PIDP 3250

What I am learning in school this week! 

Week 10!

I cannot believe I am in my last week of this course!  This has been probably my favorite course to date.  I really enjoyed reading the forums and even the facilitation.  To see so many people contribute and then too have the time to digest and think about their shares, ideas and work places has been very humbling too.  I realize that we are all desirous of becoming better students and instructors.  Through the PIDP program  I am learning how to find my way through the dogma, theories and some plain hocus pocus has been enlightening.  Like some of the other PIDP programs I just wished I had more time to look deeper in to some things and learn more skills with relation to the digital platforms.  This is where we are heading, both in the classroom and online.

This last week there were two new forums added about Emotional Intelligence and Problem Based Learning.  I have added the introductions and my responses below.

Emotional Intelligence by Chantal Lortie – Wednesday, 18 January 2017, 5:32 PM

Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence (EI) is “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others” (Mayer, 2009)

EI is known to include three specific skills:

1. Emotional awareness, which includes identifying your own emotions and those around you;

2. The ability to connect to your emotions and apply them to problem-solving and your thoughts;

3. The ability to manage your emotions, which include regulating your own emotions, and to influence the emotions of another person (to bring about excitement or calm).

What EI is NOT:

-Being Aggregable

-Being Assertive

-Being positive or an optimist

-Level of Happiness

-Being mindful or calm

-Being Motivated

According to Dr. Mayer (2009), these are personality traits and social styles and should be called what they are. “Such qualities, although important, have little to do with intelligence, little to do with emotions, and nearly nothing to do with actual emotional intelligence” (Mayer, 2009). Please have a look and read the posts from my classmates.  This is one of those polarizing discussions 🙂

This was my response to the discussion:

I read about EI about 20 years ago and thought then as I do now how important it is to learning and teaching. It is another tool for us to look at and utilize in the best way we can. I took the test and scored average. I believe, as other have stated, that facial expressions are not enough, we need context body language and an understanding of that person. I work in customer service on the phone where I never have facial expressions and rely on voice tonal clues. I am a good listener and as a result I am able to apply EI with the other resources to come to a successful conclusion, most often, for our members.

As others have stated stress, anxiety and outside influences change ourselves and our students behaviors. We can use our EI to become more be aware of our classroom environment so we can reduce students stress levels. Angela’s example of being more open with how her exams will look was a great way to promote learning and reduce anxiety in her classroom.

The other forum I participated in was Problem Based Learning, is it the new hotness?
by Stephen Campbell – Monday, 16 January 2017, 5:46 AM

Problem Based Learning


Problem Based Learning is a student-centered approach where students arranged in groups are given an open-ended problem to solve. “The Maastricht seven-jump process involves clarifying terms, defining problem(s), brainstorming, structuring and hypothesis, learning objectives, independent study and synthesis. “(Problem-Based Learning, Wikipedia). The teacher guides, supports and monitors progress.

An example in practice might look like this:

1) Teacher forms small groups of 4 and assign roles (chairperson, minute taker). Roles are assigned to help groups stay on track.

2) Present the class with a situation. “A personal training client asks you what they should eat to be healthy.” The situation usually would be something that students might experience in actual practice. Ensure that all students understand the situation.

3) The groups discuss the nature of the situation and clarify what problem they are discussing.

4) Ask the groups to separately brainstorm the possible answers. The teacher moves about the room and provides assistance but not solutions. The teacher can answer questions about the scenario that would help students make better choices. Students are encouraged to be accepting of any and all ideas.

5) Students go through the contributed ideas and discuss their applicability to the problem

6) Students explore missing knowledge required for their solutions

7) Students research what is needed and prepare material for class

8) Students present their findings to the group and arrive at a solution

9) The process can be repeated by the teacher offering new circumstances “The client has heard that supplements are the way to go” or “the client suspects that their caloric intake per day is too high”

This is a simple example and there are countless variations, but this example gets to the gist of the technique.


The Problem Based Learning technique was created as a response to perceived inadequacies in medical school instruction in the 1960s (McMaster, 2015). Lecture-based instruction was seen as inadequate to prepare students for real-world situations (. The collaborative student-lead constructivist nature of problem based learning was seen as a correction of that inadequacy. It has since been used throughout all educational disciplines.

In Closing:

I know from my own online forum experiences that you are a lively, intelligent and resourceful bunch. I really look forward to what you think about this topic. Cheers!


McMaster School of Rehabilitation Science (2015). A Few Words on the Theory Behind PBL. Retrieved from

This was my post,

Good morning everyone,

What an interesting forum. Stephen I like the flow of this conversation. It is interesting  to see  Shirley’s question being worked on by the group.

I do use PBL in my classes. My students do most of there work independently so it is important that they learn how to resolve issues on their own. Normally the resolution is not submitted in a written format but rather an presentation. This way the entire class benefits from what each group learned. Including me!

Where I work we use PBL frequently to address specific P&P items. This is often a diverse group through the organization and takes place over 1-2 days. These are always interesting and the facilitator keeps the “class” on the problem so we can reach our resolution in the allotted time frame.

thank you


Digital Project Review

This week I will be adding my project to this space.  this was the only assignment that I struggled with as I could find a lot of digital tools to use but not how to integrate them for the class to participate with.  My video is almost complete, just needs to be fine tuned a bit.

Here is my digital project, the final piece.  The 10 weeks flew past.  I hope you enjoy it.  I want to give a shout out to all the ladies/men who provide the free images I was able to use in my Instructional video.


Blogs I added this week

Robynne Kingswoods Blog called Learning For The 20’s has a cool vibe.  Her entries all have little video clips with them.  This is very clever as it captured the attention of the reader (me) and the non-readers (video folks) and then draws them to the other side.   I really enjoyed her Cognitive Science post.  Timely as it is my next forum to post in.

Week 9- Jan 16th -22nd

Sabrina Ngo is facilitating the forum on The Flipped Classroom.  Here is her introduction:

What is the “Flipped Classroom” Exactly?

The flipped classroom is basically a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. So you are going to record your lectures into short videos (I like Camtasia, it’s a fantastic software that has plenty of features and excellent editing capabilities) and students view these videos outside of the classroom – this is seen as the key ingredient here – it could also be a podcast or other audio clip but video lectures have become synonymous with the flipped classroom.

Then, while in class, the students work on their assignments and projects or have discussions on the viewed lecture.

The instructor therefore functions as the “guide on the side” as opposed to the “sage on the stage”.

What it is not

The flipped classroom is not simply the assignment of reading outside the classroom alone, with discussion as an in-class activity.

How does it Work and who is doing it?

While there is no one specific model or method to using this form of instructing, there are a few standard protocols, if you will. For example, recorded lectures can be interspersed with online quizzes or activities. Instructors can then lead in-class discussions or turn the classroom into a place where students can collaborate, create and put into practice what they have learned in the recorded lectures.

