I have just completed the PIDP 3230 course at Vancouver Community College. This is a great course about how both informal and formal assessment strategies can be used to evaluate learning. For one of the assignments I created a video that contains some great information about an informal strategy called the Misconception/Preconception Check. This strategy is concerned with how misconceptions and preconceptions that students bring to a field of study can impact and even block their ability to integrate new learning. Using this informal assessment strategy can help both instructors and students to identify and discuss different misconceptions and preconceptions in light of the facts, new information, and research that is part of their next learning experience. To watch my video about the Misconception/Preconception Check, click on the link below.
For my final project in PIDP 3250 I completed a presentation on ethical dilemmas as an instructional strategy. I decided to use simpleshow to create this presentation. I did some great learning about the use of ethical dilemmas as an instructional strategy, from doing the research and from designing the script for the presentation. I also learned about using simpleshow, which can be a bit finicky but offers the user the opportunity to create a fun and interesting presentation.
Recently, I attended a workshop about the link between adult learning and drawing certain visuals while doing a presentation or leading a discussion. Using simpleshow gave me an opportunity to think about what visuals linked well with my thoughts and ideas in the presentation. I really enjoyed working on this simpleshow presentation, and hope you enjoy watching it as well.
When I started working as a social worker for the Ministry of Children and Families, part of my social work training included a field trip to an aboriginal center on the lower mainland. I thought this was one of the most interesting experiences I had during my orientation training. This field trip gave me an opportunity to see what aboriginal individuals who had a disability thought about the support they received from social workers within our organization. This was valuable learning, as there was an authenticity and real-world experience to this part of my training.
In the PowToon video I have included below, I think Robert Budlong does a good job of showing how field trips are a valuable instructional strategy. In my current training position at Community Living BC, I only have one opportunity to take our staff on a field trip. I would like more opportunities to use this strategy, but as Rob highlights in his presentation, doing field trips can be challenging due to administration details, time restrictions, and funding constraints. Time and funding constraints are always an important consideration in the training that is provided for staff in a government organization.
I currently facilitate two days of Orientation Training that includes a field trip for new staff to help them feel more connected with our Head Office in Vancouver. During this field trip we visit various departments, familiarizing new staff with our organizational structure and introducing them to some of our VP’s, Directors, HR staff, accounting staff, IT staff, and finance staff. I can see how incorporating the suggestions from Rob’s PowToon video could make this field trip a more valuable and interesting learning experience for our staff. Currently, the tour around Head Office is sort of an add-on to the last day of our training, however, I think that being more deliberate around this field trip i.e. taking time to link the field trip to the afternoon’s learning, explaining more about the purpose of the field trip, and stressing the advantages of understanding the organization’s structure, would add to staff’s enjoyment of this field trip and enhance the learning they get from this experience.
Budlong, R. (June2, 2017). Field Trips. Retrieved June 18, 2017 from:
I appreciated learning about this instructional strategy/group activity in Candiss’ presentation (see below). I also enjoyed her choice of Smilebox as her presentation software. The presentation starts by giving an overview of the instructional strategy, and then provides a step by step process for incorporating this strategy into a classroom. This is helpful for people who need to clearly understand each step of an activity before they are comfortable using it with their students.
I like how this instructional strategy encourages students to examine opposite sides of an issue. I think this is a great way to encourage critical thinking as it helps students think carefully about differing opinions on a subject. This in turn helps students to develop tolerance and empathy for other people’s opinions and ideas.
I like how this strategy gives students the opportunity to agree or disagree, but also to strongly agree or strongly disagree. I also think it is great that the activity encourages students to change their minds, based on the arguments of their classmates. I think this helps to mirror what can and sometimes should happen in the real-world.
Finally, I think this strategy does a great job of honing students’ presentation skills and ability to share their point of view, and to also work on their active listening skills. My hope is to incorporate this strategy in one of our blended learning or face to face courses.
