Lesson Planning – Bloom’s Taxonomy

Using Bloom’s taxonomy will assist me in creating different levels of tasks appropriate to the learner. Some tasks will require complete comprehension while others will require basic knowledge. Using the correct level keywords for lesson planning will result in greater comprehension and hopefully lead to greater problem solving skills.

Related to tasks; For higher level of thinking, I can use words like discuss, compile and solve while for lower level of comprehension, words like show, describe and relate.

Being aware of Bloom’s taxonomy and effective use of its category of words while creating course outlines should lead to better and achievable outcomes.

Bloomstaxonomy. (n.d.) Blooms taxonomy cheat sheet. In bloomstaxanomy.org Retrieved from http://www.bloomstaxonomy.org/Blooms%20Taxonomy%20questions.pdf


Lesson Planning – Creating a Positive Learning Environment

I like to have a positive learning environment for all my students and demonstrate this by always having a positive outlook. Positive student behaviors need to be promoted, additionally those positive students also need to be seen as role models.

The classroom needs to have a code of conduct outlining fair treatment of all, expected behaviors and empathy towards others.

One of the best ways to keep the classroom positive is to keep the learning relevant. This will require me to learn student talents, interest and learning styles to increase engagement. As the student’s sense ownership in the learning process, learning retention will increase.

Alfred, C. (2008, September) Educational Leadership. In ascd.org. Retrieved from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept08/vol66/num01/Seven-Strategies-for-Building-Positive-Classrooms.aspx


Lesson Planning – Characteristics of Adult Learners

It is important to understand how adults learn. Key learning traits include; being able to experiment in a safe environment, self-directing, active involvement as opposed to lectures, regular feedback and intellectual challenge.

I would need to build in more feedback sessions along with greater amount of mini labs over lecturing. The students would be allowed to experiment within the paradigm of the course and feel safe doing so. We would then celebrate discoveries and support the findings in a positive manner. Some camaraderie would need to exist to keep all the students interested while staying on a pace to complete all projects on time.

Billington, D. (1996) Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Adult Learning Programs. In education.jhu.org. Retrieved from:

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/lifelonglearning/workplace/articles/characteristics/

Billington, Dorothy D. (1988) Ego Development and Adult Education. Doctoral Dissertation, The Fielding Institute. Dissertation Abstracts International, 49 (7). (University Microfilms No. 88-16, 275).

Knowles, Malcolm. (1986) The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species. Houston: Gulf Publishing.


Lesson planning – Motivation Techniques

I have been in classes where the instructor was monotone; it was painful and resulted in very little learning.

In order to keep the students engaged I would need to convey my passion on the subject. When students see the enthusiasm and energy in the educator, their level of engagement goes up. It is also important to tie the subject to the students as they need to see the relevance of the learning. Keeping the students interested with personal stories and humor related to your past experiences keep the mood light and cooperative.

CRLT. (n.d.) Strategies for Increasing Student Motivation. In Teaching strategies: Motivating students. Retrieved from:

http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/tsms

Adapted from Teaching at Its Best, Nilson, 2010


Lesson Planning - Instructional Strategies

It is important to have a lesson plan. Using proven methods such as the BOPPPS model can greatly improve the success of the instructor and student learning.

Bridge in can assist in gaining attention, Pre-test gauges the audience and posttest shows if the learning matched the outcome. Following a proven method where the objectives are identified at the beginning then followed by participatory learning where there is a high level of learner engagement leads to a highly effective learning environment. I have used the BOPPPS method for course setup and delivery with great success.

HLWIKI. (2014, October 24) BOPPPS model. Retrieved from:

http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/BOPPPS_Model

 
 

Luckily for me, my chosen partner and I agreed on what teaching technique we were going to investigate right at the beginning. We chose constructivism learning theory which we later revised to experiential learning theory at our second skype session. In researching this topic, Ken my partner came up with some excellent web links. During my research I discovered that I already employ some of these experiential learning theories in my lesson planning. Ken has used some of these theories previously as well.

