The workshop I teach is not online, it is a face-to-face two day workshop in a hospital setting. However, as I read through this course I believe that the idea of social presence can be applied to f2f classes as well. Ice breakers and introductions are important to create a supportive learning environment.
My Learning Activities section can be used to collect ideas for my classroom activities that I plan to implement as I make changes to the workshop.
My introduction was a short glimpse into my life via a slideshow of everyday photographs. I feel as though this was a good way to give others a feel for my personal priorities, hobbies and interests. According to Lesson 1, this type of information can help group members find common ground and relate to others in the group in order to open up communication lines. Showing photos of my real life portrays a sense of vulnerability which I think helps others see me as a “real person” rather than just text on a screen.
One improvement that could be made to this post if it were for an online class is to also focus on the purpose of the group. My introduction tells others about me, but doesn’t necessarily relate to a particular class or group. Online learning should always be organized and purposeful to keep group members motivated and focused on the task at hand.
The lesson enhanced my understanding of open communication and the importance on a well set up LMS website. Ensuring students have the opportunity to easily comment, reply and react to each other’s posts is something that I had not considered in detail before.
A little about me:
As briefly explained in my first OTL101 post, I strive to maintain a balance between my personal life and my professional life. I work part time as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, as well as teaching hands-on workshops for Medical Laboratory Assistants. In addition, I am working towards my degree in Health Administration, through Athabasca University.
Most important to me is my family. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, and mom of three young girls. I know that for me to remain happy I must maintain a balance between family, work and fitness. I enjoy the laughter and joy that family brings, the challenge that work brings,, and the clarity and pride that fitness brings. When I have time to take for myself I practice photography, art and I love to read.
Please see my quick slideshow which shows a few of my photos.
Welcome to my version of the TRU open learning courses. I teach workshops for Medical Laboratory Assistance in a hospital setting. I believe that online learning students benefit most from a well organized, supportive environment and I look forward to contributing to a positive student experience.
I currently strive to maintain a balance in my personal life that includes family, photography, work and an active lifestyle. This includes my 3 young girls, a daily photography project, my 2 jobs, as well as running, hiking and rock climbing.
I have included my last post, Post 4 in the “showcase” category. This post reflects my opinion that one of the most important aspects of being a teacher is self-awareness and the ability to continuously learn and grow as instructors. This is a new job for me and I have a lot to learn, but I hope I can maintain this ability to stay humble and always work on self-improvement in order to benefit my future students.
This course has already made me aware of the complexities of teaching and learning. I enjoyed reading about the importance of proper feedback. One of my goals is to really focus on the type of feedback I give my students in the next workshop I teach and mindfully comment on the task and not just the learner.
I would also like to look further into how I can really help students reach a higher-level thinking during our workshops. We cover a lot of material over the 2 day workshop and I find myself doing a lot of on the spot trivia type quiz questions which often only sparks an answer from one or two students. This means that not all students are benefiting. I would like to incorporate activities that will help them with reasoning and critical thinking skills as opposed to just memory recall.
The course I teach through TRU is a hands-on workshop where students learn techniques directly related to their future career. Immediate feedback is extremely important, and this article has shed some light on some strategies to improve feedback.
I recognize that I often focus my feedback on the learner as opposed to the task. I hear myself saying “well done,” “good job,” or “that looks great,” which I now understand can actually dilute out effective feedback. I also feel I could explain goals more clearly and continue to reiterate these goals throughout the workshop to help keep the students working toward them and continuously self-assessing progress toward these goals.
I am currently working towards a degree in Health Administration. Interpersonal Communication is one of my required courses. Some of the learning objectives are as follows:
– learn to assess communication problems creatively and fairly by considering others’ concerns and needs
– enhance listening skills and verbal and nonverbal communication techniques
– display an awareness of body language and communicate feelings and emotions properly in order to convey intended meaning to others
These objectives reflect higher level learning because they teach students to apply their skills rather than just memorize ways to communicate. Asking students to demonstrate these skills in an interactive way ensures students are learning at the relational level of the SOLO Taxonomy scale.
Assessments in this class include assignments, quizzes, an exam as well as a collaborative learning activity. These appear to be in alignment with the learning objectives as they will assess skills and not just memorization.
Lesson 1 has guided me to understand the complex nature of critical thinking. What stood out to me throughout the learning material is the emphasis on community to encourage debate, problem solving, and idea integration.
In my first post I described how I believe that teacher support is incredibly important to facilitate online learning. Lesson 1 has expanded on this idea, explaining the support role as one that provides opportunities for interactive discussion. Engaging students in intellectual and relevant discussion will foster exploration of ideas and lead to problem solving and resolutions. Our role as facilitators is to guide these discussions, ensuring the focus remains relevant and the opportunity to interact remains fresh and exciting.
The question I found myself asking throughout this lesson was “what is the best way to put this into practice?” Online learning is often self-paced and students find themselves working through a course feeling alone. Knowing how the importance of interaction for learning, we must find a way to engage students in active discussion.