Wednesday, 28 September 2016

PIDP 3260 - Reflection on my PIDP Courses

I've taken all of the PIDP courses now, just three of them within the last month (including this course, 3260!).

With each course has come a new learning experience, in a different learning environment. There have been challenges, both mental and physical, and I'm proud to say I'm ready to face the Capstone project.

Here is a brief summary of what I've learned, what's changed in my thinking, and how I will change my practice going forward for each course:

PIDP 3100: Foundations of Adult Education

  • I was introduced to the PID program in this course. I learned how prevalent online and distance learning is become
  • I learned what I can do to help people become a lifelong learner, through teaching computer literacy
  • I can help others adapt to the ongoing and ever-evolving technology trends in society, and to help them understand the 'meat and potatoes' so that they can continue to function without feeling lost or left behind
  • This course made me feel that I should introduce supplementary online portions to my course, to help facilitate students' learning

PIDP 3210: Curriculum Development

  • I learned through taking this class that designing a Curriculum is like designing other things I've learned in school. It's complex, has many more variables than I ever thought, and must be broken down to its roots.
  • After breaking down the curriculum and everything I want a learner to understand, I had to re-construct it with purpose and intent
  • This has affected how I think about students in their learning, and how much they need to learn per course, while not cutting out too much or trying to teach too much. There is time needed for learning, and a reason to the structure of each course syllabus.
  • I will make an attractive and easy-to-understand course outline that communicates directly what we'd learn in the course. Also, there will be emphasis on why my course will help students be directly better at what they may not already know.

PIDP 3220: Delivery of Instruction

  • This was one of the courses I just finished taking on Vancouver Island at Camosun College. It was an incredible experience as 7 of us got together in the smallest 'in-class' classroom I've had.
  • The learning was direct, and we taught each other mini-lessons on things that many of us had never tried or experienced before.
  • I got to teach the basics of Wi-Fi, signal interference, and troubleshooting in about 10 minutes. It was really successful, and it made me realize that "Yes, I can do this" in the real world.
  • It's helped me realize that in the future, I will use my experience to set up questions that most people will ask, and have the answer ready. This will help me look a bit more knowledgeable, but also solidifies that they are confident in what they're learning.

PIDP 3230: Evaluation of Learning

  • Many people didn't like this course as much, but I loved it. It taught me how I want to be able to evaluate and assess my students' learning.
  • I learned different ways to assess and evaluate their learning, based on a number of variables. It can be done during the course, during a lesson, during exams, or after the course is over. The most important thing is to maintain communication with students so they're never left in the dark.
  • In the future, I will design my computer literacy classes to assess their skill in-person. From there, I will provide constructive feedback and positive encouragement to help hone and develop their skills, leading up to the next assessments.

PIDP 3240: Media-Enhanced Learning

  • This is another course that I'm just finishing up. While I have a degree in Interactive Technology, this course taught me practical application of technology to the world of adult learning. 
  • I learned that info-graphics don't all have to be created in Illustrator or InDesign anymore, and that web-based programs are widely accessible to create some good-quality visuals.
  • Social Media and media communications tools have power to communicate mass amounts of information, but it's important to be careful when involving anything like this into the hands of a classroom. There are many unforeseen variables that can tarnish an instructor's reputation, or the overall learning dimensions of a classroom
  • As I'm teaching computer literacy, I will be very aware going forward about the technology used in the classroom, and how far I'd be teaching into each branch of technology (including social media).

PIDP 3250: Instructional Strategies

  • In this course, we learned about a variety of instructional strategies to facilitate learning. We learned which strategies were best applied to our own individual brand of teaching. How? We did this through breaking down each strategy to its roots and realizing what made it so effective or ineffective towards our field.
  • I learned that there are many approaches I can take to teaching my computer literacy course. However, it's up to me to decide on what will happen in my classroom to best facilitate learning. There will always be different people in the classroom that learn better through different strategies.
  • I will make sure there are back-up plans to teaching the course for different types of learners; my goal here is to make sure no learner feels left behind or anxious in their learning. I want to help everyone achieve the set of skills I aim to teach.

PIDP 3260: Professional Practice

  • One of the most important things I've learned in this class is that there will inevitably be a time where I'm faced with a moral dilemma of sorts, and I will need time to think it through. There are many variables to each situation, and they must be assessed and thought about.
  • Going forward, there won't be a simple answer to a "can I just have the extra few marks" or "may I have a reference" going into a field. I will need to understand how my input and decisions affect stakeholders everywhere, and that I need to think of myself in these situations as well.
  • I will have to set out some more solid ground rules in my classrooms, and make time for individuals with requests and questions. I'll let them know that I will need time to think things over, as I like to have the best game-plan for each scenario. This way they will be happier knowing I can get them the best information possible and put some effort into each situation.

Well, I hope that sums it up quite well! Up next, a link to my Feedback Strategies Digital Project!

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