This form of learning is being utilized across many educational institutions – in fact, MIT took a major step forward in this advancement in 2001 when it announced its OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative. History, the flipped classroom actually goes back even further than this but I’ll leave that for your own perusal via the references below.

Why is it Significant?

This form of learning has been seen as significant because in traditional lectures, the students often try to capture what is being said in the instant the speaker says it. They are not able to go back and reflect on the topic and may in fact miss large portions of important material because they are trying to transcribe exactly what is being said. When using the recorded lecture, the students can go back and review certain points over again for further clarity. Instructors can also use the class time for application of the concepts which might give the instructor a better idea of any errors in thinking.

She asked us to respond to 4 questions:

Good morning Sabrina,

1) Do you think there are there specific subject-matters or curriculum that would lend themselves to this form of technique better than others? If so, which ones?

I do think any classroom would find the flipped classroom effective. If the goal of the teacher is to ask students to dig deeper and ask questions, when they have read, watched, listened to our lecture ahead of time when they come to class we can further discuss or repeat portions of the lecture for a higher level of understanding. If we combine the off class lecture with a pre requisite of discussion topics before the in class time we could really focus on the needs of the class we are currently teaching and perhaps see where we can improve our off campus lectures and where certain students may need more assistance with the subject. I agree with though that this should be a strategy used in combination with traditional teaching lectures.

2) If you identified a curriculum that seems to be more apropos for the traditional lecture format, what would/could you do to make the flipped classroom work in this area?

I teach sewing so to have a lecture listened to ahead of time means the students have more in class time to work on new techniques. This means not only do they get support from myself but also other students. If they are struggling with a technique they can also listen/watch the lecture as many times as they need too so when they get to class their questions will be more directed

3) Have you tried this model before? If so, what worked and didn’t work and why?

No I have not.

4) If you haven’t tried this format, are you interested in doing so and what in-class activities would you utilize to make the sessions meaningful and enlightening to the students?

I am definitely going to be making podcasts and lecture videos in the future for in class. In class activities are the actual making of the garment/quilt so I am able to make a less formal lecture and work with the “chunk and chew” strategy. I currently use the minute paper at the end of every class to determine how students are doing so I can incorporate these into a lecture they are going to listen to before the next class.


This week we are learning about Humor in the classroom on the forum facilitated by Jacquie Dale.  Jacquie did a wonderful introduction on the many ways of using humor appropriately.  If you haven’t read it please check it out at

It was great to read the posts from my classmates on how we all use humor in one form or another to teach. I love humor in the classroom. Like Sabrina I use myself (self-depricating) as a point of humor to relax the class. I speak of errors as being creative designs rather than flaws.  It’s amazing how a laugh can break the tension and return the focus back to learning.   I do always worry that someone will get hurt by humor so I do try to keep the focus on myself or I will use an abstract situation after I have gotten to know my students better.

From edutopia on an article on Laughter and Learning: Humor Boost Retention

Here are some research-supported tips for using humor to increase retention: “Studies indicate that the use of appropriate, content-specific humor to reinforce concepts can be a positive tool to improve retention. Educators can utilize humor’s systematic activation of the dopamine reward system to reinforce the brain’s pathways to new knowledge.”


Use humor to enhance classroom joy
Use humor to develop a sense of community
Use content-related humor
Use age-appropriate humor
“Sandwich” humor between instruction and repetition

Cruel or inappropriate humor
Forced humor
Off-topic humor
Too much humor

Sarah Henderson, March 31, 2015, Laughter and Learning: Humor Boost Retention

Digital Project Review

Simulation: Experiential Learning, by Angela Richardson  is excellent.  It is a very well done presentation using video and simulations from her profession.  She covers all the steps to use simulation:experiential learning for both the student and the educator.  The pros and cons are clearly outline from both a learning and financial commitment.  This digital project sets the bar very high!


This week I have viewed a few digital projects.  I have to say that they are all blurring for me as everyone seems to be using the same digital software for animation.  I need to go back and re watch them as I know they all contain important strategies for me to use in the classroom.  My own digital project is due the end of next week and I will look forward to the feedback I get.

Blogs I added this week

This week I read though Summer Ryan’s Blog on Never Stop Learning  about her journey through PIDP.  Her posts are defined clearly by using her left hand menu. Her use of negative space and minimalist layout highlight the posts she contributes without distraction.  In her first reflective writing she shows how she is open to new ideas to engage her students in her “dry” subject.  I wondered what she teaches, hmmm

Week 8 – Jan 9-15th

Hello everyone!  I am sharing this Blog post from my classmate David whose blog I have previously reviewed and I currently follow.  I posted his blog post below about his view on why should we encourage introverts to change there behaviors.  It really resonated with me.  In my life I have been blessed with 3 longterm best friends, met at different stages of my life, one for more than 40 years and the newest for 15 years.  They are all introverts, not ambiverts, introverts.  I on the other hand am an full on extrovert with leanings to ambivert behaviors as I am getting older (might be an energy thing).  David states in his Blog “There is also part of me that sees this as an intervention that may not be desired or even appropriate. Introverts deserve the respect that allows them to express how they uniquely are as people. ” I don’t think we should intervene.  We need all of us, extroverts and introverts, it is up to us to accept them as they are.  These women have made my life richer and deeper by being exactly who they are.  I have watched them courageously go forth in a world that doesn’t always see their beauty and intelligence and compassion.  That is the worlds  loss, not theres.  Where introverts really get the last laugh is that they are ok with being by themselves.  Not that they don’t want friends and social contact they just don’t need it the way extroverts do.  With my one friend she would often go days without contacting anyone.  I made her promise to call me (this is before text, Facebook, etc.) and leave a message once a day that she was ok on my answering machine.  I needed to know she wasn’t dead in a ditch (cause thats where extroverts go) and she new she wasn’t alone in the world.  We found away to respect who each of us was.  What we as instructors need to teach is how valuable extroverts, introverts and ambiverts are and if we can help a student change their behaviors, because that is what they want to do, then we should find away to help them on their terms, not ours.

Enjoy the blog

I Have an Innie. You?
For those of us as somewhat natural introverts, ambiversion seems, of course, to be the happy medium goal for ‘survival’. The fact that I even used the word survival tells me a lot, in fact. And working with young adults, this question of ‘survival’, often identified as popularity, is a critical consideration.

Speaking in sweeping generalities now, we live in a world where we are ‘told’ the extroverts rise to positions of dominance/success and introverts descend to levels of submission/failure. I am not necessarily attaching a value judgement to these terms but so much of our western culture does. We are also told that extroversion leads to success and introversion leads to invisibility and non-success. Again, the value placed on this is contextual and this is a sweeping generality. But for children and young adults who see the world in primary colours, this is not too far off their world-view. And it creates enormous pressures.

Extroverts don’t require ‘discovery’ because they make themselves known. Introverts are often ‘discovered’ as the group/tribe/pack separates with extroverts making the move to control. Like being left in the shadows.

