Info-graphic – Feedback Strategy for Teachers

Here is a link that shows my digital project for PIDP 3260. I created an info-graphic on Texting and Word Clouds. This is the first time that I created an info-graphic. I had fun doing this exercise.

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/19200120-3260-infographic

Ken

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Reflection on the PIDP courses that I have taken

thinking

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The most important thing that I have learned from taking the PIDP courses is that student feedback is important to deal with student diversity in the classroom. The instructor must take account of the different learning styles. Flexibility is a solution in addressing the diversity in the classroom. I have learned especially reading through Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher that many new techniques in engaging students do exist.

My thinking has changed because many practical solutions are available for instructors. Student feedback is the key ingredient in adapting lessons plans that fit the needs of many different learning styles. An example is to use clickers to get immediate feedback.

The actions that I have learned are to get student feedback before, during, and at the end of the course that I am teaching. In my classroom, I will send out an email introducing myself before the class begins. I will give a short survey to students asking about individual preferences and expectations. My initial survey is to find more about the students themselves so the students are comfortable with me. I can set the expectations of the classroom.

I will do a formative survey at the midpoint of the course. I will ask questions about what they have learned and what they are confused about. I will ask for additional comments about my lectures. I can address any misunderstandings or concerns by students by repeating a section of a lesson in a different manner or use a different approach such as team teaching.

At the end of the course, I will conduct a summative survey to allow students to address any final concerns. I can make further changes to assess the outcome of meeting the learning outcomes. I will use this survey to understand what worked and what did not work in the classroom. I can make further changes to the course when I teach this course again.

 

The Importance of Lifelong Learning as a Professional

The Importance of Lifelong Learning as a Professional

The importance of lifelong learning to a professional is necessary to contribute to the professional’s growth and development. Individuals continue to grow by taking formal or informal lessons. In each of our lives, we do want to enhance our daily lives, personal activities, and professional life.

Here are some benefits of being a lifelong learner in a professional.

1)    One benefit is that lifelong learning opens our minds. Nordstrom (n.d.) states that learning can bring a whole new level of enlightenment”. Professionals continue to grow their minds.

2)    The second benefit is our curiosity or our nature. In the quote by Henry Ford, learning keeps us young. Each one of us has a mind that is hungry and curious.

3)    The third benefit is that professionals are expected to be on top of latest issues or trends. Professional can think critically and reflect on the possible future changes that may impact a profession.

4)    The fourth benefit is that professionals are expected to be experts in their chosen field. If the professional is not up to date on new concepts and ideas, this professional can fall behind and be stuck in the old ways of doing things.

References

Nordstrom, N. (n.d.). Top Benefits of Lifelong Learning. Retrieved from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Top_10_Benefits_of_Lifelong_Learning.html.

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Image Source: Retrieved from http://www.imd.org/alumni/lifelonglearning/.

 

 

Chapter 12 – Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher

I am commenting on Chapter 12 in Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher (2015). I find team teaching fascinating because I have not been through a class that had two instructors teaching. I was skeptical at first. After researching online, I can see the benefits for students learning in a team teaching environment.

Brookfield (2015) outlines the following benefits of team teaching for students

1)    A Teaching Team reaches a Wider Variety of Learners

2)    Team Teaching Models Respectful Disagreement

3)    Team Teaching Creates a Learning Environment of Risk and Uncertainty

4)    Team Teaching confronts Students with a Broad Variety of Perspectives

5)    Team Teaching Demonstrates Synthesis, Connection, and Integration

I agree with these benefits of team teaching by Brookfield. I also find that team teaching addresses the diversity of students in the classroom. Different teaching styles, personalities and delivery can make the delivery of the lesson more tailored to the specific students in the classroom. The flow of the lesson can be enhanced as students can be more engaged in the different topics and expertise (Ideas at Work, Oct 2013).

Team teaching also benefits the instructors. According to Brookfield (2015), here are the following benefits to instructors.

