Category Archives: PIDP

Journal Entry 4: ReflectionOne thing that made you think more than any other your were exposed in this course

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Objective:

 

As mentioned in the VCC website under courses/programs (Unknown, 2013), the purpose of the PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies course is to present its partakers with a variety of instructional strategies and techniques that they can adapt to their teaching styles/practices and learning environments. Participants of this course will be presented with the following: motivational strategies to engage learners, managing the classroom environment, how to foster creativity and critical thinking.  The course primarily focuses the on the following instructional strategies: journal writing, reflective practices, group discussions, interactive lectures and collaborative learning assignments (Unknown, 2013).

 

Reflective:

When I first viewed the assigned topic for this journal entry, “ Journal on one thing that made you think more than any other your were exposed in this course”, to be honest nothing came to my mind abruptly.  I sat on my bed with my laptop for a good 20 minutes before I started to jot down what came to my mind. As I reflected on what I learned from this course I kept on thinking about how anxious I became when I viewed the volume of posts in the online discussions (even though I went online everyday) and how I was consistently struggling to just sift through and read all the activity in the class discussion forums.  At one point I was so exhausted from examining the readings presented/recommended in the discussions that I failed to post the information I was posting in the group forums onto my blog (letting things pile up). I have taken many classes online but I felt that in this particular class I was constantly running behind, didn’t have anything “new” to add to the discussions as there was so much discussed so quickly by a few very active classmates. So after some thought on one thing that made me think more than anything else I was exposed to in this course was the overwhelming feeling and anxiety I got from the group discussions/volume of posts.

 

Interpretive:

 

I have learned quite a bit from this course and I whole-heartedly agree with the course description, as it’s an accurate reflection of what the course is about.  I am well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of online learning; however, I must say that it is very different to actually experience them first hand. I have been very fortunate to experience the advantages of online learning.  As mentioned by Kumar Dhirendra (2010) in the article, “Pros and Cons of Online Education” the advantages I have had the opportunity to experience include its convenience in relation to study location, course duration, time, access to recourses and high quality dialog. Dhirendra (2010) also examines the additional benefits of online learning such as, synergy where there is a, “…High level of dynamic interaction between the instructor and students as well as among the students themselves. Ideas and resources are shared, and continuous synergy will be generated through the learning process as each individual contributes to the course discussions and comments on classmates’ work. [and]…creative teaching: In the adult education class with the interactive learning environment may contribute to self-direction and critical thinking. Especially the nature of the semi-autonomous and self-directed world of the virtual classroom makes innovative and creative approaches to instruction even more important.” (Dhirendra, 2010).  I could not agree more with Dhirendra’s thoughts as this course as well as my previous online courses enabled me to experience the benefits of synergy and creative teaching/learning. I also found myself doing my best to ensure that before commenting/participating in dialog that what I had to offer was of high quality. Some of the challenges I came across with in regards to online discussions I felt was that although conversations were very rich in reflections of my peers that there was monopolization and lack of focus in the conversations (there were too many general comments). For instance, there were high volumes of “thank-you” and I agree with your thoughts posts. Often just seeing the amount of daily postings caused me anxiety and I found it very time consuming sifting through the posts. As mentioned in the paper, “Ground Rules in Online Discussions: Help or Hindrance?” by Kari Morgan (2006) that some of the challenges that I have come across are common in online discussions and that, “Instructors that have used discussions have found specific rules and guidelines to be a necessary component of the classroom’s structure. Ground rules prevent problems from occurring that can interfere with learning such as lack of participation, monopolization, lack of focus in the conversations, or student anxiety.” (Morgan, 2006).  So although I learned so much from the course and what my peers had to offer I really felt overwhelmed and anxious.