So respecting and celebrating introverts, I understand. I makes me feel good. I do feel, however, it is a bit like investing in the protection of an endangered species because the world around it/them poses a threat to their survival. And, with 70% of the world ambiverts, in many ways, introverts are the ones most likely to be left in the shadows.

So my question is, can you teach ambiversion? The resources I have found discuss the concept and identify the behaviour on a spectrum. But I couldn’t find resources that detail how a teacher might work with a student to help move them to a place of learned ambiversion. For natural ambiverts, they seem to have balance. For introverted students, I would like to offer them something more than respect; I would like to offer them tools they can choose to use to develop personality and behavioural ‘attitudes’ that might move them toward ambiversion.

As a start, I have found:



There is also part of me that sees this as an intervention that may not be desired or even appropriate. Introverts deserve the respect that allows them to express how they uniquely are as people. The assumption that their survival is under threat is an extrovert-down view, in my opinion. But there is no question that extroversion is touted as the predominant measuring stick within our society.

Digital Project Review

Tonight I watched Alisha Woods’ digital project called Go for the Goal on the strategy of goal setting.  I really enjoyed the flow of the video and the music selected.  The colors choices made it easy to read along.  I have used this strategy a lot in my teaching and I do find the pro’s out weight the goals when the right goals are set for the individual.

Blogs I added this week

The Knowledge Spirit Blog by Bonnie McCreery offers a wonderful insight in to the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel and how it is used in teaching.  I have been recently involved in a project where we worked with aboriginal groups and the issues they have had as they pertain to financial institutions.  That was where I was first introduced to the medicine wheel.  It was very humbling and enlightening to see the positive outcomes when the medicine wheel is fully applied both in deed and word.

Kelly Chhor Blog the Climb to Education has some great reviews of other classmates blogs.  I really enjoyed reading how she viewed some of the blogs I chose and the things she enjoyed about them.    She brought up the use of videos on a students Blog I hadn’t seen before The Science of Teaching and it does have some very interesting videos!

Week 7 – Jan 2 -8th

(Jan 8, 17) Today I was researching information on Reflective Strategies and I came across this image that I had to share.  It does not relate to reflective practices but rather with another strategy, Cognitive learning styles we covered earlier in this course.

Reflective strategies are both the easiest and hardest thing we do as both teachers and students.  As instructors we must reflect honestly on how our students are receiving the content of what we are trying to teach, are they learning what we are intending to teach or something else?  We have learned through PIDP that there are many short and quick strategies that we can use for student feedback to see how we and our students are doing.  By using students feedback evidence based assessment strategies,  peer assessments and sharing ideas we can be sure we are based in evidence with our reflections and not our egos.

As a student I need to practice reflective activities to be sure I am learning and expanding my knowledge.  If I am not able to reflect honestly we cannot grow in our thinking.  It is hard as adults to realize that some of what I “know” is not enough.  That by reflecting in a thoughtful and critical manner, with kindness, on what I am learning I can open myself too becoming a better instructor and student.

(Jan 6, 17) Today a student, Angela Richardson, added this exercise to use when exploring the strategy of Cognitive dissonance.

“You are in the South Pacific Ocean with your boat and you come across a sinking boat. On the sinking boat there are 6 people that need saving, BUT you can only safely take 2 people on your boat or you all will perish. You need to choose 2 and only 2 people to save. Who would you choose?

  • A research scientist/doctor
  • A young man with HIV/AIDS
  • A pregnant woman
  • A 75 year old grandfather
  • A 6 year old girl
  • A father of 3 teenage children

Write down the 2 people you have chosen without discussion with another about your reasons. Be prepared to discuss why you came to your decision.”

What would you do?


(Jan 4, 17) The forum Motivation Expectancy is so interesting.  The questions raised on how to understand and use motivation as a teaching strategy are invaluable insights for me.  The new question raised is how do we motivate students to continue to learn after they have left the classroom?  this is my response:


The interesting question raised among many of you “how dose sustain motivation beyond the classroom/Program?”.

I really believe this in an individuals desire and the motivation has to be intrinsic to who they are.  For myself I understand that any learning will enhance my life, formal or informal.  I also understand, this is about me, that education takes time and effort to be successful as I am on someone elses timeline.  For me that means I have to rebalance my current life to fit in that course as I am not alone in my life journey.  I have a husband, children, family, parents, friends and a job that all require my time and attention.  So often I do not lack the motivation to take a program, but time and finance may be prohibitive to engage in a structured learning environment.  For me the motivation is not the issue but rather how can I continue to learn right now at this time in my life?  What do I need to do to take “that” program.  Once I figure this out I can move forward.

This is a quote that I think of

“Education is what people do to you and learning is what you do for yourself. You’re not going to be on top of mountain all by yourself with a #2 pencil … What we need to learn is how to learn.” 

—Joi Ito


Jan 3, 17.  Good morning,

Cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself. The concept, first introduced in the 1950s, has become a major point of discussion and research.” (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1p)

When I think of cognitive dissonance I first think of my relationship with food. I know that certain foods that I eat are not assisting me in my goal of more heathy eating, but I can justify to myself why I can eat those Bugles and then eat them!  What is the reason that I, a smart well read individual, eat Bugles?  I really like apples and enjoy eating them and the lack of guilt when I finished eating them.  Why don’t I chose apples?  Apples give me a happy, satisfied and harmonious ending.  Then the question is how do I modify my behavior so my thinking changes to  apples first instead of Bugles?  How do they offer me the same initial comfort reaction to my brain that Bugles do?

I have 2 videos.

Cognitive Dissonance Khan Academy 

The second one that is from a teacher named Mr Wray.

created to engage his students.

In our assigned textbook Student Engagement Techniques by Elizabeth Barkley they recommend two student engagement techniques, 10 Believing and Doubting (P195) , and 11 Academic Controversy (P199).    Technique 10 Believing and Doubting asks students “to read a text empathetically, make a conscious effort to understand and appreciate the author’s perspective and values. They make a list of reasons and arguments that support the author’s viewpoint and use this list as a basis for small-group discussion.  The doubting portion of the activity, students reread the r=text and look for its weaknesses – make a new list as they raise objections and resist being taken in by the test’s rhetorical force.” (Student engagement Techniques, P 195)

The Academic Controversy requires students to work in pairs on a controversial topic and come up with opposing arguments.  They must do in “depth analysis of the topic as they must argue both sides of the controversy.”(Student engagement Techniques, P 199). This student must then communicate this to their group.

My question to you all is have you used either of theses techniques when you teach?  How did it work?

looking forward to hearing from you all



Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Encyclopedia Britannica, Cognitive dissonance


Digital Project Review 

Student Self-Assessment Infographic by Marni Bedrich was a really helpful tool for me.  I struggle with self assessment as a student to look objectively at my work.  As an instructor I have not used self-assessment in any formal way.  I printed this info-graph is a quick reference to use to keep myself on track and to incorporate into my teaching syllabus.

