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MIFGASHIM  December 2015

MIFGASHIM December 2015

Subject:

fgashim Volume 8 Issue 354

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:34:00 +0200

Content-Type:

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text/plain (137 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 354


Contents:


1.	Lookstein’s Virtual Jewish Academy

2.	Research that applies to Jewish day high schools with engineering programs

3.	Online learning for Jewish teens

4.	Marshall Memo: Feedback for Someone Having Trouble Accepting Feedback


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Lookstein’s Virtual Jewish Academy


Q: What do "David, Founder of a Dynasty", "Quest for Eliyahu", "Letters Home: American Jewish History", and "Themes in Megillat Esther and Megillat Ruth" all have in common?

A: All are among the courses that are still:  
OPEN FOR SPRING 2016 REGISTRATION at LVJA!* 

Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy's affordable and innovative online Jewish studies courses address your school's differentiation, staffing, and scheduling needs. Invite your middle and high school students to build 21st century skills, collaborate with their peers, and learn from master teachers in our Tanach, Mishna/Talmud, Jewish History, and Jewish Ethics courses.

Please visit www.virtualjewishacademy.org or email [log in to unmask] for additional information or a school specific price quote. **Special discounts still available for new and returning schools!

TO SIGN UP FOR AN UPCOMING WEBINAR:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nw78VUu_ZGGJ6MHxxZE23WQU6j9BFkuxaH-oyfjd8oI/viewform?edit_requested=true


~~~~~~~~~


2.	Research that applies to Jewish day high schools with engineering programs


The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario published a report in its December 8, 2015 edition that has implications for Jewish high schools that desire to prepare students for careers in engineering.  Entitled “Closing the Design Loop in First-year Engineering: Modelling and Simulation for Iterative Design” by Thomas E. Doyle, Jon-Michael J. Booth, David M. Musson from McMaster University, the study examines the potential impact of experiential learning strategies, like simulation and prototyping, on teaching design to first-year engineering students. 

Specifically, the study examines the impact of these strategies on self-efficacy, which is a belief in one's ability to achieve a certain level of attainment and can lead to improved student performance. The study found that experiential learning can promote an increase in self-efficacy, in particular with simulation projects.

Project Description
The study examines students in McMaster University's first-year design and graphics course, which is required for all engineering students. Lab groups were randomly assigned one of three experiential learning modes: simulation, where they produce and verify a design using a simulation tool; prototyping, where they use a 3D printer to create a working plastic model of their design; or simulation and prototyping, where both tools are combined to complete a design.

A survey was sent to all 800 students in the course and 170 valid responses were received. Project groups were surveyed before and after the completion of the design project and individual, group and total grades were collected for the individual project as well as the course.

Findings
Self-efficacy improved throughout the term for all three project modes, but students in the simulation groups had higher group performance scores and better total project grades than those involving prototyping. Prototyping of some form, either on its own or combined with simulation, did appear to improve students' ability to visualize their designs compared to students who did not have access to these learning modes.

Read more at http://www.heqco.ca/en-ca/Research/ResPub/Pages/Closing-the-Design-Loop-in-First-year-Engineering-Modelling-and-Simulation-for-Iterative-Design.aspx


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Online learning for Jewish teens

The December 8, 2015 issue of eJewishPhilanthropy describes a summer camping initiative to engage teens in Jewish learning electronically.  The Eli and Bessie Cohen Camps collaborated with the Prodzor of Hebrew College to offer teens a course in leadership and Israel. 

The authors,  Dan Brosgol from Prozdor of Hebrew College and Debbie Kardon-Schwartz from the Cohen Camps, write:

Combining online learning with the experiential components of Israel and the Counselor-In-Training program at camp, our idea would also feature in-person sessions at the camps in late summer. We believed that by offering this course, and a Hebrew College credential to the students who completed it, we would motivate the participants to enroll in the class to get an extra leg up in their applications to college. This partnership enhances the already transformative experiences of camp and Israel by extending the learning and impact beyond the two months of camp and validating the experience through Hebrew College’s certification.

We entered into this partnership understanding the big questions out there in this area. Would Jewish teens opt into this optional course to complement their Israel trip? Would their parents be willing to pay for it? Would the teens take seriously and engage with the learning and the philosophies and ideas of Buber, Hertzl, Rav Kook, Hillel and Heschel, among others? Would the pilot prove to be a worthy model and could it be expanded in year two?

The answer to all of those questions, we’re happy to report, is an emphatic YES.

This month we are concluding the second year of our first-of-its-kind partnership to engage Jewish summer campers with year-round online learning outside of their summer experience. Our partnership provides the Cohen Camps’ participants with online instruction about both Israel education and leadership development through a Jewish lens, on the online Schoology platform via a course developed and taught under Prozdor’s supervision. 

The participants spend three months prior to their Israel trip exploring leadership principles and education around Israel, and then head off to Israel on their life-changing summer program. Upon their return to the Cohen Camps, (either Camp Pembroke, Tevya or Tel Noar) in late summer, the participants spend the balance of the summer as CITs, receiving 10 sessions of leadership training at camp in addition to in-person sessions led by Prozdor to continue the arc of the leadership course. In the fall, the course concludes with three additional month-long modules that deepen participants’ reflective practice and growth as leaders, and continues to engage them in questions about their relationship to Israel as American Jews.

In its pilot year of 2014, the course enrolled 37 students. Throughout their six months of learning, they posted over 580 unique posts, discussions, and assignments to the online course, and clicked over 7,600 times through the various files, links, and course materials. Prozdor conferred Hebrew College Certificates in Teen Jewish Leadership to the participants in late November and quickly began updating the course for a Spring 2015 launch for the second cohort.

In 2015, the course enrolled 60 students and created over 1,200 separate discussion posts, 120 submitted assignments, and in sum total garnered nearly 13,000 separate clicks and interactions with the online content. That’s 13,000 educational moments happening in an exclusively online setting, 13,000 bursts of learning and growth that would not have happened without our unique partnership, and 13,000 moments where maybe, just maybe, the virtual schechina was hovering over our discussion boards.

But we’re far from content to rest on the laurels of our over 20,000 online educational moments from the first two years of this course. We are hard at work thinking about year three of our partnership, and also discussing how to bring a counselor and leadership training course to the 2016 Dor L’Dor counselors in a unique hybrid format that would feature online learning and an intensive week of training here at Hebrew College, while also considering how to engage the parents of the participants in some learning that would complement what their children are engaging in.

Read more at 
http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/online-learning-for-jewish-teens-you-bet-it-works/?utm_source=Copy+of+Dec+9+w%2FFRD+CORRECTED&utm_campaign=Wed+Dec+9&utm_medium=email


