Shifting

I must be learning! I am asking myself a ton of questions. I am questioning myself as a learner, instructor and even my purpose. I am questioning educational practices not just from the perspective of an online instructor, but in a face2face classroom too. Professor Pickett asks the question, “are you prepared to change the way you teach?” Thinking driven by questions, process trumping content, what does it all mean?

I am shifting my attitude and outlook. It means I am shifting from standards and uniform teaching to a more learner centered approach. How can I do this?

Celeste has pointed out Instructional Principles for Self-Regulation. The four principles are:

  1. Guide learners to prepare and structure learning environment
  2. Organize and transform instructional materials
  3. Use instructional goals and feedback to present student monitoring opportunities
  4. Provide learners opportunities to self-evaluate performance against a standard.

This is a great response to the concerns that many of us have about giving up control. The deeper I get into the conversation the more I am realizing that the control was never mine to keep. It was a starting point for teaching, but if you don’t pass on the control, the learning is static. The flow of learning happens when we open up the stream of control until it pools around our students and they then open up and let the ideas flow. My role is not to disseminate content, but to guide inquiry and facilitate dialogue. Shea et al., 2003 discuss how we do this. Mary points this out in her post as:

  1. identifying areas of agreement and disagreement
  2. seeking to reach consensus and understanding
  3. encouraging, acknowledging, or reinforcing student contributions
  4. setting climate for learning
  5. drawing in participants and prompting discussion
  6. assessing the efficacy of the process

Maree asks a great question, What proven strategies can we use to help students achieve self-regulated learning and how can we help students recognize this in themselves and apply it to our content?

This leads me to questions.

Are we teaching two courses at once?

Are there prerequisites to being an online learner?

Do we shift a little? Or do we totally shift educational practices?

I cannot help but think about Professor Shea and Professor Vickers course ETAP 687 on Games and Learning. We recently read an article by Linguist James Gee. Gee discusses what we can learn from games. In his article Learning by Design Gee discusses good principles of video game/computer game design. He list the principles into 3 sections: empowered learners, problem solving and understanding. “When we think of games, we think of fun. When we think of learning we think of work. Games show us this is wrong. Games trigger deep learning that is itself part and parcel of the fun (Gee, 2005).”

We are designing our courses to develop a new way of thinking, and this provokes the question of how, and it requires a lot of shifting in expectations, outcomes and development.

Heather (4)

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One thought on “Shifting

  1. Anne Deutsch

    Hi Heather – I love that you use videos in your blog to illustrate your points – it’s great!

    Reply

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