Digital Project Review: Flipped Classroom

Donna Perry’s digital project on flipped classrooms can be seen here and provided a lot of information on the technique.

I like the idea of starting with a focused question: does this type of teaching work in the 21st-century classroom?  With this technique, students get exposure to new material outside of class via videos and then use class time to do the “harder work”.  The steps:

  1. the instructor provides online lectures for the students to watch before coming to class,
  2. the students watch the videos in preparation for focused engagement during class time,
  3. active learning tools are used during class time: pre-assessment, group activities, and post-assessment.

Research shows increased test scores, and students report enhanced learning, more active engagement, and appreciation for increased opportunities for collaboration.  The time spent teaching also yielded greater returns.  Although more time was spent creating the online lectures, these could be re-used and students could rewatch as needed.  This provided more valuable in-class time for discussing and applying the material.  Students are able to learn at their own pace and can come to class with more insightful questions. Students must fulfill their responsibility to come to class prepared for this technique to work appropriately.  The flipped classroom ultimately allows for more dynamic learning.

I liked the platform used for this project- Go Animate.  I used it for my digital project in 3250 and found it relatively easy and adaptable.

I first became aware of the concept of flipped classrooms last summer through PIDP 3100.  Here is a link to the blog post I made then.

I am still interested in trying to include some flipped classroom components in the Speechreading courses.  I do believe that this technique would provide some much-needed time in the classroom for more active engagement; we would have more opportunities to practice the communication strategies that we talk about in class.  This is where the true learning will flourish.  Making time for active learning in the classroom will allow me to take advantage of all the great instructional techniques I’m learning about through this course.  Incorporating the flipped classroom needs to become a priority for my upcoming professional development time.  This project review was a timely reminder for me!

 

Spaced Repetition

I’m learning so much about spaced repetition through the forum discussion this week.  Here is a video that provides a solid introduction:

If you’d like more information on spaced repetition, take a look at this website:

https://collegeinfogeek.com/spaced-repetition-memory-technique/

For me, the takeaway messages about spaced repetition as a learning strategy are:

  • One of the most important parts of the learning process is actually forgetting.
  • Instead of studying more, you are studying more efficiently.
  • It involves adding progressively longer and longer time intervals in between each of your study sessions, e.g 1 day, 7 days, 14 days…
  • The neural pathways-  once we begin to forget and then review-  become much stronger so that we forget more slowly.
  • You modify the time periods in which you study but can use whatever study method you choose.
  • You spend less time confirming concepts you understand well and give priority to the information you need to review.

 

Introverts and Extroverts in the Classroom

As a result of my recent reflection on introverts, I want to be sure that I plan to help personalities across the entire introvert/extrovert spectrum be comfortable in my classroom.  This gives me great reminders and places to start….

extro_introhttps://cherenets.com.au/2014/08/13/sense-sensitivity/

Ultimately, it is important to find ways to allow each individual to shine – in a way that makes sense to them.

 

 

Reflection on The Power of Introverts

Objective

In this reflection, I will discuss the issues brought forward in Susan Cain’s (2012) TED talk entitled The Power of Introverts.  This thought-provoking and poignant talk provided a multitude of worthwhile facts on what is seen as the introversion/extroversion dichotomy.  One-third to one-half of people are introverts, but many of them feel that the quiet, introverted way is not appropriate, and they spend much time trying to pass as extroverts.  Cain describes her journey as an introvert from a time at summer camp to the journey of writing and promoting a book on the topic. She believes we need to allow introverts to do “what they do best” and makes a call for three things: time away from constant group work, time for personal revelations, and time for everyone to share what they have to offer to the world.  I will reflect on this introvert/extrovert personality trait from a personal point of view and also reflect on its impact in the classroom.

Reflective

This talk reinforced my belief that I am an introvert.  Many people who only know my work or volunteer persona are often surprised to hear this.  My close friends and family members understand and know this is the truth.  I crave alone time.  I am very happy to be by myself.  Have you ever seen the Facebook ads with a picture of a cabin in the woods with a caption “Could you live here for 3 months alone for $100 000?”.  I wouldn’t hesitate!  My husband is an extrovert, and we do have to negotiate how to manage social engagements.  At times, I am keen to participate.  Other times, I am happy for him to go solo.  Knowing the basic premise of the introvert/extrovert definitions helps us to support each other and our sometimes very distinct needs.

