Wednesday, 10 May 2017

My thoughts on the PIDP courses

PIDP courses 

Overall the PIDP courses have been so valuable and so very practical, which is exactly what I needed. I refer to material every day when teaching, whether it be for activities, feedback, organization, making exams and more. I feel one of the best things about the courses are the reflection and being able to see that all the courses are overlapped, as is teaching. Everything affects everything and this affects the student experience. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but listen to your students, don't be afraid to make changes as you are learning too, have reasoning behind what you are doing and verbalize it, keep being a student yourself, no tricks, keep things aligned and most importantly for me is value the student-teacher relationship and be yourself when teaching - you will enjoy it more and so will the students!

 Teaching is definitely more work then I could have imagined. I take the work home, and am constantly thinking of ideas and how to improve but it is very rewarding and allows you to be creative which I love. The PIDP courses have allowed me a chance to explore what teaching is , what it means to me, and who I want to become as teacher. It has been an invaluable resource in explaining what is happening in my classroom. Below is a summary of some of the courses.

PIDP 3100: Foundations of Adult Education - taking next and is my last course before the capstone. I originally took this course first but dropped out as I was having difficulty balancing being a new instructor and an online course. I do think it is ironic that I will be taking this course last but I hope it allows me to look at all the other PIDP course information with a wider lens.

PIDP 3210: Curriculum Development - one word Alignment!!! The value of having outcomes, material and assessment aligned. Being organized and having clear explicit outcomes. Learning how to do a needs assessment to help determine what the course should include. Lesson plans are very helpful and allow the instructor to follow a plan, reflect afterward and to have a  copy of what has been done. I now do these for every class, I think it gets me off on the right foot.

PIDP 3220 - Delivery of Instruction

I took this on campus as an Instructional Skills Workshop.  I found the learning environment and feedback to be just what I needed going into my first day of classes. I met with similar liked individuals and learned about resources on campus. The mini lessons where so much fun and I learned that short and simple is the way to go. BOPPS is something I use in my lesson plans every day. I found that the key to my teaching is to have a solid bridge in to grab the students attention and then tie it all together at the end. That was the most fun for me. I also took away that it is ok to be creative and to be a risk taker. If it doesn't work learn from it and make the correct changes. This was the first time that I had feedback on my teaching and realized how important this is to the learning process, immediate feedback.

PIDP 3230: Evaluation of Learning 

This was the first class I took that I  heard the word alignment and realized previous classes I had taught had this issue. I also leaned valuable skills in how to write a test item, (not called a question) and to organize an exam properly. Also learned about informal classroom techniques, such as the memory tool, and muddiest point. We did this exercise out of class and learned what a difference an environment can be on a learning setting.

PIDP 3240: Media Enhanced Learning

I did find this course difficult as I feel I have missed the technological bus. Creating a blog is actually fairly easy and can be very useful as it allows a place to record thoughts and ideas and hopefully get input from others. I looked at it as a great place to store ideas and to reflect. I loved the digital video project and found this very challenging and rewarding.  A very valuable experience for me as this is another way to be creative and to showcase material in the class. I also found the experience valuable because in our program we ask the students to create video projects and this allowed me to trouble shoot and to show students an example of my creativity.

PIDP 3250: Instructional Strategies

I loved this course as I found I could use the information right away in class. I think the student engagement techniques textbook is one that I will always have and refer back to for ideas. I have learned about how my actions affect the students and the value of relationships. Feedback, learning environment, extroverted student vs. introverted student, how to motivate students, and SETS where learned. I enjoyed this class because I would learn something new and then immediately try it in my class the following week. Remembering that each student is different and might require different tools to help with the learning process.

PIDP 3260: Professional Practice

I really enjoyed this textbook as well. In general, I have enjoyed all the classes because I see the overlap of the material and how practical it is. I have appreciated the feedback from instructors and feel that they want me to succeed. Self reflection was a big thing for me for this course. Learning about feedback instruments and the value of having one done midterm and at the end of term. They are only valuable though if you listen to the student and make changes.  I have learned again the value of relationships and the trust and authenticity that must be built to have a positive learning environment. Emphasis was also put on life long learning and I see that having a plan for my career is important.

PIDP 3270 - Capstone Project 

I look forward to making a project and am hoping to do something with Virtual Reality which was one of my discussion topics in Media Enhanced Learning.

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