Our first chat session went well. I had used skype before but wasn’t too sure on how to utilize it for collaborative work. We did have a small glitch with poor internet connection as the call kept dropping off but after some reconnecting we got through it just fine. After choosing a topic we did not connect over skype but continued to communicate over email exchanging ideas and websites.

After about 4 weeks we held another skype session where we picked another topic for our blog. The second session did not have any connections issues and went off without any difficulties. We both agreed that seeing the other person does hold some value in the learning partner and it does have some merits for collaborative work.

I realized that using web conferencing does add some value to online courses. I will use this method when communicating with future students that require some assistance after program completion. Some of our students are from overseas, seeing their gestures during a conversation will enhance the communication process. Unfortunately with the amount of hands on exercises involved in our programs this method of communication will have limited use but it is another method for academic delivery.

 
 
Great deal of work in experiential learning has been done by David Kolb, who outlines experiential learning takes place in a cyclical manner, especially in the area of higher education. 
Youtube, Reynolds, C (2103, December 18) The 3 minute Kolb


Defining experiential learning?


Experiential learning is learning through the act of performing an exercise coupled with relevant theory on the subject matter.

 “Lectures are a way of transferring the instructor’s lecture notes to students’ notebooks without passing through the brains of either”. – Eric Mazur

The first theories of experiential learning arose in the mid-nineteenth century as attempts to move away from traditional formal education, where teachers simply presented students with abstract concepts, and toward an immersive method of instruction. Students would “learn by doing,” applying knowledge to experience in order to develop skills or new ways of thinking (Lewis & Williams, 1994, p. 6).

The notion is that learners retain far greater amount of the material through the actions of actively participating in exercises when paired with discussions. Studies have shown that student’s interest in lectures tends to diminish after ten minutes into lectures and notes are captured in only a small portion of the verbal content. Experiential learning is designed to actively engage the student by building on their past experiences and allowing them to experiment in a safe, student led environment. Experiential learning also uses a great deal of self-reflection to build on new theories learned and relating them to real world scenarios.


New Insights in Adult Education

Looking at some roles Adult Educators play in experiential learning. The first major role is that Educators let the students lead the learning process, the thought is that students through self-discovery guide the learning process. The educator delegates the authority to the students and serves as a guide and resource to the students.

Wurdinger points out that, once a potential activity has been identified, it has to be framed properly to be fully experiential.

First, begin by thinking of problems to be solved rather than information to be remembered (Wurdinger, 2005, p. 51). “A problem or question must be intertwined with activities, projects and field-based experiences. This will help ensure that a combination of thinking and doing occurs in the learning process” (Wurdinger, 2005, p. 13).

Roles of an Adult educator using Experiential learning

I have learned that by creating activities starting with Dewey’s pattern of inquiry that thinking not only happens after an experience but also happens throughout the entire experience. Building on to the inquiry, the student develops a plan to address the problem, tests their plans against reality and then applies what they have learned to create a solution. The experiential component of the model is the application of knowledge (Wurdinger, 2005, p. 8).

Findings that educators should utilize in the classroom are:

1.     Allowing students to makes mistakes. These mistakes leads to a situation where the students retain more information because it is a more challenging learning process (
Wurdinger2005, p. 9).

2.     Importance of personal relevance. Creating an internal interest as opposed to a forced interest makes the student both emotionally and intellectually invested in the learning process (
Wurdinger2005, p. 18).

3.     The importance of why the students are doing something. If the students cannot see the reason behind their project or why they are involved, they may not learn anything at all.

4.     The importance of matching students with appropriate activities. “Not enough challenge may result in boredom, and too much challenge may result in frustration”—in both cases, engagement will drop and learning will cease (
Wurdinger2005, p. 19).