Brown, C. (March 18, 2017). Stand where you stand. Retrieved June18, 2017 from:
I believe a key component in learning, especially new learning, is to take time for reflection. During the first five weeks of PIDP 3250 we were asked to reflect on three different topic areas. I always find it difficult to get started on a reflection assignment, but once I get into it, I find the learning goes deeper and I really enjoy digging in. After the course is over, I also find I have better retention from doing the reflection, and I often continue to explore the topic area. Many people say they learn (and they count on learning) from experience. While this is true, I love John Dewey’s quote, "we do not learn from experience .... we learn from reflecting on experience”. So even after students finish all their courses/training, I think the way they will continue to do their best learning is to be able to reflect on the experiences they have in the ‘real-world’. I think it is during reflection that we can really examine our assumptions and attitudes about what we are learning or experiencing, and this is what leads to real change.
I think the PIDP 3250 digital project completed by Tun Myint (highlighted below), contains some very interesting ideas around incorporating reflection and learning in the classroom. I like his ideas about reflection and action, but I also appreciated the work and thoughtfulness that went into his presentation. I think that integrating learning, reflection and assessment is an excellent way to teach and a very effective way to learn. Using the 'muddiest points tool' seems like an good way for students to reflect on their learning and then share their 'muddy' points with the instructor. As highlighted in Tun's presentation, this provides an opportunity for the instructor to reflect on how he or she can make things clearer, or go deeper into the topic, then this additional information can be shared with students to enhance their understanding. I like how Tun also includes the implementation of a measurement/assessment tool to ensure the process is working effectively for students. I think it is interesting how the results of using the 'muddiest points tool' are similar to something I have always appreciated about group work, that when group members share their learning after a group activity it gives me a chance to reflect on their muddiest points and focus on these areas in a larger debrief or presentation. I will think more about how to use something like 'the muddiest points tool' for reflection, learning, and assessment in different learning environments to help students identify their muddiest points, and give the instructor an opportunity to reflect on these points and then add to the learners' experience (through clarification and other teaching strategies).
Myint, T. (June 11, 2017). Reflection and Action. Retrieved June 16, 2017 from:
The idea of using games in a learning or training environment is not something I would have pictured myself enjoying, even five years ago. In general, I do not like playing games with a larger group of people (probably because of my tendency toward introversion). The digital project done by Ashley Tripple about Team Jeopardy jumped out at me because this game is what changed my mind about using games to help people learn. We play Jeopardy in our Orientation Training to help our new staff learn some basic facts about our organization. This instructional strategy is typically enjoyed by all (based on the feedback) and is very fun to facilitate. I love seeing people dig into their Orientation Binders to find the answers, and the competitive spirit certainly seems to motivate people to find the information. Rarely have I witnessed a person getting carried away in the moment and not playing nice in the sandbox. The odd time that has happened, it is great to see how this person's peers respond and encourage the person to put things back in perspective (and to remember that we are all about supporting success).
I appreciate the information that Ashley shared about Team Jeopardy in her Infograph. There are some suggestions and ideas in the Infograph that I feel will help me to make this activity even better for our staff. I loved how she included a 'best practice' list for Team Jeopardy, as in my organization we talk about 'best practice' in just about every area of the work, in the instructional work we do and re the work our staff does with individuals and families.
I think the idea of posting or distributing the rules of play is a great idea. At this point we simply share the rules verbally, which does not work well for all of the learners). I also like the idea of ensuring a way to time the team's response once they hit the buzzer, as we usually just wait awhile for people to respond, and when the time stretches out a little we start singing the jeopardy song. I think the teams would appreciate knowing how long they have, and timing them helps to ensure equality for the teams. I think that if people do not feel they are being treated equally, this is one of the things that can sabotage this activity.
I have included the link to Ashley's Infograph below. I really like how this Infograph divides the different sections by using color and design, and really appreciate the graphics, especially the first picture showing the world in the background and the final section which highlights how students feel about this instructional strategy.
Tripple, A. (April 23, 2017). Team Jeopardy. Retrieved June 11, 2017 from:
I think the piktochart below is a very effective tool for showing how dyadic interviews can be used as an instructional strategy for the affective domain. I was curious about what the author, Adam Neave would share about this instructional strategy, as the impact that the affective domain has on learning is important to me in my current role as a trainer at CLBC.