Blogs I added this week

Christopher Lowe added his blog this week  his layout is very crisp and clear.  I enjoyed his dyadic Interview article as it showed a great way to involve introverts and to control extroverts.  It is a strategy I can see using in my work place during meetings.  Thank you.

Brent McMillin Blog is packed full of educational tools using Gamification and virtual technology.  I have never used either of these tools so I found the reading really interesting.  It also got me thinking of how could I use gaming technology with what I teach.

Week 6-Dec 20 – 27

This last week before Christmas I was able to read a lot of the forum posts and watch some really great Ted Talks and videos provides by my classmates on the Expectancy Theory, Classroom Management and Creative Thinking.  I did not comment on the forums as there was a lot of information and I wanted to take the time to reflect, like an more introverted person might do, before commenting.  It was interesting how my thoughts went back and forth between each of the videos.  Some I watched again, to see if I could gain a better understanding of how I could use some of these strategies in what I teach.

Forum comments provided offered me a deeper insight into the subjects.  Trying to see and digest another student/instructors interpertation and apply it to my own understanding provided some major insights for me.  It has been an rich week of learning.

Reflective Writing on Susan Cains Power of Introvert, TED Talk, 2012


Susan Cain’s video on the Power of Introverts opened my mind to the possibility of encouraging people to be more introverted in their thinking.  Two of her statements: 1. most extroverted students get lower grades and yet more leadership opportunities than introverts and 2. creativity prevails most often in solitude. These 2 statements gave me the most to think about.


So how do we encourage introverts to participate without demanding they become extroverts. To get them to share skills of self-reflection that lead to creativity. In addition how do we get extroverts to become more introverted in their learning process and thereby expand their creative and critical thinking skills.  Susan Cain’s question to all of us is “what is in your suitcase?” (Cain, Susan, 2012).  This is the question I have been thinking about since I watched the video. Once I determine what is in my suitcase, what tools are there that will help me bring out the most in for my introverted and extroverted students so that I become a better instructor.


The Power of Introverts video offered me a guide to help my introverted students learn.  That by providing group based strategy sessions and expecting them to participate in the same manner as their extrovert learning partners ,diminishes their learning potential.  Their need for solitude is integral to their learning style.  It is in solitude that they can take the time to reflect and analyze the learning material we are trying to teach to them.  “Research has shown that extroverts and introverts process information differently using different parts of the brain and different neurotransmitters. The extrovert draws upon small amounts of information in his short-term memory in developing his thoughts, while the introvert recalls thoughts stored in his long-term memory to build more complex associations. The introvert needs more time, therefore, to develop his ideas and express them.” (Isaacs, Tami 2009).  If we honor the introverts need for solitude and time to reflect, we can anticipate a more well thought out response.  By giving extroverts that same amount of time to reflect we can anticipate that they will be able to provide a deeper level of critical thinking.  And after we have given all the students time to reflect on the assignment introverts can then fully participate in group discussions at a level they are comfortable with.  In these settings we can set a respectful place where introverts can watch and learn from the extroverts how to articulate in a group discussion.  By giving extroverts that same amount of time to reflect we can anticipate that they will be able to provide a higher level of critical thinking.


As instructors we need to shine the light on the cognitive learning skills of an introverted way of thinking that can deepen an extroverts learning experience.  Introverts need to learn how to participate in group settings on their own terms.   “When designing learning activities for your classroom, consider the key elements of balance and choice in order to create a comfortable learning environment which also encourages all students to stretch and take risks.” (Monahan, Nicki, 2013).  In my class I will try to find a balance that allows for both solo and group learning.  The best way I can do this is to have a one on one interviews with each of my students to determine what is the best way they learn.  When I have completed  these interviews I can look at my teaching plan and see where I can make some modifications to offer a better learning experience for the class and the individual learners.  I can facilitate more asynchronous communication using digital discussion boards.  By incorporating some newer tech based  knowledge strategies to encourage active participation from all students.  This can stimulate a higher level of critical thinking from both my introverts and my extroverts.  The other thing I can reflect on is my physical classroom space and how to create both silent and communication stations.  I want to encourage the sharing of ideas in a comfortable way for introverts to feel engaged without feeling threatened.  When students can communicate in a safe place it helps build relationships without pressure.  They can casually see how different problem solving methods could enhance their own learning.  I have the ability as the instructor to create a classroom for a more engaged and active learning experience for all of us.


Cain, Susan, (March 2,2012) The Power of Introverts, Ted Talks,

Isaacs, Tami, PhD. (July 2009), Introverted Students in the Classroom: How to Bring Out Their Best,

Monahan, Nicki, ( 2013) , Keeping Introverts in Mind in Your Active Learning Classroom.,

Digital Project Review 

Pecha Kucha as a Student Engagement Tool by Michael O’Shaughnessy (Mike)  was really interesting.  I had never heard of this presentation strategy.  What makes this strategy interesting is how it appears simple but actually requires a deep knowledge base.  It is social and quick, 5 minutes 20×20 and engaging.

Blogs I added this week

Stephens Blog Exploring Adult Education, New Days and New Questions is a great read.  He sense of humour comes through in his Blogs and images.  The article on Experiencing the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program so far… was really interesting.  I envy his ability to juggle family, work and school.  I’m afraid I find this very difficult to do well.  My husband is very supportive and looks after the meals and the home when I am taking a class so I can focus on my education.  As an extrovert the fewer distractions for me the better 🙂

Ramblings of an Aging Student Blog really spoke to me a mature student.  She made me laugh with her observations from the introverts side of the table.  It is particularly of interest to me as I just finished my reflection on Susan Cains Power of Introverts.  Take a look, great lay out and the color choices are very calming.

Week 5- Dec 12-19, 2016

Creative Thinking (Dec 15 , 2016)
by Abbas Mojarrab – Thursday, 15 December 2016, 2:21 AM

Hello fellow classmates,

Forum discussion is a new activity for me, I somehow managed to upload  the wrong document as my discussion topic in the first forum topic space.

I have the pleasure of learning even more from you while hosting the Creative Thinking discussion.

Image result for creative thinking skills

Have you ever thought about how you came up with a solution to a mind boggling problem that you were wrestling with for awhile? When I tried to answer this question myself, I realized that the solution didn’t appear to be achievable until I started thinking differently, by looking at the problem from a different angle, when I opened my mind and listened to the suggestion form someone else, how they were seeing the problem which encouraged me to step outside the box break out of the limiting atmosphere and view the problem from a different perspective.

A way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first). Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking (1).

Brain storming

Brainstorming is the unstructured process of sharing unlimited number of spontaneous ideas in an environment that welcomes divergent of ideas where the participants eliminate the boundaries and take risks. They collaborate without immediate judgment by embracing wild ideas and conclude the process by taking the best parts of each suggestion to be used as the building blocks of the solution.