 

Decisional:

Having experienced first hand some of the unique challenges of online learning I now really understand that they are real and not just hypothetical. I cannot express how valuable even experiencing the challenges of online learning are-as I feel that I can be more mindful of the potential pitfalls of online education and what some challenges learners can come across.  So what can I as a learning facilitator do to prevent or reduce the chances of this from occurring in my learning environment? As mentioned by Morgan (2006) I can establish guidelines that will help, “…support a positive learning environment and maximize the beneficial aspects of discussions (Brookfield & Preskill, 2005; Bryant, 2005; Suler, 2004). Ground rules can serve as a means of clarifying instructor expectations regarding the content and/or quality of online discussion postings, which enhances the overall experience for all participants.” (Morgan, 2006). Chad Shorter (2011) presents some great guidelines that I will utilize and present to my students and share in my online learning environment in his article, “Guidelines for Effective Online Discussions”.  I believe that is will be a best practice that will use so that I can ultimately foster a positive learning environment and positive online learning experiences.  I believe all experiences are valuable and have something we can take away from them-even not so positive ones.  I have extracted as much as I could from my experiences in this course and am able to say that all of my accumulated knowledge and experiences are very valuable.

 

References:

Dhirendra, K. (2010). Pros and Cons of Online Education. [Website]. Retrieved from  http://www.ies.ncsu.edu/successes/research-and-white-papers/pros-and-cons-of-online-education

Morgan, K. (2006). Ground Rules in Online Discussions: Help or Hindrance?. [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.uwyo.edu/learn/_files/docs/brownbag_docs/onlinediscussions.pdf

Shorter, C. (2011). Guidelines for Effective Online Discussions. [Website]. Retrieved from http://academictech.doit.wisc.edu/blogs/learnuw/guidelines-effective-online-discussions

Unknown. (2013). Instructional Strategies (PIDP 3250). Website. Retrieved from http://www.vcc.ca/programs-courses/college-course.cfm?prog_id=97&crs_id=3250&div_id=8

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The Fountain of Tooth

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Hi Everyone,

This blog is the second one I have created. My first one is called, “The Fountain of Tooth”. It has some great resources and information relating to the social in education and dental health education. Please take a look and follow if it interests you! The following is a blurp of the blog : )

” Welcome to the Fountain of Tooth!!

What is Fountain of Tooth? This is a blog that will focus primarily on dental consciousness (interesting facts, myths, dental technology, research/developments in the dental world) in the hopes of improving to your oral health and dental IQ” Link: http://thetoothfountain.wordpress.com

Let me know what you think!

Cheers,

V

 

Instructional Videos Created by Classmates

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Hi Everyone,

Here are links to some great instructional videos made by my classmate. Check them out!

Student: Jean- Blaise Kiza

http://s3.amazonaws.com/farmprod.content.xtranormal.com/2013-06-05/publish/5921a640-ce3c-11e2-a5eb-12313d1c822c.mp4

Student: Md Sunjari
Role-Plays: Playing Big
http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cI1VVoVU9m

 

Cheers,

V

Journal Entry 3: Reflection on Susan Cain’s “ The Power of Introverts” Video

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Objective:

Susan Cain in the video, “The Power of Introverts” (2013) suggests that the Western culture is increasingly suppressing introverts and celebrating extraverts. She further discusses how current cultural and societal norms idealize and value the extravert over the quieter, more contemplative introverts. Cain emphasizes that she is not putting down extraverts; but stressing that introverts have so much to offer society. She discusses how introverts make better leaders as they are great listeners and are more open to the input of others. Cain describes introverts as individuals that are highly valuable in financial investing professions as their cautious personalities prevent them from taking unnecessary risks.  She further delves in the need to reduce “group” work or activities to allow introverts and everyone the space to develop and foster creative and independent intellectual thought.  Cain provides several examples of influential people that made history after providing themselves the space they needed to work/think independently or in solitude.  She concludes the video by reiterating the following three points: 1) reducing group work in the workplace and school so individuals have the opportunity to foster autonomy and deep thought, 2) to allow ourselves to spend alone time with our own minds in solitude and 3) stressing introverts to be themselves, show the world who they are and what they have to offer.