I often wonder if I am becoming more of an introvert as I get older.  I don’t remember craving alone time so much when I was younger.  I self-identify often these days and am accepting of what and who I am- proud even.  I have come to a place where I seldom participate in events that I am not interested in, but there are plenty of times when I do want to be involved.  I choose carefully.  The balance is very comfortable for me.

This morning, my son (13 years old) asked me what this paper was about.  I asked him if he knew what introverts and extroverts were, and he replied with a very eloquent and accurate answer.  Then he said, “I am definitely an introvert…but I love group work.”  When I asked why he replied that he liked it because he got to work with others on bigger projects but focus on what he was best at.  I think he’s got a good balance figured out too.  It’s unfortunate that there are so many people who are not comfortable with their own identities and are not supported for, or encouraged to embrace, their own strengths.

Interpretive

Many people misunderstand this character trait.  Introverts are not necessarily shy.  I read some of the comments responding to Cain’s TED talk; one person said she spent “19 years of my life being ashamed of it.”.  Cain also alluded to this idea when she admitted she “made these self-negating choices [to behave as an extrovert] so reflexively that I wasn’t even aware I was making them”.  A basic google search gave some explanation to these feelings of negativity.  Oxford dictionary (n.d.) defines an introvert as a “shy, reticent person”.  Thankfully, the Urban dictionary (n.d.) is more inclusive and recognizes more components of the truth; it says introverts may have great social lives, but they need time alone to reenergize after those encounters.  They enjoy and seek out solitude and like to think and be alone. The key factor that is vital to understanding the implications of introversion is about how they respond to social stimulation. Introverts harness energy from within themselves, feel drained by too much outside stimulation, and recharge with time alone.  They prefer to cultivate a few close friendships and prefer to learn through observation (Schmitt 2015).  Since introversion has such an impact on my life, how I feel about my interactions with others, and how I take on the world, I realize I should definitely invest some time thinking about different personalities in my classroom.  How do my teaching style, instructional activities, and assessment and evaluation choices impact on the various personalities in Speechreading?

In my Speechreading courses, we have recently begun to talk about conversation styles, personality, and the continuum between introversion and extroversion.  My students are typically surprised to find out that I am a self-proclaimed introvert, perhaps because, in my classroom, I am comfortable, confident, and personable. Occasionally they actually seem relieved to be told that it is acceptable!  Until our discussion, many still believe that being an introvert means you are shy.

There are many sites that provide guidance on how to address the differing needs of both introverts and extroverts in the classroom and how to help both personality types do their best work (Higgin 2017, Shmoop Editorial Team 2008, and Thompson 2012).  These tips give guidance on how to create a balanced classroom, for example: provide choice, embrace back channeling through digital options, redefine participation, be mindful of how class discussions are moderated, allow time to think, and be cognizant when you set up your physical space.  It is vital to think about all the students’ needs and provide options that support the whole spectrum of personalities.

Decisional

This reflection has made some things clearer for me. I will definitely continue to self-identify as an introvert, both socially and in the classroom.  I want to make sure that I promote the true definition and what that means.  I will also support my son to continue to be a proud and confident introvert.

I am committed to making changes in my teaching environment regarding this topic of introversion.  I want to address both instructional strategies and assessment/evaluation procedures.  I want to make a commitment to continue to use a variety of instructional activities that support the learning journey of both sides of the spectrum.  Further examination of the sites referenced above will provide excellent guides in this respect.  Evaluation of class participation is a large part of the Speechreading course.  Although I don’t feel that I have been harsh on the more thoughtful and quiet students, I need to be sure the evaluation criteria are fair.  I want to continue and perhaps expand the use of reflection in my courses, to capture these thoughtful insights.  When you know better, you need to do better.

In my classroom, the learners may need encouragement to reflect on their own personalities, not only in regards to their social beings but also in thinking about any impact on becoming a more effective communicator when hearing loss is in play.  I need to do more research about the impact of hearing loss related to introversion and extroversion.  We had an interesting impromptu discussion on this topic in class last week.  I need to follow-up to give the discussion more theoretical and research depth to support the experiential stories and provide a more solid foundation going forward.

