RCA (Reflective Captioned Artifacts) Technique


As an online teacher you want your students to demonstrate what Bloom calls higher order thinking as they review the online class they are in.  Here is one way to do it.  In this example, all the student needs is MS Word and Blackboard.  Jane Zahner uses a similar technique in her courses in curriculum and instructional technology at Valdosta State University. She uses Adobe Acrobat because her students have it. Most of your students won’t though they can read Adobe Acrobat documents.  This is a simplified version of the technique.


Step one:  

The student opens a blank MS Word document.  This is where the student will paste items from the various parts of the course he or she thinks are meaningful or show a breakthrough in how to look at the content or process of the course.


Step two:

While MS Word is open, the student should open the Blackboard course and go to Discussion area.  Click “Show options.”


An easy way to go back and forth quickly between Word and Blackboard is to use the Alt+Tab keys.

Using the check box, the student selects the significant threads then clicks the collect button.
All the selected threads are gathered one after the other when the collect button is clicked.

Copy (ctrl c) the collected items and paste (ctrl v) them into the blank MS Word document.



Step three:

The student should go through the discussion threads, then the course information, instructional design and any other parts of the course in which the student judges meaningful learning took place. It would be possible for the student to go outside the Blackboard course to take clips from the readings as well if he or she were very thorough.


The student copies and pastes all these materials into the Word document. The Word document may be many pages or just a few.  The student will decide.


The Word document is ready for the student’s comments. In Word the student selects under View to turn on the markup language feature.


Step four:

The student will highlight a meaningful section in the Word document and select the Insert menu and then Comment.






When the student makes a comment on the highlighted area pasted up from Blackboard it would look like this:


Step five:

When the student has finished making comments and observations he or she simply sends the Word file to the instructor.