Reflective:

While watching the video, I was repeatedly saying, “Oh my gosh-this my brother, my best friend and boyfriend!!” I asked myself,  “Why are the most significant people in my life introverts?”. When Cain started to talk about the characteristics of introverts and why our society needs them -all I thought about was how and why I was drawn to those particular characteristics. I just kept on visualizing the faces of my loved ones. They indeed possess great listening skills and are cautious individuals. I recalled the many occasions where I needed someone to really listen and give me a more rationalized and cautious approach to situations that really upset me.  As Cain continued, I felt a sense of sadness…for these individuals are highly valuable in our lives and society and how we need to give them the opportunity to be themselves and not to try to suppress their strengths.

Interpretive:

Cain really demonstrated how our society has idealized the extrovert and marginalized introverts; in addition, to pressuring them to develop/adopt extroverted personas. I believe Cain’s presentation was very captivating and gently critiqued how our society pushes the “Extrovert Ideal”, suppressing valuable temperaments, intellect and creativity. She touches on how educational facilities are catering to/pushing extraverted learning styles on introverted personalities. Instead of fostering learning in all types of learners educators are hindering the growth and learning of introverted personalities. Cain made it very clear to extraverts and all persons that we need to become aware of this unfair and biased “Extravert Ideal” and give introverts the opportunity to flourish and contribute to society how they know best.

Decisional:

As a learning facilitator I will ensure that I do my best in ensuring there is a balance of independent as well as, collaborative learning and activities in my learning environment. I believe by doing this I will be respecting both, introverted and extraverted personality types.  As, Cindy Long discusses in her article, “Author of ‘Quiet’ Talks About How to Engage Introverts in the Classroom” as educators, “Instead of trying to change introverts, we should cultivate their natural gifts. Introverts have great ideas inside their heads and it benefits everyone else when they express them.”(2013) Long discusses how educators can help introverts express their ideas and play to the their strengths. She suggests instructional strategies such as, “Think, Pair, Share” where instructors asks the class questions and asks the students to pair up with another student to share their ideas (2013). The instructor then asks the students which of them would like to share their answers. This technique helps introverts “break the ice” as they share their thoughts with another student and may feel more comfortable sharing their answer with the rest of the class. Even if the introvert does not share their answer with the rest of the class he/she has still participated in the class discussion (Long, 2013). I will ensure that I have the students in my classroom answer/respond to the questions I present to them in this fashion. Additional strategies are also mentioned in and online article called, “Tips for Teaching introverted Students” by an unknown author (2013). The website from which this article is posted is titled the Association of American Educators.  It suggests the following: making sure the lesson being presented is deep and meaningful, giving these learners enough time to formulate their thoughts, promoting independent study/assignments and finally giving introverts alternative means of participation (online discussions forums). (Unknown, 2013) I will do my best to implement the above suggestions in my classroom and my pass the suggestions and ideas along to my colleges and superiors. I do not want introverts to feel shameful of who they are, deem themselves as outcasts and suppress their strengths.

 

References:

Long, C. (2013). Author of ‘Quite’ Talks About How to Engage Introverts in the Classroom. [website]. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2013/03/21/author-of-quiet-talks-about-engaging-introverts-in-the-classroom/

Unknown (2013) Tips for Teaching introverted Students. [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/blog/974-tips-for-teaching-introverted-students

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts. [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

Background Knowledge Probe

Video

Hi Everyone,

This instructional strategy video focuses on the background knowledge probe. It examines how it can be used (the ideal context), its limitations, advantages and some best practices. I made it!! Check it out!

Link:

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/14567737/background-knowledge-probe

Cheers,

V

Link

VCC School of Instructor Education Facebook Page-Great Resource

The School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College trains professional and potential adult educators.

Description
“The School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College provides programs, courses and workshops to those interested in becoming professional adult educators and trainers. Graduates of its programs instruct in colleges, government, industry and in both non-profit and private sector organizations. Programs include the:Provincial Instructor Diploma Program
Diploma in Adult Education
Certificate in Online/eLearning Instruction

Courses are scheduled year round at many locations in British Columbia, Alberta and online as well. The School of Instructor Education also offers training to companies and organizations at their place of work upon request. In addition, the School of Instructor Education provides instructor training programs to international clientele both in Canada and abroad as part of international development projects.”