I think dyadic interviews are a great strategy for addressing the affective domain as they encourage students to make a connection with another person and talk about their attitudes, beliefs and experience. I like how this activity can also be expanded to having one pair share with another pair around what they have learned, as this helps to build on everyone's thoughts and experiences. I think it is important to use strategies that encourage students to examine their attitudes and beliefs, as this is one of the ways that instructors can encourage transformational learning.
Neave, A. (March 19, 2017). Dyadic Interviews: A student engagement technique for the affective domain. Retrieved June 4, 2017 from:https://magic.piktochart.com/output/21102116-dyadic-interviews
Below I have posted another digital project from PIDP 3250. This Canva slideshow contains several suggestions on how to use critical reflection to encourage transformative learning. I love the following quote by John Dewey that is highlighted on the second slide "We do not learn from experience ... we learn from reflection on experience". I use this quote in one of the courses I teach to talk about the importance of critical reflection.
In this presentation, Laurie highlights the five top practices for using critical reflection in the classroom: create curiosity; model the reflective process; peer learning; story telling; and action learning. I talked about curiosity on the first page of my Blog. I think curiosity is an excellent way to engage learners, and from the brain research I have seen it is also an important tool to help people retain their learning. I think opportunities for peer learning and for modeling the reflective process are both important components for transformative learning. I think students are more likely to change their assumptions when the thoughts and experiences of peers challenge these assumptions. I feel incorporating activities that encourage action learning is critical if you want to help students or learners retain their learning and transfer the learning from the educational setting to their work in the 'real world'. Laurie has outlined several activities in her presentation that encourage action learning. Finally, I think story telling is an amazing way for instructors to engage the learners, especially when the student can relate their own experience to the story being shared.
I hope you enjoy this presentation on critical reflection and transformative learning, and that it helps you reflect on how you can use critical thinking to enhance the learning for your students/learners.
Izgerean, L. (May 2017). Critical Reflection in the Classroom. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from:
Wikipedia defines problem-based learning as a "student-centred pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem found in trigger material.” When I read this definition, the first thing I thought about was how much I appreciate any type of learning that is student/learner-centred. I think being learner-centred is absolutely critical in our roles as facilitators of learning. If we as instructors do not think about how the course material and activities impact our learners, then we miss the opportunity to create meaningful learning experiences.
I like how problem-based learning encourages action based learning, giving students the chance to move beyond theory to practice (in a safe learning environment, both for them, and for any people who are impacted by the problem). In my own education, I found that the BSW program gave me several opportunities for action based or problem-based learning. I appreciated the opportunities we had in class to apply social work theory to problem solving real-life scenarios. I also enjoyed the group work that was often part of our problem-based learning activities (when solving ‘problems’, two or three heads are often better than one).
I think the following journal article does a great job of outlining some of the features of problem-based learning including: the history of PBL; PBL's key focus; its link to constructivism; and especially why it works.
Marra, R., Jonassen, D. H., Palmer, B., & Luft, S. (2014). Why problem-based learning works: Theoretical foundations. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 221-238.
I work for an organization whose vision is to support individuals with disabilities to live 'lives filled with possibilities in welcoming communities'. To enhance their ability to assist individuals with planning, our staff are required to take training around how to ensure a person-centred planning process with the individuals they support. It is very important that our training assists staff to learn more about this type of planning process.
I think case studies are a great learning tool for our staff to 'practice' their learning in a safe environment, without worrying about how they will impact the people they are 'working with' in the case study. I believe this is one of the major advantages of using case studies as a learning strategy; case studies give learners a chance to practice their learning before they have to walk it out in the real world.
The presentation below talks about different aspects of using case studies as a learning strategy. The presentation was done using Canva software, a design software that is useful for a variety of applications including posters, brochures, invitations, and presentations. One of my fellow students in the PIDP at VCC did a great job of highlighting the important features of case studies in this digital project. I love the simplicity of Don's presentation, and how clearly it describes the use of case studies as an effective learning strategy.
McLellan, D. (May 7, 2017). Case Studies: Student Engagement Techniques. Retrieved May 20, 2017 from:
This page focuses on my thinking around instructional strategies and the engagement of adult learners. Please feel free to add your comments to my blog posts.
Some blogs I learn from are: