Basic Car Maintenance 

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By: Christina Jones and Leigha Nevay

 

When you need to get something specific done, you go see a professional with expertise in that area. Basic car maintenance is one of those things most people pay for, yet is surprisingly easy to take care of yourself. There is a large amount of knowledge on the internet with step by step instructions on how to take care of basic car maintenance. Searching “DIY Car Maintenance” resulted in 23.9 million sources of information. When searching “DIY Car Maintenance for Mazda CX-5”, 1.19 million sources were revealed. A further, more defined search of, “2018 Mazda CX-5 Oil Change”, resulted in 5.02 million results. When scrolling through these results, the content provided is relevant to what was searched. There are maintenance schedules, discussion forums, videos, as well as articles and journals all relating to the oil change service for a Mazda CX-5.

 

Due to there being an abundant amount of content and variation related to this topic, we found that defined searches were the most relevant format of research and created the best content results. This will provide information that is more directly correlated to what task you are completing. It is important to find the type of resource of information that best suits your learning capabilities. For the purposes of this exercise, we defined basic car maintenance as: checking and changing your fluids, changing your air filter, changing your wiper blades, taking care of battery maintenance, and changing your tires. There are many great articles outlining the steps required in completing basic car maintenance, some even specific to your make and model of car. These articles outline the amount of time required to complete the activity, tools required to complete the task, materials needed, and the money that you will save completing this yourself versus going into an auto service shop. The number of videos walking you through the steps far outweighs the written article content available for this topic and also varies from generic material to make and model specific material. There are also plenty of online discussion forums with resources on how to do certain maintenance on vehicles, as well as, the issues that people have run into while completing such tasks. 

 

“This scale and range of learning related content at least raises the question of whether we have developed the appropriate teaching and learning approaches to make best use of it” (Weller, 2011, p. 226). With there being so many different sources of information, as a learner, you can pick and choose what type of information will work best for you. Educators would need to attempt to complete the task with the resource that was provided to ensure that the information is accurate. As an educator, you would need to find the content that speaks to the majority of your audience, perhaps using a combination of information sources. Starting with written material, then following with a video instruction, could have a stronger impact on the retention for students. Opening discussion forums for students to use while in practice is a great way of ensuring that the students were able to comprehend the information that was presented to them. This would also provide additional material and content back into the system, possibly helping others in the future. 

 

References: 

Bakke, D., Martucci, B., Curtis, J., Quilty, D., BakkeDavid, D., David, … Lewis, M. (2019, July 24). 8 DIY Car Maintenance Tips You Can Handle – Checklist. Retrieved from https://www.moneycrashers.com/diy-car-maintenance-tips-checklist/.

The DIY Experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. (n.d.). 7 Car Maintenance Jobs You Can Do Yourself. Retrieved from https://www.readersdigest.ca/cars/maintenance/fix-your-own-car-car-repair-tips-experts/.

Linhart, & Jack. (2015, January 23). Fix Your Ride: 7 DIY Car Maintenance Tasks That Will Save You Money. Retrieved from https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/diy-car-maintenance/.

Eisenberg, T. (2019, August 21). How to Understand the Basics of Car Maintenance. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Understand-the-Basics-of-Car-Maintenance.

ChrisFix(n.d.). Playlist: Maintenance(Oil changes, windshield wipers, check-ups)  [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvKbarVtwhUvvdufd-D0GTB3Cq7tKxuWl

Car and Driver (n.d.). Playlist: Popular Mechanics: Saturday Mechanic: Season 1  [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6HxORx0g-g&list=PLlME_Nm6UYIU3pEslfpKASUIAVjGuClQk

Weller, Martin (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 pp. 223–236.

So Far, So Good!

M. David Merrill wrote a very intriguing article regarding the “four phases of learning” (Merrill, 2002). I found this article really resonated with my teaching style and what I try to bring into my classroom for my students. Through this article, Merrill focuses on problem-centered instruction. Problem-centered instruction is not a new theory, this is a concept that has been around for decades. Merrill cites, “much of the current work in cognitive psychology has shown that students learn better when engaged in solving problems” (Mayer, 1992a, p. 45). In fact, when I was a University student, I found that this type of instruction helped me understand the content better and put the content into use. By learning through a problem, I felt I was better equipped to handle problems and implement the teachings.

