PIDP 3270 Capstone Project

Having completed all 7 of my PIDP courses in the first 11 months of 2016, I decided to tackle the Capstone Project in December to complete the PIDP program.

This course involved 4 assigments:

  1. Lesson plan for digitally recorded lesson.
  2. Digital recording of teaching.
  3. Reflection on the lesson.
  4. Reflection on PIDP program.

In early December, I decided to digitally record a planned lesson on “tooth numbering systems” and really just wanted to see how the recording would turn out. Amazingly enough it actually turned out way better than I had expected so I decided to submit it along with the lesson plan.  So, just like that, my first 2 assignments were completed. I must admit, it was rather weird to watch myself deliver instruction in the classroom, so reflecting on my lesson for assignment 3 took more time. I enjoyed doing assignment 4 and have shared some of this assignment here in my blog.

I received my Completion of the BC Provincial Instructor Diploma Program, by mail December 14, 2016 with a 4.05 GPA.

Yay, I met my completion goal of 1 year…. 🙂

This was a great program and I highly recommend it to anyone instructing adults.

I hope to continually take professional development courses to keep me progressing forward so that I am able to instruct adults with the latest technological changes and continue on my learning journey!!

I am a lifelong learner.

 

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Week 9- 3260

Here’s a link to my Feedback Strategies Digital Project (Assignment 5) on The Minute Paper. Enjoy!!

https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentation/fzU1YFmX65m/?mode=movie#/

 

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Week 8- 3260

This is my last PIDP course. I started the first course in January 2016 and completed my goal of finishing all 7 courses in 1 year….it’s been a busy year.

Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned, how my thinking has changed and what action I’ll be taking on what I’ve learned for each PIDP course.

 

PIDP 3100-Foundations of Adult Education

  • This was the second PIDP course that I took and I chose the two weekend classes option offered here in Victoria. It was a great introductory course into the program and I wish I had taken it first. We learned all about student’s barriers, domains of learning and learning theories. I was particularly taken with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory.
  • This has changed my thinking because I was unaware that these learning theories existed, yet I always felt the need to provide my students with a safe learning environment.
  • I will continue to provide my students with a safe learning environment, which meets their basic needs while considering other levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well. Students will learn best if all of their needs are being met, which includes their basic needs and their psychological needs such as, a sense of belonging, self-esteem and confidence.

 

PIDP 3210-Curriculum Development

  • This is the first PIDP course that I took and I chose to complete it online. This was a very difficult course for me as it had been over thirty years since I had done any formal education. I had never done any reflecting writing before and I had to google what APA formatting meant before I could even begin. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I learned how to design a curriculum and make a course outline so that all the material will be covered and students will know what they will be learning in the course. Then breaking this down even further to know how to create a lesson plan so that your objectives match your outcomes. There are so many variables and wording to consider when planning.
  • Planning is a very important element to instructing. Without a plan, you are just crossing your fingers and hoping that all of the content will be covered and will meet the outcomes. Learn to plan ahead.
  • In the future, I will create a lesson plan to meet the objectives, which will in turn meet the course outcomes.

 

PIDP 3220-Delivery of Instruction

  • I just finished this course in September because I was waiting for it to be delivered in Victoria. It was a small intimate class, which was perfect for delivering three mini-lessons. First, we had to create our mini-lessons and then deliver them to the class while providing feedback to each other. I learned a lot about delivering instruction with clarity and enthusiasm while still following a lesson plan.
  • I had previously learned how to create a lesson plan in 3210-Curriculum Development, but now I learned how to effectively deliver that lesson plan. The importance of clarity, organization, pre-assessment, content, post-assessment and summary.
  • In the future, I will take the time to make routine lesson plans that have a clear objective. It seems easier to instruct when everything is organized on paper for each lesson, nothing seems to get missed. If I have a plan, it can always be changed or altered during the lesson as long as my lesson still contains clear instruction.

