Rarely do have we attended a class that did not include a handout to provide us with a little more information about the course topic. Handouts serve many purposes of which this article from Faculty Focus outines:
- Activity introductors
- Graphic supplements
- Study guides
And much more.
The article recommends that handout should not be made haphazardly confirmed by many extensive studies. The following points are recommended:
Keep it simple – keep it to one topic
Consider the visual – is the layout easy to read or can it be used to take notes
Keep it professional – check spelling, reference sources and keep it updated.
Most importantly, try to find a way to get feedback from the students regarding usefulness of the handout.
Assessments are an important part of teaching – they help determine how much students understand or retain the course material. Iowa State University outlines the benefits of Classroom Assessment Techniques and describes a variety of informal techniques instructors can put into practice.
These tool can:
- Provide feedback for immediate change
- Nurture the teaching learning relationship process with the student
- Address the misconceptions immediately
They can reveal:
- Course related knowledge
- Student attitudes, values and self-awareness
- Reactions to instruction methods
Performing assessments through out the term can help improve the student learning experience and also help the instructor adjust teaching throughout the course delivery.
This University of Maryland Baltimore College user page discusses motivation of adult learners. It outlines motivators, strategies, environment, and obstacles.
A few strategies listed from Wlodkowski include:
- Establish Inclusion
- Develop a Positive Attitude
- Enhance Meaning
- Engender Competence
I found two examples within establish inclusion very enlightening – multidimensional sharing and participation guidelines.
Multidimensional sharing, for example, executed early in the class through a brief introduction outlining expectations, concerns and hopes for the class can build a connection early on between the students and the instructor.
Also, setting participation guidelines can establish a clear vision of acceptable and unacceptable interactions and discussions that will ensure a safe environment that is conducive to participation. It can also help keep the class on point.
Creating a positive learning environment in adult education begins with understanding the difference between pedagogy and androgogy. This Brighthub blog post clarifies that the pedagogy model with the instructor at the center is necessary because the children have little to no previous learning. On the other hand, androgogy is practiced in adult education with the understanding of the students prior learning and life experience.
A few recommendations of:
- Recognizing previous experience
- Outline clear expectations
- Create a safe and positive environment
- Maintain respect and privacy
are all great suggests to foster a safe, positive and productive learning environment.
Jennifer Field makes valid points on Bloom’s taxonomy in her post on “Overcoming Cooking Intimidation: Understanding Bloom’s Taxonomy”. Trained pastry chef with a master’s degree in special education, she relates Bloom’s theories to a culinary student’s learning experience.
Beginning with the first level of each domain, she presents the potential challenges that can inhibit a new cook from learning and moving on to the next level.
More importantly, when describing the three domains, she states:
“…that none exists in a vacuum. Our heads, hearts and bodies are all interconnected. And that means that our heads, hearts and bodies all have to be involved in learning every skill.”
This is a reminder that we cannot focus on one aspect of learning with realizing how connected is to other aspects.
Video conferencing is not necessarily new or cutting edge technology anymore. With Skype and Face Time making it accessible to consumers, I’m certain many have used it to speak with friends and family near or far.
I’ve used web-conferencing for business a few times – interviews and meetings. I like the integration of video technology into business and education. Relationships are in important in both. Face to face communication helps to develop common ground, recognize differences, and build trust. It can be difficult to develop a relationship through email or over the phone when missing the visual cues that give us insight into a person’s character.
Meeting with my class partner was great. I was fortunate to be paired with another chef who is also new to teaching. He is teaching in the aboriginal school. With his blog, he has been exploring the history, current challenges and successes, and future of education of the First Nations people.
I came away from our conversation with new insight in cultural educational differences and adaptions for a changing society. Societies developed unique methods of education based on beliefs and environment. As countries expanded through colonization, a different approach to teaching was mandated. This led to a legacy of difficulties and a broken system. As societies revisit and implement traditional teaching methods, the challenge will be to blend in skills and knowledge components to prepare students for success in today’s world.
You can see his website and follow his learning journey here.