College Grouping – Oucomes Based Education and Program Standards
Our department has just finished the curriculum review portion of our program mapping, so I had all of the terminology fresh in my mind for this session. It was great to see where our college-specific guides are posted on the web, so I can refer to them when it is my turn to develop a new course for our program (or maybe I’ll get to create a new elective option). There was a great visual image provided to help illustrate our Integrated Course Design Model, and a lot of fantastic discussion about program/vocational standards, course outcomes, learning objectives, and TLPs.
Plenary Session: Kathy Bouma – Lesson Planning with Learning Needs in Mind
I have just been introduced to Kolb’s Learning Styles through one of the online courses I’m taking. I absoltely LOVE the way this session was structured to talk about what learning activities for all 4 styles might include! Five stars, Kathy! There was LOTS of small group discussion, and it was great to hear some suggestions from folks not in my field. I was also glad to see the Cone of Experience since I had seen the image once before but could not seem to remember what it was called. I’m thrilled to see that other faculty members use pre-structured blank handouts for their students to fill in. I know that it works well for me (and for my students, from the feedback they have given in the past) but up until today I had not actually seen anyone else providing them. I plan to test out the lesson plan model for my future courses.
I will start each class with a video and short discussion to capture attention and explain WHY the material should matter to my students. I will provide some content, probably by using the PowerPoint/blank handout method whenever appropriate to give my students the CONTENT. The students will then be given some sort of ACTIVITY to work on with their partner/group, and we will discuss the answers as a class. Finally, the students will be given more opportunities to PRACTICE and SUMMARIZE the material covered (likely using our LMS and other electronic resources). It is a good, flexible structure that I think should work perfectly. I look forward to giving it a try.
Helen Harrison – Icebreakers, Groupings, and Energy Breaks
My favourite session so far! I needed to find some more activities to add to my toolkit if I was going to make any significant changes to my teaching this year. I plan to use one of the icebreaker activities to try to learn my students names during their smaller lab sections (since I think it would be more effective in smaller doses for my mind). It was great to talk about how some of the activities can also be tweaked to enhance the learning of actual course content and not just “take up time”.
“Icebreakers should be inclusive activities that minimize competition and maximize interaction.”
We also addressed the fact that some of the activities will work better in small groups than in large groups. Also, some activities work best for extroverts, so it is important to ensure that your introverted students have a chance to share and participate at the level they are comfortable. As a student, I hated icecbreaker activities (because as a teenager I focused on a predominantly “Assimilating” learning style and just wanted to cover content) but I do see a great value in them for the new college student who does not know anyone in their classes.
I am really looking forward to receiving feedback from my colleagues about my sample lesson plan for Phase 1. I want to spice up a dry topic (human body tissues) and see if I can actually get some students excited about it in the future.