My Response

Good day,

I need to profess that I love creative thinking.  I tend to be more of a right brain thinker.  I have a strong left brain influence but I have heard more than once “how did you reach that conclusion” and often my explanation does not make it clearer to the person asking.   In public education the dropping of so many arts programs is doing a disservice to our youth.  How many people do you know who play and instrument well and they are good in the field of math and science.  The correlation between reading music and mathematical algorithms are similar in that they follow rules and both can be challenged to change the outcome.  So many tech (logical) people have created games (lateral thinking) to the point where gaming is becoming an integral strategy for teaching in the educational process.

Scientific America’s article on The Real Neuroscience of Creativity sites ” the entire creative process– from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification– consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.”

Here is a great image that shows how are thoughts can all link together

The Creativity Crisis | creative toolbox


Expectancy Theory of Motivation
by Timothy Snider (Tim) – Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 7:10 PM
So, these are my questions to begin the forum,1. Students are not employees. Instructors cannot offer rewards like raises, bonus pay promotions, or extra vacation time to motivate students. So, what rewards if any, do you promise your students to increase their motivation?
2. Do you need to change your students’ perceived value of your rewards?
3. As an Instructor, how do you impact your students’ perception of expectancy?
4. In general, how do you increase your students’ motivation to perform? Do you change their expectancy, instrumentality, or valence?
5. Are there any disadvantages to implementing this theory in the classroom?And if you want to get deeper . . . . .6. Is Expectancy Theory different than the Expectancy-Value Theory of Motivation?
My Response is:

Good morning,

I am going to try and tackle your question” As an Instructor, how do you impact your students’ perception of expectancy”

As an instructor I believe fully that if I think that my class is a bunch of non-learners there is no way I can teach them effectively.  They will know from my lectures, body language, feed back,  level of project completion competency , what I expect.  “Rosenthal/Jacobson study concluded that students’ intellectual development is largely a response to what teachers expect and how those expectations are communicated” .

If I think and show though my actions that I believe my student can do what I am asking they most often will.  Rosenthals work Expectancy Effects “Rosenthal and Jacobson’s results demonstrate a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy. Students believed to be on the verge of great academic success performed in accordance with these expectations; students not labeled this way did not. Later research has supported Rosenthal’s original conclusion, that teacher expectations can have a substantial effect on students’ scholastic performance.”

My classroom experience if very limited, but as a parent I have seen this theory in action.  If you support your child in their belief that they can do something, not always well (valance) , but that they can try it goes along way to their success as adults even if they fail at what they are trying.  The expectancy is in that they can try it and the instrumentality, is the process they are using to be successful.

Here is a chart that I think shows how motivation makes a difference,


Digital Project Review 

Lorna McFadden’s digital project totally wowed me  This was so well done I would never have guessed it was the first attempt at this type of digital media.  Her Role Playing as an instructional strategy was well presented and defined in an easy t0 read and clear manner.  I have used this strategy in class and find it to be very effective.  It is a great way for me to learn a new way to explain a process so that a student can have a deeper understanding.

Blogs I added this week

Dec 15 -Jacqueline Dale’s Blog for the PIDP 3250 program has a great post on Transformative Learning.  In the post she shows us how two popular Christmas shows display Transformative thinking. ” It all seems so wonderful and heartwarming to see their personal and intellectual growth happen right before my eyes, well, in less than 2 hours anyway!” Have a read

Today I added Amanda Klassen‘s Blog Adventures in Learning, Development and POS.  this is a really clear and thoughtfully laid out site.  She has some great thoughts on introversion.  Take a look.

Week 4-Dec5-Dec 11,2016

Dec 11, 2016 – today I learned that Mac and Windows perform the same but ohhh so differently!  Coming in at the 11th hour with my assignments due to this learning curve.

I am always struck by the many different perspectives of the forums we are all facilitating or participating in.  Today I read through 3 forums and my responses from other facilitators and classmates.  It is so interesting to read and view everyones posts.  Today is my Midway point and I will be submitting my Self-assessment.  I find the strategy of Self-assessment very difficult and struggle with marking myself even with the tools provided by Doug.   I know it is a very important step in our journey to becoming effective instructors.  In each of the forums the need for self reflection is always mentioned as a better way to understanding new ideas and concepts.  The hope is that we find a balance between what is and what we perceive how we are performing without being to harsh a task master.

Classroom management
by Anna-Lisa Morrison – Saturday, 10 December 2016, 12:20 AM

It is 12:18 AM . Just got home from a holiday party and enjoying the beautiful snow….

When I was prepping for my very first class of nursing students, I did not really think about classroom management. I was very focused on just making sure I was ready to present the material to a group of students I fully expected to be ready to learn. I did not anticipate having any problems.

I was quite surprised to find that one of my students openly challenged my qualifications and mocked other student’s remarks. I was unprepared to deal with this situation. I sought advice from a more seasoned instructor and had a frank discussion with this student (at more than one occasion) in order to reign things in and set a more positive learning environment.

What did I do wrong? I believe that I did not come with a classroom management plan at the start.

If I had come with a plan to create a positive learning environment, including setting expectations for behaviour, my experience may have been different.

1)      I would like to know what you do to “set the tone” for your classroom when starting with a new student group. Please share your proven strategies or your thoughts on what may be effective if you do not have a lot of experience to draw from.

As much as it would be wonderful to think that adults come ready to learn, engage in the material and work collaboratively, it does not always happen. I found an article on “Cult of Pedagogy” (even though the article says pedagogy, it is addressing the college classroom) that addresses some common classroom problems and tips on how to address them. It is something I wish I had read prior to my first teaching experience.

2)      What problems have you encountered in re: to classroom management and what strategies have you used to deal with them.

I will be interested to reading your experiences and learning from them.

Thank you in advance for your participation.



My Response to this forum:

Good evening,

I have a few sets of teaching syllabuses I use.  I  prefer to see what level of learners I have in the classroom before I present the assignement outline. To determine the level of experience amongst the learners in the classroom I start my first class with who I am and where I come from, expereience and why I teach what I teach in 3-5 minutes.  Then I have each student present who they are, why they are there and what sewing experiences they have.  Once that is complete we set the rules for the classroom.   I will mark up on whiteboard their suggestions of what they want and expect to learn from me as an instructor and how they will treat each other as partners and learners.  As a group we will bring it down to a short manageable list.  This is then emailed to all the students with the class rubric and assignment outline, the next day.  I end each future class with the students reflecting about what they learned, or didn’t, in class.  I feel this sets the stage of co-operation and expectation.

The biggest problem I have in the classroom is the learners desire to learn how to sew well quickly.  They are frustrated because it seams (haha) like it should be straightforward.  It is like all subjects experience and understanding come with time and practice.  In these situations I will often provide examples of my own lofty goals as yet unmet so they understand it is a continual learning process to become a good sewist or quilt maker.

Here is a a video on Classroom Rules 



Confirmation Bias

by James Curtis – Saturday, 3 December 2016, 1:31 PM

Hello, classmates!