1)    It provides Emotional Support

2)    It develops Trustful Relationships

3)    It Creates a Built-In Critically Reflective Mirror

I agree with these benefits by Brookfield (2015). The main disadvantages that I see for instructors are the following:

1)    More planning and time to work on lesson plans and flow of the delivery working with another instructor.

2)    The instructor has to get along with the other instructor. If the instructor does not, students can see the tension or the rift can cause more misunderstandings in the course.

I recommend go the following link as it describes team teaching in detail: Team Teaching. This link has a great video that shows how Team Teaching works in the classroom (Ideas at Work, Oct 2013).

Overall, I can see team teaching is a benefit for students and instructors because it demonstrates collaboration.  This can reflect the real world. Team teaching can demonstrate to students about working and living in the real world in a collaborative, respectful manner.

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Image Source: Retrieved from https://bornstoryteller.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/team_teaching.png

Reference

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in The Classroom. John Wiley & Sons. p155-167 .

Ideas that Work. (Oct 2013). Team teaching. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9WxRT4Je5A.

Interesting CBC news article about a school’s accreditation

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/laurentian-university-social-work-programs-accreditation-1.3803591

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From the link above, this CBC news article by Olivia Stefanovich (2016) is interesting as it discusses about the Social Work School at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario) losing accreditation because of not having enough instructors. The Social Work program appears popular as the student enrolment has doubled twice in the past six years. The main issue is that the Social Work School does not have enough faculty members to teach the required courses for students to graduate. Laurentian University has known about this problem a year ago and not addressed the staffing issues immediately.

The important element of a program evaluation is to have the required number of qualified instructors to teach the program. This article points out that Laurentian University has been aware of this problem of understaffing for a long time. Students are nervous about completing their courses and are worried if they can graduate.

The Social Work school is accredited externally. The Canadian Association for Social Work Education gives the accreditation to qualified schools. A requirement in keeping the accreditation is having the required number of qualified staff members to teach the social work programs. Laurentian University is not meeting this requirement. As a result, Laurentian University can lose their accreditation.

References:

Stefanovich, Olivia. (Oct, 2016). Laurentian University to Hire More Social Work Staff to Save Accreditation. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/laurentian-university-social-work-programs-accreditation-1.3803591.

Chapter 6 – Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher

lecture

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In Chapter 6 of Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher (2015), Brookfield states the following five reasons to lecture:

1)    To establish the broad outline of a body of material

2)    To explain with frequent examples concepts that learners struggle to understand

3)    To introduce alternative perspectives and interpretations

4)    To model intellectual attitudes and behaviours you wish to encourage in students

5)    To encourage learners’ interest in a topic

These reasons are all valid points to lecture. I think point five is the hardest as the instructor has the other four reasons to meet in a specific timeline. Trying to encourage learners’ interest is difficult because of the student diversity in the classroom. The topic can be challenging to make interesting such as accounting theory or reconciliation of a bank statement. Some topics can be challenging to be encouraging student interests.

Brookfield describes three characteristics of lectures being helpful. The first characteristic is the use of a variety of teaching and communication process. An example that Brookfield talks about is lecturing from “Siberia”. Brookfield describes areas in the classroom that are dead zones. I can see myself moving to the corner of the classroom to lecture for a short period of time. Students can be bored when I lecture in front of the classroom. Moving to a different part of the classroom changes the delivery of the lecture.

The second characteristic of a helpful lecture is to be clearly organized because students can follow the flow of the lecture. An example that I can is to give clear verbal signals. Students can follow the steps easily. I can also write the list of topics on the white board and place a check mark by the topics covered. As a result, the students can follow the lecture easily.

The third characteristic is to model the learning behaviours that are expected in the classroom. An example that Brookfield discusses is to “deliberately introduce alternative perspectives.” This is a great idea as students can see the value of different viewpoints. Learners can model the expected learning behavior. An example is to discuss how to track money on the financial statements. I can bring the correct way of recording cash in the financial statement to the incorrect way of recording cash in the financial statement.

References

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in The Classroom. John Wiley & Sons. p 69-82.