I was recently hired to teach Business Finance courses at a University and had to switch my mindset from student to teacher. I spent a lot of time reading about different teaching philosophies as I was quite nervous to teach my first class ever. Not only was it my first time teaching, I was teaching a full course load of four courses. Nervous was an understatement. So I took to the internet and brought in a few different teaching and learning theories from educators and professionals that I admired. For example, the idea of mastery from Salman Khan. I have setup my classes so that the basic content is mastered before we move on the more complex questions or real-life questions. The theories from the different educators and professionals that I brought together in order to create my instructional design process closely align to Merrill’s four phases: “… (a) activation of prior experience, (b) demonstration of skills, (c) application of skills, and (d) integration of these skills into real-world activities” (Merrill, 2002, p. 44). Merrill goes on to elaborate that problem-centered instruction along with four other phases of effective instruction: activation, demonstration, application, and integration, are the focus of the theories stressed by Merrill (Merrill, 2002, p. 44).

Activation “learning is promoted when relevant previous experience is activated” (Merrill, 2002, p. 46). The activation phase is shown in my teachings during the beginning of class when we do a class review session on the chapter that the class has read and taken study notes on. Demonstration “learning is promoted when the instruction demonstrates what is to be learned rather than merely telling information about what is to be learned” (Merrill, 2002, p. 47). This phase occurs right after activation with a quiz. The quiz provides examples and allows my students to put their learning into use. Application “learning is promoted when learners are required to use their new knowledge or skill to solve problems” (Merrill, 2002, p. 49). The application phase is put into practice when we, as a class, begin working through simple problems to recall their reading and put it into use with some basic level practice. Problem-centered “learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems” (Merrill, 2002, p. 45). I find this is best to incorporate into my teaching closer to the end of each class. Student feedback shows that they find the case problems, which are based off of real-life events, to be really helpful with their course learning and development. The integration and problem-centered phases correlate as both are put into practice through completing real life cases or situations. Integration “learning is promoted when learners are encouraged to integrate (transfer) the new knowledge or skill into their everyday life” (Merrill, 2002, p. 50). The integration phase occurs when students go to complete their homework after class; they are able to put their learnings into further practice and then provide a reflection on the chapter through an online discussion group.

We are one month in, coming up to the first set of midterms and so far so good. Students are responding positively to the instructional design format and finding that they are getting a good grasp on the content through the different levels of learning that take place within one class.

References:

Merrill, M.D. ETR&D (2002) 50: 43. https://doi-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/10.1007/BF02505024

Mayer, R.E. (1992a). Thinking, problem solving, cognition (2nd Ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman.

Introducing Scott Cook and Salman Khan

I had a tough time deciding between two individuals to introduce to you all, so I decided to just introduce both.

Scott Cook is an extraordinary business man and a personal idol. Mr. Cook is most famously known for being a cofounder of Intuit software. His Forbes Billionaire profile provides a brief overview of his background. Intuit has changed the accounting industry in ways people could never have imagined. From bookkeeping software to tax software, Intuit has created it all and it is all available online and/or in the cloud. I personally use this software for my clients and I have built my business by promoting myself as a cloud based accounting firm. Mr. Cook’s learning lesson of “looking for the surprise” (Acevedo & Beier, n.d.), has been something that I have incorporated into my business style. When I feel stuck or unsure, I think back to this video or watch this video again and I push forward. Scott Cook’s impact on allowing the everyday person to learn how to do accounting in a simple manner, in my opinion, is one of the largest impacts on the accounting industry. Competitors are coming out of the woodwork every day to try and compete against Quickbooks or other Intuit software systems, and yet it remains the industry leader. His thoughts on innovation in the workplace and how to foster a learning environment and culture are terrific.

Salman Khan is an aspiration. He is an educator who developed Khan Academy which is a free online educational platform in which he has contributed over 6,500 instructional videos. Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides educational content to anyone, anywhere in the world. In 2015, Khan did a Ted Talk on Education and why we should teach mastery and focus on ensuring the basics are being understood instead of just rushing students through due to deadlines. His talk was incredibly motivating and had been a real focus for me when setting up the structure for my university courses. Mr. Khan has been cited for creating the future of education. I took this concept into my courses that I am teaching this semester. I have provided the lecture material upfront and requested that the reading be completed before classes, so that I can focus on the actual teaching and instructing of how to do the accounting calculations in class. All of my students have been raving about the setup of my classes and are finding that they are actually learning more by working through problems in class versus receiving a lecture.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Mr. Cook and Mr. Khan.

The Educational Revolution

Reiser provided a very interesting take of the history on instructional media. I really enjoyed reading the sections on World War II; knowing that this is when overhead projectors were first introduced is really amazing. This same technology was still used in University for teaching when I was attending my post-secondary education. It has now changed to document cameras, screen casting, or just updated projectors. I used projectors when I did training seminars with my old job as a Territory Sales Representative. The concept of using this type of technology for training is something that hasn’t changed in over 100 years. The technology may have gotten better, but the actual technology medium or equipment and usage is still the same. That is pretty incredible.