Finally, I want to encourage my students to identify their strengths and embrace them, whatever they may be.  As Cain (2012) promotes, take a good look at what’s inside “your own suitcase” and figure out why you put it there.  Everyone needs to open up their suitcase and share with the world what they have to offer.

References

Cain, S. (2012, March 02). The power of introverts.  Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

Higgin, T. (2017, January 11). 5 Classroom Strategies That Help Introverts and Extroverts Do Their Best Work. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/blog/5-classroom-strategies-that-help-introverts-and-extroverts-do-their-best-work

Oxford Dictionaries – Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/

Schmitt, P. (2015, April). How Personality Type Affects Your Student’s Experience in the Classroom | Parents Newsletter. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://parent.wisc.edu/newsletter-story/how-personality-type-affects-your-students-classroom-experience/

Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). The Differing Needs of Introverts and Extroverts in the Classroom. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.shmoop.com/teachers/classroom-management/students-classrooms/introverts-vs-extroverts.html

Thompson, S. (2012, January). Introvert? Extrovert? Tips for a Balanced Classroom. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/archives/ctm_teaching_ideas/janfeb2012-introvert-extrovert.shtml

Urban Dictionary, April 26: introvert. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.urbandictionary.com/

Forums: Participating and Moderating

forum2

 

This is my first time being involved in an online forum.  Although I was intimidated to jump in and participate in the various forums, I did so from the beginning of my second week of the course, and I discovered that it is really just that initial post that is the most difficult.  I have continued to read the forums daily (much easier to go in daily and have new posts highlighted online), follow through on references, links, TED talks, and videos that my co-learners provide.  I make every attempt to get involved early in the forum’s timeframe, stay involved, and answer questions that moderators put forward.  I comment on others’ posts, share references to information that I have discovered, and relate my submissions to real-life personal and classroom experiences.

There are so many benefits to participating in the course forum.  The PIDP 3250 course forum has provided the opportunity to:

  • share ideas and get feedback from others interested in adult learning, but from many and varied perspectives
  • learn from others’ teaching experiences or thoughts
  • easily access the resources introduced by others
  • a sense of belonging to a community of learners

 

I am a little nervous about my upcoming task to serve as moderator.  I have learned through the past few weeks that I prefer when a forum has multiple sections and guiding questions, rather than one long and ongoing discussion.  I appreciate and feel more compelled to continue a discussion on a forum when the moderator comments on my post.  I will endeavour to post multiple sections/questions and reply as people post to encourage greater participation.

 

Digital Project Review: Learning from Mistakes

Jennifer Aarestad’s digital project on learning from mistakes as an instructional strategy provided strong support for this tool.

In order for us to learn from our mistakes, we need to change the way we think about mistakes.  We need to think about them rationally rather than emotionally.

Instructors role:

  • Recognize effort as success.
  • Be open about your own mistakes.
  • Encourage a non-judgmental atmosphere.
  • When students make mistakes, ask why and how they made the decisions they made in order to figure out how to move forward.
  • Encourage collaboration.  Learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Teach and model responsibility.
  • Promote deliberate practice to develop further learning.

Learners role:

  • Recognize that there is much to learn and ways to improve.
  • Have a growth mindset- belief that we can all improve and develop skills and abilities.
  • Accept responsibility and be accountable.

I liked the digital format of the Prezi and how the big picture was always present, and the presentation zoomed in to the various components. The message was very clear and well organized.

Easwari Thoreraj’s digital project also discussed learning from mistakes, and it introduced some additional information.

Many learners view their mistakes with negative emotions such as shame, unacceptance, sadness, and disbelief.  The human mind sees mistakes as pain.  Instructors must introduce the perspective of embracing mistakes.

I haven’t failed.  I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.     Thomas Edison

Ways to teach with mistakes:

  1. Have open discussions about mistakes.
  2. Acknowledge common mistakes, reflect on them and learn from them, thereby promoting an ‘I can fix it’ attitude.
  3. Allow learners the opportunity to make corrections to their mistakes before it is too late.
  4. Self-assessment is a great tool for placing the responsibility of learning on the learner.