 

PIDP 3230-Evaluation of Learning

  • This was a very time-consuming online course, but it had lots of great information. I learned how to evaluate and/or assess students’ learning either formative or summative. How to create a reliable, valid, well-aligned exam and how to create a digital project to be viewed online.
  • The biggest impact that this course had on me was the value of performing formative assessment for students. This allows students to be able to receive necessary feedback before summative evaluation. To be honest, I wish I didn’t have to do evaluations at all, simply assessments. I do understand the need for some sort of grade for evaluation, but sometimes it’s not a very accurate representation of students learning. Let’s do formative assessments to help students have the chance to learn where they need to improve so that they can spend more attention in those areas.
  • I plan to do more formative assessments and provide students with the necessary feedback to aid them in their summative evaluation. This will give students more confidence in their abilities as I will be their guide on the side.

 

PIDP 3240- Media-enhanced Learning

  • I was told that this course would be the most difficult of all of the PIDP courses, so I was a little concerned. I proceeded into it slowly, so that I didn’t get overwhelmed right away. Well, it was one of the best courses that I took. I learned so much and received 100%. I learned all about the new trends in technology and social media and how to create a podcast. I even learned what a Pecha Kucha PowerPoint was and then created one myself. Wow!!
  • Learning new technology is nothing to be afraid of. It’s an ongoing, ever-changing method of delivering instruction. There will always be something new and better coming along, so why not try it out as you go. Why not give your students some online content and see if they like it delivered that way.
  • Don’t overdo technology in the classroom. I would like to eventually switch my face-to-face instruction to a flipped classroom, but for now I’m considering a hybrid version. Preparing content to be viewed on students own time and then students coming to class for discussion on that content and then applying that content in a clinic setting is something that I see in my future.

 

PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies

  • I tried to enroll into PIDP 3240 but it was full, so I did 3250 first instead. This probably wasn’t the best idea. Most students already knew how to create a blog (in 3240), but this was a huge learning curve for me. I stumbled and swore my way through and created a blog that I’m very proud of now. I used the blog again in 3240 and now again in 3260. As much as I disliked participating in the discussion forum, I eventually overcame that as well. There were so many interesting topics to participate in I sort of just got caught up in the content. I even created my first PowToon digital project. The most important thing that I learned was that there are a variety of instructional strategies to help students learn.
  • This course definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am more knowledgeable from it. I can now say that’s how it changed my thinking. I have become a self-regulated learner and will be able to recognize this in my students.
  • I will be able to help students learn using a variety of instructional strategies. All learners are different, so it’s great to have this knowledge and be able to apply it help different learners.

 

PIDP 3260-Professional Practice

  • This is my last PIDP course before my Capstone Project. I’ve been able to achieve my goal of completing all of the courses in less than one year. The most important thing that I learned in this course was obtaining regular feedback from our learners regarding our instruction is very valuable feedback. I also created another PowToon digital project on The Minute Paper, which is a great feedback strategy.
  • My thinking has changed because before this course I was only concerned about feedback from my students as to their learning. I had never considered gathering feedback from students regarding my instruction. Feedback is great and can be used in both directions.
  • In the future, I will be using feedback strategies such as the Minute Paper on a regular basis. By obtaining regular constructive feedback, reflecting on them and then making the necessary changes, it will help me to learn what I could be doing better.

I am a lifelong learner.

 

 

 

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Week 7- 3260

Chapter 4- What Students Value in Teachers of Brookfields “The Skillful Teacher” was very valuable information. He says the three most important indicators to judge our credibility are expertise, experience and rationale.

Expertise– reassuring for students to know that the person in charge of their learning knows a lot

Experience– that the teacher has experience in the field being taught

Rationale– that the teacher clearly has a plan

Students also say that it’s important for teachers to be authentic, that they can “walk the talk”. If teachers words and actions are not congruent then “students quickly conclude that your word is worthless, that any promise you make can’t be taken seriously, and that you aren’t to be trusted” (2105, p.49). This will definitely affect the students learning if their trust in you is broken.

The importance of lifelong learning as a professional

Lifelong learning refers to the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of  knowledge” (Wikipedia, 2016, para.1). I feel that lifelong learning as a professional is a necessity. I have always been curious to learn new things, whether it be a new sport, a new hobby or a new computer program. I have a need to know things, sometimes too much. I continually ask questions to gain more knowledge.