In the forum-facilitation lottery, I’ve won… confirmation bias. It’s been interesting to read up and reflect on some of the irrational and unconsciously invalid ways that people process information! I’ve pulled together an overview of the concept below. Please read through it, and consider the questions I’ve included at the end.
So, what is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is an information-processing effect, which leads us to favour information and opinions that confirm things we already think we know. It comes about largely because the brain creates an initial decision about something – a person, an idea or any new information being presented; once such a ‘hunch’ is in place, without conscious effort we will look for information that supports that initial perception. For particularly emotionally-charged issues and personal beliefs, including our personal interactions and relationships, the tendency can be especially strong. Psychologists call this the “primacy effect”: a preference for the earliest-received information.

First impressions really do make an impact! smile

The challenge comes when we are presented with new or surprising information – not an unusual occurrence in an adult learning environment. Confirmation bias can make us overconfident in existing beliefs. And research shows that this confidence can often persist if we are unaware of the bias, even in the face of completely contradictory evidence and evident truths.

(I am not going to mention the recent US election. However, for an interesting 2010 article on how confirmation bias can threaten democracy, see: How facts backfire from the Boston Globe.)

Some psychologists confine confirmation bias to the “searching” aspect. That is, the activities of locating and retaining only information that supports existing beliefs, while minimizing the importance or validity of other ideas. Others have a more inclusive definition that includes other cognitive biases that support searching for, interpreting and remembering things in ways that support already-held positions.

As a fun break, please take a look at this 2:45-minute music video, made by an AP Psychology instructor for his students.
So, what does this mean in a classroom?

Confirmation bias can result in:

First-impression focus – in how we see individuals (instructor or student) but also the retention of views even in the face of new information
Polarized opinions – when people become stuck to a position and feel the consequences of being seen to be “wrong” are more negative than defending a strongly-held belief
Continued influence of discredited information – often caused by the above items, there can be a tendency to maintain irrational or illogical beliefs. (I am not going to mention homeopathy.)
Selective recall – when people call upon memories that are “easiest” to remember. Unsurprisingly, those memories are often ones which support our beliefs.
Biased testing – Experiments show that even small changes in the way a question is phrased can influence how participants respond.

A bit more about biased testing:

Thinking about our current assignment on introverts and extroverts, here’s an example, paraphrased from a Wikipedia entry about biased searches for information:

Instructor asks introverted student: “What do you find unpleasant about noisy parties?”
Instructor asks extroverted student: “What would you do to liven up a party?”

These are “loaded” questions because they give the participant no opportunity to challenge the assumptions being made about them.


Thanks for reading through all that. I leave with you with two questions to consider:

How might confirmation bias be linked with intelligence?
How can being aware of confirmation bias help us as adult educators?

Of course, feel free to bring up other ideas, opinions and questions. The more the merrier!

I’ve found this a fascinating topic, and look forward to your thoughts and contributions.



Keohane, J. (2010). How facts backfire: Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains. Boston, MA: Boston Globe

Quintero, E. (2014). What Is Implicit Bias, And How Might It Affect Teachers And Students? Posted in Shanker Blog. Washington, DC: Albert Shanker Institute

Rollag, K. (n.d.): Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence. (Brief summary of 1979 Stanford assimilation bias study.) Wellesley, MA: Babson College

Wikipedia (2016): Confirmation bias. (And other topics.)

My Response to this forum:


This is a fascinating conversation.  This week I ran into my own conformational bias.  At work we have installed a new system.  As with all new systems there are “bugs”.  I took one of these bugs and proposed a resolution to a manager who has a completely different learning style.  I found myself almost out of my skin with impatience as she methodically went through all the steps and then I had an “ah ha” moment and played the “confirmation bias” song in my head!.  I was able to sit back and actually slow down and watch someone learn in a different way with appreciation.  Together we found a solution combining our learning styles.  Enlightening and humbling at the same time


Double Loop Thinking
by Darrel Letendre – Monday, 5 December 2016, 9:54 AM

Hi PIDP 3250 Classmates,

I have embraced ‘Double Loop Learning’ for my forum this week…

Single loop means learning for the first time. When learning for the first time, you learn how it is done and practice to perfection over time. It is a repeated attempt to answer the same problem. It ignores the question of why the problem arose in the first place.

Double loop learning is when you have to re-adjust your previously learning information. This is when you take previously learned information and are forced to learn it again, but now in a different way. This is achieved by using feedback from past actions to question assumptions underlying current views. It seeks alternatives in order to dramatically improve things.

 Key Principles


  1. Discovery of espoused (what’s desired) and theory-in –use (what’s actually done)
  2. Invention of new meaning
  3. Production of new action
  4. Generalization of results

Implications for Education

This learning theory enables teachers to come to solutions to existing problems and be prepared for the next time they may arise

Teachers need to ask:

  1. Reasons for current actions
  2. What to do next
  3. Why alternative actions are

Here is a good website to start us off;

Questions for you to consider…

1.    How would you apply Double Loop Learning in your professional lives or as an educator?

2.    How would you apply Double Loop Learning as an educator?

3.    How would you apply Double Loop Learning into your classrooms with your students?

I look forward to sharing all of your wonderful insights.



My Response to this forum:

Good afternoon,

I found this definition Doubleloop learning is the modification or rejection of a goal in the light of experience. Doubleloop learning recognises that the way a problem is defined and solved can be a source of the problem.

This definition in its simplicity really broke down this topic for me.  It is so hard for people to look at new ways of doing things.  In teaching and my job I find when there is a change in procedure, even if people can see it is for the better, there is always resistance.  What I try to do is have the learner explain to me what is difficult about the change.  This helps me better understand them so I can better facilitate their learning.


Digital Storytelling
by Darci Port – Thursday, 8 December 2016, 9:24 AM

Hello everyone! My topic is Digital Storytelling. I must confess that I have not fully embraced digital technology… this is a huge learning curve for me. I have 2 short videos.. one is the history of technology in education and the other is an interview with  Steve Bellis who gives insight on digital storytelling and some benefits and challenges that he has experienced.

The history of technology  Digital storytelling in EducationSince I have limited experience as an educator I would like to draw on some of your personal experiences

What types of digital story telling have you used ( or will use) in your classroom and why?

What has been some feedback from your students regarding any digital storytelling  methods used in your classroom?

My Response to this forum:


Darci I too am a newbie when it comes to digital technology.  It was interesting to watch your 2 examples.  I have not thought of using digital technology with what I teach but I can see where it would be very useful.  I liked the idea of accompanying the digital presentation with a small quiz to confirm what the student learned from the technology.  I can see this application most specifically used with a static technique that will not change with any application.  It would be useful for students to be able to view over and over again if they were stuck on a technique.

