Swarm Learning: Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS) — Summer 2020
The purpose of this CAS is to provide a deeper understanding of the structure of my teaching methodology and how this course will be conducted.
May 31st, 2020 | 7 min read

Traditional Syllabus (click here)

Visit the Swarm Learning Wiki (click here) *the Wiki is new and will grow as the class grows

For those of you thinking of immediately dropping this course, I suggest you visit the Swarm Learning (SL) Facebook Group and visit with former students. There are no tests and you have the freedom to complete assignments as they post. If you do the work (and especially if you write a good blog), then you will pass this class (likely with an "A").


Swarm Learning (SL) is a teaching philosophy and methodology where students provide continuous feedback to change a class while in progress — where the feedback changes how students learn concepts but does not change the concepts they must learn — in order to teach students how to think, not what to think — where the overarching intent is to facilitate a fast transfer of learning.

“To the future students of Dr. Jamie Schwandt, I say to you, with Swarm Learning, you can ask Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How and find the answers you’re looking for. Participate. Collaborate. Ask questions. Get answers. Repeat!” — Josefina Howard, FHSU student Fall 2019, from What I Learned from Swarm Learning

Instructor Information

Dr. Jamie Schwandt

Dr. Jamie Schwandt can be reached via jrschwandt@fhsu.edu

Connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamieschwandt/

Course Schedule

This schedule is tentative and might change during the semester depending on how the course evolves. The content is subject to change depending on students’ interests and progress. Students will be notified of the changes through announcements sent via e-mail and announcements via Blackboard. If time is mentioned in the course, it refers to the Central Time Zone.

Assessment and Grading

Grades will be recorded in Blackboard.

A Knowledge Trail (KT) is similar to a concept map.

Example KTs

A Feedback Trail (FT) is similar to a KT. It provides feedback to the group and the instructor.

An Essay/Blog Map (EM) is also similar to a KT. However, it helps students craft one fantastic essay or blog. You can view more student map examples by visiting the Swarm Learning Wiki (click Student Maps). Or click here: https://www.jamieschwandt.com/student-maps

At the end of each assignment, you will complete a survey via SurveyMonkey.

Blog and SL Facebook Group Extra Credit

You can earn 150 extra credit points for publishing a blog instead of an essay. The first student to post an assignment will earn 10 extra credit points. For example, the first student to post in HHP 340 and share KT1 will earn 10 extra credit points. The first student to post and share KT2 will earn 10 extra credit points.

As of 31 May 2020, 48 students have published blogs. You can view each student blog here (or click Student Writing on the Swarm Learning Wiki): https://www.jamieschwandt.com/copy-of-swarm-learning-writing

Students will earn 10 extra credit points for posting and discussing their assignment in the SL Facebook Group. In the group you will find former students, current students, and experts. This group will be a definite go-to for those of you thinking of immediately dropping.

Required Textbook and Supplementary Reading

HHP 340 Required Textbook: Measurement by the Physical Educator: Why and How, 7th Edition 

I recommend the following books as they will allow you to dive deeper into each concept. You are not required to purchase them.

*Some of the following books and documents can be read for free.

  1. Flock Not Clock by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  2. Systems Thinking Made Simple by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  3. Thinking at Every Desk by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  4. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick.
  5. Online Statistics Education: An Interactive Multimedia Course of Study developed by Rice University, University of Houston Clear Lake, and Tufts University.
  6. Systems Thinking for Health Systems Strengthening published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  7. Design Unbound (volume 1 & 2) by Ann Pendleton-Julian and John Seely Brown.
  8. Design in Nature by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane.
  9. The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto — or use the following free handout: The Pyramid Principle Handout.
  10. The Red Team Handbook: The Army’s Guide To Making Better Decisions published by the University of Foreign Military Cultural Studies (UFMCS).
  11. The Art of Reasoning by David Kelley.
  12. The Logical Structure of Objectivism by William Thomas and David Kelley.
  13. Awareness and Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior by Mary P. Lahman.
  14. Raising the Bar by Don Vandergriff.
  15. Maneuver Warfare Handbook by William S. Lind.

Course Description

Structure of Knowledge HHP340

HHP 340: This course is intended for those seeking a career in physical education, exercise science, or kinesiology. It will provide you with the necessary skills to conduct measurement techniques properly and effectively.

Course Objectives: A systems thinking approach to Tests and Measurements in Health Promotion.

Principle Generalization: The process of testing and measuring performance and attributes in health promotion using a system thinking approach.

Concepts: Systems Thinking, Complexity and Ambiguity, Lean Six Sigma (LSS), Statistics, Testing, Measurement, Evaluation, Assessment, and Logic.

Topics: Systems Thinking v2.0, Systems Behavior, Self-Organizing, Feedback, Complexity Theory, Problem-Solving, Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, Hypothesis Testing, Level of Significance, Scales of Measurement, Types of Test, Testing, Construction of Tests, Characteristics of Assessment, Grading, Anthropometry and Body Composition, Physical Fitness, Special-Needs Population, and Reasoning Ability.

Facts: Distinctions-Systems-Relationships-Perspectives (DSRP), Cynefin Framework, Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) Loop, Need for Cognitive Closure (NFCC), Complex Adaptive System (CAS), Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) Problem-Solving, Normal Distribution, Measures of Central Tendency, Measures of Variation, Percentiles, Frequency Distribution, Standard Scores, Correlation and Regression, Dependent and Independent Variable, Null and Alternate Hypothesis, Degrees of Freedom, Probability, P-value, Type I and Type II Errors, t-Test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Criterion-Referenced Measurement, Validity, Reliability, Objectivity, Feasibility, Knowledge Test, Test Construction Guidelines, Self-Assessment and Peer Assessment, Norm-Referenced Grading, Natural Breaks Method, Standard Deviation Method, Percentage Method, Norms Method, Criterion-Referenced Grading, Weighting of Factors, Body Type Classification, Height-Weight Tables, Body Fat Percentage, Norm-Referenced Standards and Criterion-Referenced Standards, Testing Physical Fitness, Physical Fitness Tests for Special-Needs Population, and Argument Deconstruction.

Course Flow: How to Complete Your First Assignment

Step #1. From Blackboard, click Start Here. From there you can view the Traditional Syllabus, the Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS), the Class How-To Video, and the Class WordPress Site. You will receive an e-mail invite to the Class WordPress Site. The site can be found at https://ltblogs.fhsu.edu/slu2020/

The Traditional Syllabus can be found on Google Docs. It can also be viewed in the Class WordPress Site.

Step #2. From the Class WordPress Site, click the Syllabus & How-To Video. After you read and watch the video, view the other websites, such as: Swarm Learning Wiki, Miro (Student Account), NIF Deliberation, and Other Programs. However, at this point, you only need to sign-up for your Plectica (FHSU Promo) account. You can also see information for each assignment (as they post) in Modules. Sign-up for your Plectica account using your FHSU student e-mail account. You will then need to remember your password and use your FHSU e-mail for all logins.

Click and watch the Plectica Introduction video.

Step #3. Click Modules (or find and click on Dr. Schwandt's name), Introduction, KT1. Watch the KT1 How-To Video then complete your first assignment.

Concluding Remarks

I learned from the last class that the CAS was too long. So, I will conclude here. Don't panic, watch the how-to video, and interact with your peers and experts on the SL Facebook Group. If you do those three things, then you will be just fine.

I will conclude with a message to you from a former student.

“Message to new students: The first couple weeks are going to feel like a confused, hot mess. My best advice is to jump in headfirst. Forget about a life vest, prior swimming skills, or even to keep your head above water. Jump in and give it a try. You will feel much better afterwards. The beauty of Dr. Schwandt's class is that there are no right or wrong answers, only your reasoning. It's going to feel weird, strange, frustrating (insert your own term). That is okay. That is how it is supposed to feel. You have to move outside your comfort zone to experience true learning. The classes might not teach what you think you are going to learn, but what you do learn is so much more than you could ever imagine. Much more than what is listed in the class curriculum. Because what you learn is not something dictated by a professor to fulfill a curriculum, but rather information that you, as an individual, needed to learn about yourself and society. At the end you will be left with a sense of accomplishment and a deeper understanding of both yourself and society. But you must take the first step.” —Anni Satterfield, FHSU student Fall 2018
This article was written by Jamie Schwandt.
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