Taking on the full-time position as a dental assisting instructor has challenged me to learn more every day. I’ve learned so much about myself while instructing and have overcome several barriers I thought not possible. Once the mind is open to learning, life takes on a whole new meaning. Challenges are no longer challenging, because we are changing and growing at the same time. We are growing as we go without ever being aware of it.

Taking this PIDP program has opened a new learning window for me on a more academic level. I’m finding all the courses to be so interesting and informative and I’m almost concerned now that this is my last course. What am I going to learn next?

As professionals, I think it’s very important to keep learning new things as we move along in our careers. There will always be new technology to learn as that’s the most abundant change happening at this time. I like to learn new things. What I learn today will be something valuable for tomorrow.

The key to learning is to keep educating yourself.

 lifelong-learning-key

I am a lifelong learner!!

 

 

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Week 6- 3260

Chapter 6 Lecturing Creatively of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher” gave me some helpful lecturing ideas. The challenge we have with lectures is making them as helpful and stimulating as possible. Brookfield suggests “a lecture should begin with the lecturer explaining its purpose, it’s relevance to the course goals and syllabus and its connection to earlier class sessions or assignments” (2015, p.71). We need to make it clear what the lecture is intended to achieve so that our learners are aware of its purpose. Brookfield suggests these three characteristics of a helpful lecture:

  1. Use a variety of teaching and communication processes.
  2. Are clearly organized so students can follow the thread of the lecturer’s thought.
  3. Model the learning behaviours expected in the course.

He also suggests every 10-15 minutes do a 1 minute paper on the most important point so far. By doing so, this introduces periods of silence and then students get into Buzz groups to share the 1 minute papers. Break the lectures into 10-15 minute chunks that deal with separate ideas. Using clickers or social media every 10-15 minutes to ask review questions is also a good way to break up your lecture. Good lecturing involves organization, providing handouts and offering verbal signals when changing direction in the lecture.

Accreditation

“Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented” (Wikipedia, 2016, para.1). If a school is accredited, this shows the public that the school has met and is maintaining the standards set by the accrediting agent. When choosing a college, make sure to find out if it’s accredited and how that accreditation will impact your future. When you graduate, employers may question the validity of your degree if you graduated from a school with a questionable accreditation and other schools will not transfer credits from an unaccredited university. Also you will not be able to obtain appropriate professional licensing in your field, as your school was not accredited.

Here’s an example of a Canadian school (Trinity Western University Law School) that lost their accreditation. It appears that this Christian law schools accreditation was denied due to their prohibition of homosexual behaviour.

Trinity Western University Law School’s denial of accreditation was not based on academics, but based on a covenant that all students and instructors have to sign. This covenant prohibits all sex other than heterosexual marriage and is therefore discriminatory against gay people and people that do not believe in marriage.

Here’s a video by Ezra Levant (who is Jewish) mocking the denial of the accreditation of Trinity Western University by saying go ahead and have a Law School, but your degree will not be valid. He has some really good points to make regarding religious discrimination and education.

Here’s another video by Brian Lilley (who is Catholic) with his opinion on this denial of accreditation. It will be interesting to see if this accreditation is appealed and what the outcome will be. I’m hoping that the Law School will receive its accreditation.

The Dental Assisting Program that I’m currently instructing in received its accreditation 1 ½ years ago. The first class of students went through the program before it was accredited and they had to perform their clinical skills before they could write their national exam. We received external accreditation while the second class was in progress and these students only had to write their national exam. Accreditation was a lengthy process. We started preparing the documentation for it months ahead of time as the accreditors require the documentation well in advance. The external accreditors were on campus for 2 days, reviewing the curriculum, interviewing the instructors and students and evaluating clinical procedures according to the Policy and Procedures Manual. It is most important that schools have these manuals in place and are following them correctly or accreditation will be denied or revoked. It was a very intense 2 days, but we were well prepared and really looking forward to being accredited. It went smoothly.