Thank you for this interesting introduction to digital technology

I really liked this chart

Dec 6, 2016 – today I learned more about how I learn. Shane Balthazaar – posed a question today on his forum asking us what is our learning style, this was my response:

Good morning Shane,

I am a kinesthetic learner; I have to have some kind of physical contact to my learning. Once I have, i want to learn everything and will then read about it.  This caused my mother no end of grief when I was a small child 🙂 I do not sit still and never have, I love to take notes and rarely refer back to them, it is the act of taking notes that is important to me as a learner.

As an instructor I use visual aids and gravitate to interactive teaching strategies. In class I scheduled breaks for students so they can move around and tend to keep my lectures short, and integrated. I use quick feedback strategies like the minute paper, chunk & chew, etc. to keep the students focused and moving forward.

I can relate to Amanda Klassen  desire to give up paper text books and her struggle to do so.  For pleasure 90% of my reading is done on my KOBO.  I really enjoy it.  I tried using digital textbooks and I had such a hard time going to the digital format that I gave up.  I do think I will try again but the only thing I learned using digital textbooks was how unhappy I was.  I can’t even tell you the name of the texts without looking them up first.!

I have always loved this quote “Great ideas originate in the muscles” – Thomas Edison


Blogs I added this week

Dec 10, 2016- I reviewed Notes from the Wild Blog by Robert Peacock and what struck me first is how different it is from all the other blogs, including mine, that I have looked at.  I really like the clean lay out.  It has a very cool esthetic and it is easy to read.   You know right away it is related to a journey in understanding the many facets of becoming an instructor.

Sabrina Ngo added her blog yesterday called Learning for life.  Her page is beautifully designed and easy to read.  She offers some great insights on memory and learning and how they processed through our brain.  Her article on Academic Entitlement or “The Inappropriate Sense of Entitlement within the Millennial Generation” was very intriguing and I enjoyed reading it.

Digital Project Review 

Cynthia Grant did her digital project on the One Minute paper using Animation.  I have never used animation in my teaching and found this to be an interesting way to provide a learning strategy.  Her animation was clear and not too cluttered.  The flow of information was well presented.

Week 3- Nov 28- Dec 4,2016

Dec 4, 2016

Reflective writing assignment – week 3


“Creating conditions in which students interact with each other as members of a learning community promotes student engagement and creates a synergy between motivation and active learning: it fulfills the basic human need to be part of a social community and also encourages students to learn actively as they collaboratively construct, reconstruct, and build their understanding.” (Barkley, 2010, P.27)


As an instructor of a program I teach students that are learning a skill set that gives them the ability to create an article that can be used for either art or function. I need to be sure to allow and encourage student interaction in the classroom.  For a teacher this can be scary as you are not as in control or in fear of not covering all of the curriculum.  But the payoff will be to keep the synergy of motivation and active learning constantly intertwined.  Feedback and assessments from myself and other students in an appropriately defined environment allows for a freer exchange of how they are thinking.  With each successful exchange of feedback, constructive criticisms and assessments, students who are less likely to enter a discussion often will start to participate.  They do this because they can see it is a respectful place to participate.


            How I interpret the above objective is that we need not only to look at each student but how each and every student fits in to the community of the class.  What we as instructors can do is to ensure that they have a fully engaged learning experience.  “Goleman’s “emotional intelligence” (which emphasizes the ability to monitor one’s own and others feelings) – challenge us to embrace the concept of learning that extends beyond logical thinking.” (Barkley, 2010, p.33).  Often when we are encouraging students to become actively engaged in their learning we ride roughshod over who they are in our desire to “teach” them.  This destroys any motivation they may have had for participating in the discussion.  As instructors we have to look at the student and determine the best way to make them part of the classroom community in a way that motivates them to be part of the collaborative, active learning process in an engaging and thoughtful way. This will encourage an active learning model as students discuss, debate and argue leading to their better understanding of the material. To me “In the constructivist classroom, both teacher and students think of knowledge as a dynamic, ever-changing view of the world we live in and the ability to successfully stretch and explore that view – not as inert factoids to be memorized.” (Jennings, D., Surgenor, P., & McMahon, T. (2013). Education Theory/Constructivism and Social Constructivism in the Classroom)


            I have currently used the collaborative method of teaching.  The creating of a “Student-Generated Rubrics” (Barkley, 2010, p.47) instead of having a constructed syllabus seems like a great way to engage the students right from the beginning to be motivated and actively committed to their learning. It will be a great way to fulfill the students need to create and be an integral part of the learning community in the class.  As an instructor I will have to be open to new ways of doing things.  I will need to monitor my feelings while this creative process is going on to ensure I don’t let my past processes get in the way of my future teaching.  The curriculum objective needs to be met so I have to ensure that a list of must learn activities is included in the “Student-Generated” structure of learning.  By creating a flipped classroom where the students are taking the lead to direct their learning process I am helping them construct and build a better understanding of themselves and how they can actively learn and stay motivated. As an instructor I keep my own motivation and active learning engaged by being open to new ways to teach.


 Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Jennings, D., Surgenor, P., & McMahon, T. (2013). Education Theory/Constructivism and Social Constructivism in the Classroom – UCD – CTAG. Retrieved 6 May 2016,

Dec 1, 2016 Today a new forum was started by Shane Balthazaar asking what is the difference between Learning and memory.

I found this definition for the difference between memory and learning “Memory is essential to all learning because it lets you store and retrieve the information that you learn. Memory is basically nothing more than the record left by a learning process.and it really”  by Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc .

When I am learning something, particularly if I find it challenging, I try to associate it to a memory I have so I can recall it later.  For me this has been the most effective way to learn.  The irony is I don’t always associate the learning to a memory that would make sense to anybody but me.

I learned today in my required reading, Student Engagement Techniques by Elizabeth F Barkley, that these differences are being studied and mapped using neuroscience.  They can actually see how the brain does it.  How cool is that!

Blogs I added this week

Today I added David Visentin blog Educating the Educator . I am really enjoying reading David’s input on posts and I am still pondering his forum facilitation on  Self-Directed/Determined/Regulated Learning.  I find David’s writing style easy to read and understand. His self depreciating humour is very relatable. This Blog has a very hip and modern esthetic and the articles thought provoking.

I reviewed Bev Stanwoods Blog today and she offers some really interesting insights to this program, PIDP 3250.  She has a great inforgraph on Gamification in Education.  This is not something I have used in my classroom so I found it very interesting and something to consider pursuing in the future.

Digital Project Review 

I reviewed the “Chunk and Chew” instructional strategy by Melissa Ashman.  Melissa did a infographic on this strategy.  The Chunk and Chew methodology states that the instructor teach for no more than 10 minutes and then have the students discuss it for 2-5 minutes to ensure they’re understanding the lecture. There is a real place for this method in the classroom for certain subject matter as it is very time consuming and can disrupt the flow of what the instruction is intended to teach.  In my experience it is very difficult to only discuss a lecture, no matter the length, with full anticipation from the class in 2-5 minutes.