5.     The importance of students reflecting on their experience. Educators need to create an environment for student reflection along with exercise driven questions. This will help students maintain interest, learn successfully and complete their tasks.

6.     The importance of instructor delegating authority to the students. Educators need to serve as a guide and a resource to the students rather than as a leader. Student empowerment needs to be promoted.

Assessments will be reflections based and not necessarily typical quizzes. Students may do oral or journal presentations, essays and self-evaluations.

 

Self-reflection on experiential learning theory

Some guidelines that I will need to setup in order to create a successful learning environment:

Clear vision and outcomes

Set ground rules

Provide process tools

Create a “thinking as group” environment

Allow student decision making and problem solving

Elect some leaders and decision makers

Provide feedback and debriefing periodically

Some teaching techniques that I will need to enhance on:

Wait time, allow time for students to reflect during lectures

Concept maps, ask learners how they see the topic at hand

Require learners to explain and apply

Questioning to encourage reflection, especially open ended questions


References

Lewis, L.H. & Williams, C.J. (1994). In Jackson, L. & Caffarella, R.S. (Eds.). Experiential

Learning: A New Approach (pp. 5-16). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experiences as a source of learning and development,     Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Wurdinger, S.D. (2005). Using Experiential Learning in the Classroom. (pp. 6-51) Lanham: Scarecrow Education.

University of Waterloo. (n.d.) Experiential Learning. Retreived from

https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/resources/integrative-learning/experiential-learning

Mughal, F., Zafar, A. (2011, December 13)

 Experiential Learning from a Constructivist Perspective: Reconceptualizing the Kolbian Cycle International Journal of Learning & Development ISSN 2164-4063 2011, Vol. 1, No. 2 Doi:10.5296/ijld.v1i2.1179

http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v1i2.1179   http://eprints-test.lancs.ac.uk/62024/1/952.pdf

Schwartz, M. (2012, December 19) The Learning Center: Experiential Learning report. Retrieved from

http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/lt/resources/handouts/ExperientialLearningReport.pdf


Reynolds, C. (2013, December 18) The 3 minute Kolb. Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObQ2DheGOKA

 
 

Some of our current lessons at BCIT are designed with experiential learning in mind. In fact our entire automotive program is comprised of experiential learning with the exception of the academic portion in automotive service technician diploma programs.

Now let’s look at how we will be structuring future academic programs in automotives to include the experiential learning. Math and Physics contains vast amounts of lectures and very little engagement element. Our thoughts are that if we utilized a “flipped classroom” element where the students do theoretical reading at home, then we would build on the reading elements in class utilizing fun exercises. An example of this would be, students reading about “friction” and then creating models in the classroom showing different properties of friction and its effects on other physical properties. For our business and customer relations portion of the academics, the students would read up on theories on a given subject matter and we would build on the theories during class. An example of this would be, self-study on customer interaction followed by in class interacting with each other, reflecting on what works well and personal comfort, discomfort zones. In class exercises would concentrate on overcoming barriers to deeper understanding through collaborative work, using the instructor only as guidance.

Recently, as an instructor I took a heavily lecture filled course and created an element of experiential learning where the students had to research electronics and it’s functions in late model vehicles. We discovered that most students carried out the exercise on their own vehicles and then presented on the subject in class. Classroom element of the conversation was very informal and engaging. We did not have any students falling asleep or texting this particular day as there was an element of personal pride at risk as they all tried to outdo each other. I wasn’t looking forward to delivering that course in its previous form, once we added the element of experiential learning it became fun for all. I can definitely say that deep cognitive learning took place that day and students will remember the material for years to come along with gaining important career knowledge.

Experiential learnings’ usage will continue to rise in the automotive industry; as emerging technologies demand higher level technicians.  Automotive related repair concerns are more intermittent in nature, sparse and requires a great deal of critical thinking. Teaching students to fix something isn’t going to work, guidance to constructive thinking on the problem will, along with creating deeper understanding.

 

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    Naveen Jit
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