 

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Week 5- 3260

Chapter 16 Understanding Students’ Resistance to Learning of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher” made me understand all of the different issues that students may have regarding resistance to their learning. Simply understanding about students’ resistance helps me to see a diverse classroom in all sorts of different ways. Since learning involves change, resistance to this learning is the fear of change and also the fear of the unknown (Brookfield, 2015). Also, some students’ resistance to learning stems from being forced to learn something that they think is a complete waste of time. Brookfield suggests that resistance to learning “is a multilayered and complex phenomenon in which several factors intersect” (2015, p.219). In other words, resistance to learning is complicated.

Some students prefer to return back to their place of comfort and resist to move forward, while others resist learning if the exercise skills provide no point or meaning for them. Any learning tasks that appear to be unclear also promote resistance to learning as well as an instructor that proceeds too quickly, as students have a fear of looking foolish. We all have fragile egos.

I’m looking forward to reading Chapter 17 Responding to Students’ Resistance to Learning and hoping that it will provide me with the information needed to address this resistance to learning.

 Professional Ethics-

Here’s an article stating unprofessional conduct when a top private school teacher pocketed parent’s money from a planned day trip. She had parents pay her directly into her bank account almost four times more than the cost. This was very dishonest conduct and definitely unacceptable professional conduct. She was prohibited from teaching and convicted of fraud. If this teacher had used her private bank account, but only accepted the required money needed for the planned day trip, it would have been acceptable. This teacher not only did something unethical and unprofessional, but also illegal.

Code of Ethics-

In dentistry we have a code of ethics to follow governed by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. One of the first courses that I teach my dental assisting students involves ethics and moral issues that may arise in a dental office.

Policies and Procedures Manual-

The first day of our dental assisting program, each student is given a copy of the Policies and Procedures manual that is about 80 pages long. Each section is explained to the students so that they are all aware of its contents and the complications that results if it’s not followed. Everything is explained in this manual and it really helps to refer to it regularly if there’s any unanswered questions.

The college where I am employed also has a Policies and Procedures manual that covers any relevant information involving our instruction and disciplinary action.

 

 

 

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Week 4- 3260

I’ve just finished Chapter 8 Teaching in Diverse Classrooms of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher”. This chapter was also very interesting with lots of insight into students’ needs in a diverse classroom. Brookfield mentions how diverse some classrooms can be and that having one instructor is “limited by the boundaries of her own personality, learning preferences, racial group membership and experience” (2015, p.102). He suggests having 2-3 instructors from different racial backgrounds, talents, personalities and experiences team up to provide more diverse teaching. As instructors, we all have something to bring to the classroom, blending verbal lectures with visual lectures, group work with solo work to meet the needs of the diversity in the classrooms. Brookfield states that “team-teaching with colleagues who share different racial backgrounds, personalities and learning styles is the most helpful” (2015, p.108). This will provide more diversity in instruction, meeting the needs of the students in the diverse classroom.

Where am I professionally?

I have been a dental assistant for over 30 years. I have considered instructing in the dental assisting program for several years however, my location was a huge barrier. When I finally relocated to Victoria, I started as a part-time clinical assistant in a dental assisting program 2 ½ years ago. I am now instructing full-time both theory and clinic. This dental assisting diploma program is 11 months long and I’ve just seen my first class graduate. I enrolled in the PIDP program in January 2016 and will have it completed very soon. It’s been a great program for instructing adults and I’ve learned a lot about instructing and a lot about myself. I really love learning.

Where would I like to be in 5 years?

Five years from now I see myself still instructing as this is an exciting new career for me and I have so much to learn. I enjoy it so much and find most days very rewarding. The program is new to our college and it’s just starting to expand. I’m continually going to Vancouver for calibration with the other campuses and gathering insight from other colleagues. I’ve just recently attended a full day course on a new digital program we’ll be implementing very soon in our classroom. Very soon we’ll be changing over to digital radiographs, so then there will be more training involved with that as well. I’ve just recently updated my CPR and have been asked if I was interested in becoming a First Aid Instructor, so that is something I may consider once my PIDP courses are completed. I have continuing education points to achieve on an annual basis to maintain my certified dental assisting license as well. This can be obtained on the weekends or online. I’m very interested in learning everything new that comes my way. Every once in a while I even consider getting my Master’s Degree, so I’m sure that my learning will always continue.

