I got the opportunity recently to revise a course with some new material. It's a course on communication in the automotive industry. The course is good already but it needed refreshing.
I decided to incorporate a different approach and got away from a delivery method to a self-discovery method. 
Using Kolb’s model of experiential learning, I decided to model the course from what the learners bring to the table. We would then expand on the learner’s current ideas and create further areas to discover. I believe that this should create for better discussions and hopefully greater comprehension of new materials.

Image source: http://imgkid.com/kolb-learning-styles.shtml
 
 
This is used for journals and reflective papers. It creates a framework to invoke meaningful discussion and deeper understanding of material being discussed.
 
 
It takes a collaborated effort with learners to create a cell phone policy that can be effectively applied in the classroom. The policy needs to take into account complicated lives of adult learners and be respectful to each other. Studies have shown that there are negative impacts to an open cell phone policy.

"Research has indicated that student performance is significantly correlated with cell phone use. A study by Duncan, Hoekstra, and Wilcox (2012) demonstrated that students who reported regular cell phone use in class showed an average negative grade difference of 0.36 ± 0.08 on a four-point scale. Students also underestimated the number of times they accessed their phones while in class. While students reported an average access rate of three times per class period, observation data showed the rate was closer to seven times per period. An interesting finding is that other students are distracted when students text in class (Tindell and Bohlander, 2012). So while a student may claim he’s only hurting himself when texting, studies show that others are affected also."
 
 
Quite often we forget to highlight the importance of why learners are in the classroom at onset of the course.

I am thinking of revising my icebreakers to include an element of WHY they are taking the course beyond the normal, "because I want to learn about...blah, blah, blah".

Something like, “not only will this course help me learn about_____ but it will also allow me to______ in the future” will stretch the thinking and confirmation of why they need to learn the material.

Having the leaners reflects on the why right form the beginning could possibly create greater engagement.

 
 
I recently had a chance to debate how to deal with late assignments,

We looked at several models and weighed advantages and disadvantages if all of them. It was self-gratifying to me that the group choose my current method as the best policy for late assignments.

My policy is simple:

Everyone gets one late assignment.

It will be marked out of full marks.

It can be up to 7 days late. Anything past 7 days will not be marked.

You only get only one late assignment privilege, if used early you do not get another one. If left unused it can be used to extend the timeline of your final assignment.




 
 
Understanding the importance timely and accurate feedback. This simple video displays how the feedback can lead to desired results.

I quite often see learners get discouraged by their perceived lack of progress. Simply doing the assignment over and over again to get desired results may not be enough. Using constructive feedback where the learner gets guidance on what they can do to improve will assist in the success of leaners and educators.

This will be a good video at the start of any course start. 


 
 
Today we learned how to create rubrics.
I now know all the things I was doing wrong. It was easy to identify some poorly designed rubrics and how they can impact on learner performance not to mention the issues created for the institutions. I discovered that just having a rubric in place (the instrument) is not enough to provide complete feedback. You need to have an interpretation matrix outlining impacts of obtaining your rubric score. 
For instance, what does getting a 70% mean? Is that a pass or fail? Good or bad? So it's important to have a scoring scale.



Now that I know the art of creating rubrics, I can do it on anything! 
In class our rubric exercise was on cheese filled croissants, yummmm.

 
 
I have recently enrolled in PIDP 3230 Evaluation of Learning. This course looks at designing assessment and evaluation strategies to align themselves with the course outcomes and the delivery of the given content. 
Reliability and Validity - these two words play an important role during the design phases of the assessment. 

We quite often design assessment from the educator’s point of view and quite often forget about the learners, in my opinion it would be important to design the assessment to aid on the learner’s development.

It was interesting to discover that most of the educators only focus 5 hours of total class time towards developing evaluations and assessments when they are earning their teaching credentials. We will be spending 40 hours on creating evaluation strategies, far more than other teaching professionals. Looking at the schedule on the board behind me, it's going to be a busy week.

 
 
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs  is a psychological theory proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. The theory is most commonly portrayed in the shape of a pyramid with the largest, most fundamental levels of human needs at the bottom and with the ultimate need for self-actualization at the top.
This image is one of my favourites. It looks at how" You don't know what you don't know. Then moves into, now you know what you don't know, Then into, you don't why or how you are doing it. Eventually you end in the conscious/competence realm where you can carry out your craft in confidence knowing how and why.
 
 


http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

Now this is what many introverts do, and it's our loss for sure, but it is also our colleagues' loss and our communities' loss. And at the risk of sounding grandiose, it is the world's loss. Because when it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best. A third to a half of the population are introverts -- a third to a half. So that's one out of every two or three people you know. So even if you're an extrovert yourself, I'm talking about your coworkers and your spouses and your children and the person sitting next to you right now -- all of them subject to this bias that is pretty deep and real in our society. We all internalize it from a very early age without even having a language for what we're doing.

Now, to see the bias clearly, you need to understand what introversion is. It's different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments. Not all the time -- these things aren't absolute -- but a lot of the time. So the key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.


- Susan Cain

Objective: Susan Cain creates a beautiful theatre for presenting her arguments on what introverts are and how they function the best. She equates a lot of her findings to her own real life events and the effects those events had on her growing up creating the woman she is today. I didn’t realize that nearly third to half of the population are introverts, making us think why do we press so hard for collaborative work and open concepts.

Reflective: This TED talk is quite informative and made me wonder, how I can use what I have learned to start creating environments that cater to both introverts and extroverts. Up this point of my teaching career, I had no idea that this character trait even existed, much less lesson plans need to be created to be inclusive of introverts. I can see how I am an introvert as well. I like to work alone and do all my research in solitude. I suppose just because I like group work when in classes, that action alone doesn’t make me an introvert. Coming up with deep thoughts by myself is most likely the leading factor that allows me to categorize myself as an introvert. Looking at my students, those poor guys that are introverts, I pushed them fairly hard to fit into group environemtns thinking that learning happens equally in both character groups.

Interpretive: Looking back at history and being aware of introverts, it makes sense to explore the notion that we need to be aware of different personality traits, some our great leaders were introverts. This doesn’t mean that they are loners, it means that they formulated their thoughts and ideas in isolation. Brainstorming in large groups wasn’t for them, once the idea was formulated then coming together in a group meant possibly seeing their ideas to fruition or getting further input in improving their creations.

We also need to be careful with introverts in an all-inclusive society. Not everyone wants to play together, let’s be aware of each other’s needs and respect their personality style. I suppose the best thing would be to identify personality type first, then create environments that fosters that student’s success.

Decisional: Wow, this was an eye opener for me. I need to harness the energy from introverts and allow them privacy needed to be creative. Once their thoughts are formulated then a further building onto the initial idea can take place if needed. I am also feeling better about myself knowing why I created in isolation but needed additional help in completing my projects. I never liked the creation stage in groups.

It’s interesting that I was forcing some of my students to learn in group environments as the current trends in the education system tend to favor collaborative learning, I’ve ruled out up 50% of my learners by doing so. Some thoughts will need to be placed in allowing for introvert personalities as I create some new lesson plans in the future. This means I would rethink the initial brain storming, mind mapping process and have an exercise for introverts. I will start by asking leading questions during initial icebreaker exercises to draw out personality types.


David Silverman (1993). “Beginning Research”. Interpreting Qualitative Data. Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction. Sage Publications
 

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