The PIDP program has been a valuable experience during which I have had many ‘Aha!’ moments and probably even more ‘I did not know that’ thoughts. Each course offered new learning or validation of existing knowledge but throughout there was never a shortage of new insights or strategies to explore.
I think I had the most fun in the Media Enhanced Learning because so much of what was discussed in the forum sessions was not familiar to me. I was so amazed by things such as google glasses being used in the science classroom, and using digital stories to convey a point, or even how gaming could play a role in education! My eyes were clearly opened to the endless possibilities media brings to enhance both student engagement and learning.
My favourite activity has been participating in the forum discussions. They were more than a little daunting at the beginning, but the wealth of information that was shared, particularly where is was based on experience, I found helped to clarify things that were not making sense to me.
There are three components from the PIDP program that I view as being key to being successful in my role as an educator. They are: Assessment for Learning, Reflective Practice, and Obtaining Student/Peer Feedback.
PIDP 3230: Evaluation of Learning
‘Assessment for learning is the process of seeing and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.’ (Assessment Reform Group, 2002).
Assessment, done in collaboration with students, frequently and in a positive manner not only improves motivation and self-esteem but it creates a bridge between teaching and learning. Over time, students acquire the skill to regularly self-assess, which is the key to our desire to produce lifelong learners. One tool, the Focused Conversation Model (Stanfield, 2000) has proven to be a very effective during my PIDP journey and I would continue using it in the future. For myself, identifying an emotional connection to the concept was the instigator that encouraged further research and exploration that resulted in a better understanding of the topic.
PIDP 3250: Instructional Strategies:
Reflective practice is necessary to understand our thoughts, feelings and actions and in doing so creates opportunity for professional growth and development. In essence, reflection uncovers the link between experience and knowledge from which we adjust in order to expand knowledge and improve in practice.
In this course, I was introduced to Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988), a looped six step process that sequentially reflects on the situation or learning, encouraging the user to consider how things could have been done differently. In my nursing practice, I have typically reflected using a journal format. I now realize the use of Gibbs cycle creates a much more comprehensive level of reflection therefore greater opportunity for ongoing professional growth.
PIDP 3260: Professional Practice
One of Brookfield’s (2015) core assumptions of skillful teaching is that to be effective, teachers must always be aware how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving the actions of the teacher.
In 3230 we became familiar with the use of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT) to provide students with performance feedback and to promote critical reflection of their own learning. In 3260, I have learned that the CAT is also a strategy used to obtain feedback from students on the effectiveness of the teaching and to identifying areas where change or improvement is required. This process will help to address problems before they become issues, alert you to the need to change the teaching strategy, and offer the more introverted student an opportunity to provide feedback using a safe anonymous method.
The Critical Incident Questionnaire (Brookfield, 2015) appears to be a tool that can elicit this feedback. Knowing that the design of the questions is imperative to obtaining useful feedback, I would plan to change the reflective questions, consistent with the content or practical situation I am in, to ensure relevancy and quality in the feedback.
In summary, the PIDP program has been a valuable learning experience. In the past, I have done many workshops and in-services and I am looking forward to applying what I have learned to a role as an educator in healthcare.
Hmmm, I wonder what educational endeavour I will undertake next?
Assessment Reform Group, (2002). Assessment for Learning: 10 research-based principles to guide classroom practice. Assessment Reform Group, London, UK.
Brookfield, S.D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.
Stanfield, B. (2000). The art of focused conversation: 100 ways to access group wisdom in the workplace. Toronto, ON:ICA The institute of Cultural Affairs.