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Week 3- 3260

I finished Chapter 2 The Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher”. I found his 4 Core Assumptions of Skillful Teaching very insightful. Here they are:

  1. Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn.

I agree that not all students learn the same way and that what helps one student may be confusing to another. I particularly liked the way Brookfield addressed this statement by inviting an alumni panel of students to the new class and then he left the room while they asked the alumni panel questions regarding the course and instructor. I think that new students respect the answers given to them from alumni students rather than just being informed by their instructors. I have always done this except I’ve never left the room, definitely something to consider next time.

  1. Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance toward their practice.

Brookfield suggests looking at your actions and assumptions through the lenses of the students’ eyes, colleagues’ perceptions, literature and our own autobiography. He suggests that by doing so that your actions will be based on assumptions that are accurate and valid. This seems like a great idea to me.

  1. The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions.

We need to be able to have students share their thinking and feeling in our classes in order to do good work otherwise we are just guessing. Students must feel safe and in order to give honest criticism, make sure anonymity is guaranteed.

  1. College students of any age should be treated as adults.

I liked Brookfield’s statement, “Students want their teachers to be authoritative, not authoritarian” (2015, p. 24). This is very true. We should be treating our college students as adults so that they take some responsibility for their learning.

Here’s a great article on treating college students like adults.

I find it interesting how college students want to be treated as adults, but only when it suits them to be. Most college students are young adults and this happens all the time. Research shows that the brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25, so these college students are still growing. I agree with this article that the college experience should be a learning experience and that we’re trying to discuss issues and guide them in all learning. However, if treated like children, we’re limiting their learning. I know it can be very frustrating for mature adults to be in college with the young adults, but it shouldn’t be if they’re all being treated as adults.

 

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Obtaining Feedback Strategies

While students benefit in their learning from our feedback, we as instructors can also benefit in our learning from their feedback on our instruction. There are a lot of feedback strategies available, such as student feedback, peer observation and viewing a videotape of our instruction.

Student Feedback

Using formative feedback strategies such as The Minute Paper or The Muddiest Point provide quick and easy student feedback.

Peer Observation

Peer observation is having another instructor sit in on your lesson to observe your instruction. The purpose of this is student-focused with the emphasis on any changes that could be made to help students succeed academically.

Here’s a good article on Teachers Observing Teachers.

Viewing videotape of our instruction

A very helpful feedback on our teaching is videotaping our lesson. We will see ourselves as others see us. We can reflect on what we see and make the necessary changes. Videotaping ourselves for learning purposes is popular in learning numerous things. I have videotaped my golf swing several times so that I can learn to make improvements. Videotaping provides endless opportunity for learning in all areas of instruction.

Here’s another good article on Improving Your Teaching: Obtaining Feedback.

 

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Clarity

What do I feel are the most important in my instruction of a lesson? An instructor that presents a clear lesson, provides a classroom that encourages the asking of questions and provides valuable handouts, I feel enables students with a good basis for learning. For students to take responsibility for their learning, it must be clear on what is to be learnt.

This article lists some essential components of clarity as learning intentions and relevance. It also suggests that instructors frequently check in with students on the understanding of the intended learning to ensure their needs are being met.

By using a Mid-point feedback form, instructors can ask questions regarding the clarity of their instruction to find out if students in this classroom are observing this clarity and having their needs met.

Also by using a Classroom Assessment Technique called The Minute Paper at the end of a lesson will provide quick and easy instructor feedback as to the clarity of the students learning of this lesson. By using the minute paper, instructors are able to make the necessary changes to their lessons before continuing on.

Here’s a digital video on The Minute Paper that I created for 3260-Assignment #5. It was a lot of fun to create and the minute paper feedback strategy is a great tool to implement after a lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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