Incorporating this strategy in the Speechreading class makes a lot of sense.  I plan to introduce a topic actually called ‘Learning from Mistakes’.  An important component of the Speechreading classes is learning how to both anticipate and repair miscommunications.  I like the idea of celebrating the biggest mistake and what was learned from it.  We already share experiences, but I now appreciate the benefit of calling a spade a spade.  The students often speak about ‘mistakes’ and times when they ‘did the wrong thing’ or ‘didn’t do anything, but wished they did’.  Let’s call it a mistake and turn the table on focusing on what was learned and what they would do differently next time.  Sharing these experiences is also vital.  The frustrations experienced by those with hearing loss is common.  Let’s explicitly share those frustrations, failures (and successes), and learn from everyone’s stories.  This is also an important concept to introduce so that the students continue to see their mistakes as positive opportunities as they carry on their journey of life-long learning and living with hearing loss.

This is such a perfect instructional strategy for the Speechreading class.  Don’t be greedy!  Share!  We can all benefit from sharing and learning from each other’s mistakes.

 

Reflection – for them and us

I’ve been reflecting on reflection.

I had never thought much about reflection as a learning process before the PIDP courses.  Of course, I think about what I read, experience, and think, but to do it in a directed and mindful way is not something that’s been in my repertoire.  In the beginning of my diploma adventure, the course-required reflections took quite a bit of time.  Due to the practice I’ve had in five courses, it’s not as onerous anymore.  I see the benefit rather than thinking of the work required!

The framework of the focused conversational model (ORID: objective, reflective, interpretive, decisional) is very helpful in guiding the thought and decision-making process.  I typically read or watch the target of the assignment and let that information bounce around in my head for a day or two.  The reflective part is more immediate- acknowledging the emotions and personal reactions that I feel.  I have discovered that even though I may not be actively thinking about it over that short time, I am often thinking differently about the topic or have more information to mull over when I sit down to move to the next steps.  This is where I research, see what others may have said about the topic, and get to the decisional phase – where I make decisions about options, priorities, and next steps.  This really is the ultimate goal of the task – to determine what changes will result from the reflection.

ORID-chart

http://blog.meeteor.com/blog/types-of-questions/

Because of my perceived growth with this method, I have decided to formally introduce the act of reflection to my students.  Initially, I gave them a journal at the beginning of the course as a place to capture their thoughts on their journey to becoming more effective communicators.  I have moved to giving them guiding questions for each of the ORID sections.  Next, I think I may give them an assignment for Speechreading that is similar to my experience in 3100 – I would provide a series of quotes on communication, hearing loss, assertive behaviour, etc. and ask them to pick a couple that resonate with them to reflect on throughout the semester.  It may initially seem like a chore, but I think the payoff of self-reflections and decision-making is worth it.  It makes the result of learning more explicit.

Digital Project Review: Triad Listening

Bryce Walker’s VideoScribe digital project on triad listening can be found here.

The basics: Three people- three roles- per triad:

  • Speaker: present clear ideas while supporting it with concrete examples
  • Reflective listener: actively listen and reiterate message back to the speaker
  • Referee: must enforce rules. Watches for interruptions, aggressive behaviour or speech, sarcasm, judgments, joking around.

As instructor, you must:

  • Explain why good communication skills are important to the class.
  • Describe how this activity is helpful and relevant
  • encourage them to take risks, say with they think and believe.

This works best in a classroom setting where you can have moderation and application.

All three roles must have active participants.  It’s important to rotate students through each of the roles to experience and benefit the various responsibilities.

This activity format would be appropriate and beneficial in the Speechreading class.  Since communication is often the vehicle we use for practicing communication strategies and assertive behaviour, triad listening provides the structure for multiple people to benefit from a conversation.  It is often difficult for the two initial participants (speaker and listener) to be aware of the strategies they use.  An added task for the referee could be to observe and comment on the strategies attempted to solve communication breakdowns and their perceived success.  This conversation and reflection help all involved to be aware of how effective their communication efforts are.