Reiser states that “….enthusiasm and interest [in a new medium] eventually fade, and an examination reveals that the medium has had a minimal impact on such practices” (Reiser, 2001). This statement really grabbed me. I disagree with several aspects of this statement. The introduction of a new medium of technology is very exciting and always draws a lot of attention. Just look at the number of people that read or watch the Apple new product launches, but I don’t think that the interest fades, I think the medium becomes part of the norm. The initial excitement brings the medium to being used by everyone and with social media, that adaptation is quick. To say that these new mediums have minimal impact on practices doesn’t seem to hold true. Just look at computers or tablets. In my new position as an instructor, I take my iPad Pro to every class. It holds all of my educational materials, I can access my textbooks and online teaching materials, and I can hook it up to the University projectors or computers. This medium hasn’t had a minimal impact, it allows me to take a lighter and smaller device to do my work more efficiently. Yes, I could use a computer or laptop, but again those mediums had a great impact on educational practice as well. Without these devices, I wouldn’t be setting up online homework assignments, providing the readings ahead of times, or doing online quizzes each class for my students. My students use iPads or tablets every class to complete note taking, assignments, and quizzes. This portable iPad/tablet medium allows me to be more efficient and effective for my students.

After reading Weller’s article, I feel like even though technology is changing everyday, maybe we aren’t quite where we should be. Educational technology and the adaptation of technology within the educational industry has been quite slow. “….edtech is not a game for the impatient” (Weller, 2018). This is surprising given that technology has had such a large impact on education, by providing the ability for students to learn online. I think it surprises me because through providing online learning applications, shouldn’t technology be changing at a greater pace in order to stay relevant and give students the best learning environment and tools in order to succeed? With more and more educational institutions providing online learning platforms for students, I hope to see more change and advancement. I hope we can look back in twenty years and say, wow!

References:

Reiser, R.A. ETR&D (2001) 49: 53. https://doi-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/10.1007/BF02504506

Weller, M. (2018). Twenty Years of Edtech. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/7/twenty-years-of-edtech

History of Educational Technology

When I think about Educational Technology, I feel like it is such a broad term. So let’s start with a definition. “In today’s concept, educational technology can be defined as an abstract concept or as a field of practice” (Mishra, 2009). Mishra’s idea of it being “today’s conception” really stuck out to me (Mishra, 2009). Technology is a quickly changing industry and it’s very difficult to try and say what educational technology is because we don’t know where it is going or where it will be tomorrow. Looking at the goals of educational technology can help with defining it: cost savings, increases in production, improving accessibility, adapting to different learning styles, and more. The impact and reasoning for educational technology, is quite vast. Since we can’t look at what it is today or will be tomorrow, let’s look at the history.

Nicholson states that e-learning goes as far back as the 1960’s. Education, Business, Training and the Military all used computers in some form to support and enhance learning (Nicholson, 2007). There’s other documentation mentioning educational technology going back as far as the 1700’s. “Some early educators recognize that a technology of instruction must consider the development stages of the learner” (Saettler, 2005). In order to implement instruction, the appropriate technology for each stage of learning must be developed (Saettler, 2005). The history and where educational technology comes from, seems quite controversial between educators. I, personally, didn’t think of educational technology going so far back, but that just shows you how vast the definition of educational technology really is.

When I think of educational technology I think of the big box Apple computers that we used in school for typing class. There was a cotton tea towel that was placed over our hands, which were placed on the keyboards and this was to stop us from peaking at the keys. Then we had to type. ASDF JKL;. The lessons continued into sentences and paragraphs. From the time that I started learning on computers to now, about two decades, there has been extreme advancements within technology. With these advancements, education has also developed and grown. It has to adapt with the changes in technology. For example, using screen casting, lesson plans, teaching and communication apps, online homework and textbook options, as well as full office style programming. The changes have been vast in such a short amount of time; it is truly incredible what we now can do with technology. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

 

References:

Mishra, S. (2009). Educational technology: A definition with commentary – By Alan Januszewski & Michael

Molenda. British Journal of Educational Technology40(1), 187–187. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-

8535.2008.00925_4.x

Nicholson P. (2007) A History of E-Learning. In: Fernández-Manjón B., Sánchez-Pérez J.M., Gómez-Pulido J.A.,

Vega-Rodríguez M.A., Bravo-Rodríguez J. (eds) Computers and Education. Springer, Dordrecht

Saettler, L. P. (2005). The evolution of American educational technology. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.