair, Share, on the topic of What is Fake News
-survey the class for a few responses then offer a definition of Fake News
*use this website to provide examples of fake news stories to students:
*Eliciting prior knowledge
*Creating cognitive dissonance
*Application of knowledge with Feedback
*Reflecting on learning
How to Identify Fake News (10 mins)
-this portion of the lesson starts by asking students the following questions:
Have you ever fallen victim to a Fake News site before?
What are some negative consequences of Fake News?
Why do you think Fake News is so common and easily spread?
How can you identify Fake News?
-once students have completed the pre-viewing questions, they are to watch the How to identify Fake News Youtube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7eCB2F89K8
-once students have watched the clip they are to go to Google Classroom and post a reflection statement and engage/respond to other students in the same reflection / discussion forum
*Eliciting prior knowledge
*Creating cognitive dissonance
*Application of knowledge with Feedback
*Reflecting on learning

Play the Fake News Game (10 mins)
-this portion of the lesson requires students to play the Fake News game. Here they will learn how Fake News is created and have a game guided opportunity to create their own Fake News story
-Fake News game can be located here: https://www.getbadnews.com/#intro
-Once students complete the Fake News game they are to return to Google Classroom discussion board and engage in an online discussion based on the following questions: How did the simulation make you feel? Was it easy to spread disinformation? Did any of the fake news you created look familiar? Did you earn any badges? How many followers did you end up with

*Eliciting prior knowledge
*Creating cognitive dissonance
*Application of knowledge with Feedback
*Reflecting on learning

Partner Created Fake News Story for Online Showcase (40 mins)
-this is the final culminating activity of the lesson where students will partner up and create a digital Fake News story based on their knowledge and learning constructed and acquired through this lesson.
-Students will post their fake news story to the Google Classroom showcase discussion board for teacher and student review.
-Below are the directions for students Fake News digital artifact:

Fake News Partner Project – Directions

Find a partner to create a Fake News digital artifact.  Utilize the information, teachings, and acquired knowledge to construct a believable Fake News digital artifact.


Co-creating a Fake News digital artifact will demonstrate your understanding of not only how Fake News is constructed, but equally important, how such Fake News can mislead or misinform consumers, readers, and viewers.  

Activity Scope and Sequence:

Your digital Fake News artifact can take one of many forms, but it must be in digital print format. This is directly and specifically designed so that once all artifacts are complete, students will utilize their digital information detective skills acquired through this lesson to correctly identify the authentic pieces of news that will accompany the student created Fake News artifacts. Thus, partners can create one of the following: political advertisements, infographics, web articles, interviews, or blog post. If you have your own print based idea that is not mentioned above please see your teacher for approval.  Remember the goal of this project is to be authentically detective. Therefore, your artifact must take into consideration the following principles:
A.  Authenticity and credibility
B.  Evidence of clear distinct bias
C.  Content must be false or direct manipulation of facts

Online Showcase
Your artifact must be between 150-250 words and uploaded to the Google Classroom Online Showcase section for class viewing. Each partner in the class is responsible for trying to identifying which news artifact is authentic. Further, each partner group is tasked with the responsibility of critically evaluating each artifact and providing constructive criticism.

Fake News Assessment Rubric:


Baviskar 1, S. N., Hartle, R. T., & Whitney, T. (2009). Essential criteria to characterize constructivist teaching: Derived from a review of the literature and applied to five constructivist?teaching method articles. International Journal of Science Education, 31(4), 541-550.

Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112. http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=http://rer.sagepub.com/content/77/1/81.full.pdf+html

Pritchard, D. (2014). What is this thing called knowledge? (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Rahman, S., Yasin, R. M., Jusoff, K., Yassin, S. F. M., Nordin, N. M., & Yusof, M. M. (2011). Knowledge construction process in online learning. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 8 (2): 488-492

Von Glasserfeld, E. (2008). Learning as Constructive Activity. AntiMatters, 2(3) 33-49. http://anti-matters.org/articles/73/public/73-66-1-PB.pdf

Nanjappa, A., & Grant, M. M. (2003). Constructing on constructivism: The role of technology. Electronic Journal for the integration of Technology in Education, 2(1), 38-56.