~~~~~~~~~


4.	Marshall Memo: Feedback for Someone Having Trouble Accepting Feedback
	

In this Harvard Business Review online article, Deborah Grayson Riegel (Wharton School and The Boda Group) has suggestions for managers who get pushback when they have difficult conversations with colleagues – defensiveness, shutting down, yessing them to death and not following through on promises, or calling in sick on the day of a performance review. “My advice to leaders in these situations is to take a break from giving other performance-related feedback,” says Riegel. “Instead, start giving feedback on how the employee receives feedback… It should be its own topic of conversation, addressed when you have enough evidence to assume a pattern and when both you and your colleague have adequate time and energy to tackle it.” Here are her tips for these talks:

• Make the case. Say that it’s important for everyone to be able to receive critical feedback seriously and professionally – and that resistance isn’t helpful to the team, the organization, or the person’s professional reputation. 

• Be curious. The person may not see his or her behavior the way you do. Ask an open-ended question about how the person sees the supervisory dynamic. 

• Use neutral language. “Want to make someone defensive?” asks Riegel. “Tell him he’s being defensive!” Avoid blaming words and language with a negative connotation. Try something like, “When I give you feedback, I notice that you look at the floor. I’m curious to know what’s going on for you.” 

• Ask for feedback. It’s possible that your communication style is too direct, the timing of your critical conversations has been bad, or that you’ve sent mixed messages by pairing negative feedback with praise. Perhaps ask, “How am I contributing to this problem?” and model how to receive critical feedback.

• Eat humble pie. Talk about a time you messed up, were criticized, and didn’t take it well – and what you learned from that. 

• Secure a commitment. Here’s a possible opening statement: “So moving forward, here’s what I’d like to see happen: I’ll give you some feedback and if you feel like you disagree, have a different perspective on it, or that I am not getting the whole picture, you’ll tell me that in the meeting. I’ll agree to really listen to your take on the situation, and we’ll come up with a plan together. Does that work for you?”

• Acknowledge positive change. After the feedback-on-feedback talk, start looking for evidence of improvement and immediately reinforce it.

“When Your Employee Doesn’t Take Feedback” by Deborah Grayson Riegel in Harvard Business Review, November 6, 2015, http://bit.ly/1Hj3aYD 

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual subscriptions are $50 for the school year at
http://www.marshallmemo.com.

 

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora,
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

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