I continue to alter each of these assignments to suit my face to face workshop rather than an online open learning class. While the assigned reading in this lesson is geared toward blended learning environments, I was happy to find helpful information in regards to f2f classrooms as well. I was particularly drawn to the section on creating social presence in a face to face classroom. The article made me aware of the importance of creating opportunities for community and collaboration during each workshop I teach. We usually start each workshop with a group accessioning activity. After reading this article I am going to make a couple small changes to ensure the students must work together even more in collaboration to ensure accurate specimen sorting and processing.
The second section of this article on cognitive presence also got me brainstorming ways to keep the students engaged in critical thinking throughout the class. About half of the workshop is traditional ‘lecture’ learning and the other half is hands-on. I am in the process of creating a presentation to go along with the lecture material to ensure we cover visual, auditory as well as kinesthetic learning styles.