I  am a big fan of infographics because they are short, packed with information and visual. Students can reference them easily without feeling overwhelmed.  For instructors they are a great way to demonstrate an important idea to students.  As an instructor once you have a template of an infographic style that you like you can keep that format with your ciriculum master to update as needed.

Week 2 – Nov 21-27, 2016

Nov 27, 2016, The forum I chose to participate in today is by Victor Hung Yan Law – and it is on Intellectual Thinking.  Victor has asked us to review a video by Gary Meegan from and to read an article on Universal Intellectual Standards posted online on the Critical Thinking website:

There are nine Intellectual Standards we use to assess thinking: Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, Logic, Significance, and Fairness.

These are the questions he proposed to us to consider for this conversation or to simply comment on the topic in relation to learning practice in our personal and professional lives.

1) What standards do we use to make decisions in our life (work, education, family & children, personal life etc.)?  How do the decisions that we make based on these standards affect people around us?

2) Which are the most important standards for your subject matter?

3) How do you include these standards within specific tasks and aspects of our courses?

4) Any other thoughts you wish to share on the topic of intellectual standards?

I really enjoyed the reading and video.  To me Instructional Strategy’s very closely follow the Blooms Taxonomy of learning.

I have chosen to answer question 2 and 3.

I teach people to sew and how to make their first quilt.  My students come from all walks of life with a variety of “past sewing experiences” good and bad.  Sometimes the only common thread in the class is that they all want to learn to sew.  For me clarity of both mine and the students class expectations must come first.  I teach in a logical procession of steps because it is critical that they learn the basics of construction and of how to use a sewing machine.  During the course students can start to see the relevance of the curriculum by how their own projects are proceeding beneath their fingers.  Students soon start to apply more accuracy and precision to their projects because they can actually see the difference in their project when implemented.  Students can see the significance of the requirement of understanding in the logic of steps taken.  Once they have a few classes behind them as a class we start to discuss the breadth where the skill of sewing can take them.  As an instructor I have to provise a atmosphere for open and fair exchanges within the classroom discussions.  Often in these discussions a student may present a different way to do a technique that I am teaching and that in turn that can offer clarity to another student. This action actively displays a fairness in learning and teaching between the students and myself, the instructor.

For question 4 A video by Paul Stearns of teachphilosophy

Today I learned how Intellectual Standards are as important in the classroom as they are in our personal and professional lives.  That it is a skill that requires us to focus on constantly to a create a balanced and happy life both in and out of the classroom.

Nov 26,2016 – This morning I participated in Lorna McFadden‘s Forum on Visible Learning.  Like many of the contributors to the discussion what I thought was Visible learning and what is actually is was quite different. The three discussion questions she posed to the participants were:

Visible learning can be represented in many different teaching strategies, as part of this discussion these are the questions I am posing:

  • What types of strategies can we use to implement visible learning?
    1. Reciprocal teaching is a dominant strategy that I use my classroom. “A reciprocal approach provides students with four specific reading strategies that are actively and consciously used to support comprehension: Questioning, Clarifying, Summarizing, and Predicting. Palincsar (1986) believes the purpose of reciprocal teaching is to facilitate a group effort between teacher and students as well as among students in the task of bringing meaning to the text”, ( As I am teaching students to create a sewn article they must have a strong foundation of the basics of putting their project together but they can use their cognitive ability to make it their own. When students question the use of techniques I am teaching them they learn to clarify their own questions, I have them explain back to me the answer they were looking for so they can then look to the next step in the project and predict what will be required of them
  • What is your experience with visible learning?
    1. My experience using this form of visible learning is often sometimes you can do things in a different order and still have a successful outcome. Each time a student contributes I can learn something.
  • How do you demonstrate transparency in your class?
    1. William Simon (Ed) said in his response “I believe as Instructors we can answer this question with great success when we follow our passion to get involved and engage in the learning of our students.” Then later in the forum David Visentin says ‘his effort to create a safe environment has yielded (not always) some amazing disclosures from students and, remarkably still, amazingly supportive responses from fellow students.”  In my experience the passion I bring to teach and to create a safe environment for open discussion and then to demonstrate and openness for feedback, both good and bad, set the stage for a students engagement that will lead to successful conclusion of the course.

What I learned today was that I need to do some more research with respect to Visible Learning .  Doug suggested reading more about John Hattie . I really enjoyed this video through Ted Talks, Why are so many of our teachers and schools so successful?


Wikipedia, Reciprocal Teaching, 19 August 2015,

Nov 25, 2016   I have been struggling this week, during my 45 minutes  a day allotted class time, on how to go about presenting this Blog of Instructional Strategies for PIDP 3250. Our instructor Doug Mauger provided us a master list for review of successful past students Blogs and how they presented what they learned each week.  I have to be honest that the first ones I reviewed intimidated the heck out of me.  I persevered and found Karen Burrows Blog called My Next Adventure.  I really liked the flow of her Blog and it seemed to align with what I perceive the assignment of Instructional Strategies Blog to be. This is what  I learned today at PIDP 3250, I found a starting place.

Digital Project Review 

This week I reviewed Brenda Carlisle digital project on Formative Quiz Technique.  I have never used this technique in my classes so it was interesting to see the variety of ways it can be implemented. Brenda presented 3 ways to use the formative quiz within the classroom; technical, online and paper based.  She clearly outlined the pro’s and cons of each technique. It was interesting to me that methodology  and the time required to create the questions was the same for all three techniques but the outcome of the quiz could be very different.  I can see using the paper based form of this technique to encourage open discussions after an instruction to ensure my students are understanding what I am teaching.

Blogs I added this week

To read more about Lorna and her journey through the PIDP program at VCC go to Lornas Blog.  Her blog has some very thoughtful insights on the PIDP 3250 program.

Week 1  – Nov 21,2016

Reflective Writing :  PIDP 3250 Course Journal: Assignment 1; Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty., Chapters 1 & 2


The definition: “Student engagement is a process and a product that is experienced on a continuum and results from the synergistic interaction between motivation and active learning. Understanding basic principles drawn from the research and theory on motivation and active learning can offer insights into how to promote student engagement.” (Barkley, P.8)


To me this is a perfect definition for what I strive to do in my classroom for each course I teach.  When teaching, I try to provide a variety of ways to engage my students to actively learn.  I use both large lectures and small group discussions.  Individual student feedback and project based coursework to further engage students in active learning.  At the end of each course I assess how engaged my students were and reflect on how I can improve my lesson plan.


The selected statement I have chosen means to me that the process of engaging students is constantly evolving.  Students come with varying levels of education and expectations require different strategies’ to successfully engage in the process of learning.  As instructors it is important that we be open to learn new ways to work collaboratively with students to present and receive a course content that makes them be excited to learn.  The definition quoted in the objective tells us that engagement is like a helix model of organic movement between motivation and active learning.  “If you involve students in the development of classroom activities, e.g., allow them to choose the topic of a short discussion or generate ideas about how a concept could be applied to a problem that interests them, it automatically increases engagement levels.  Involving students in classroom activities also requires them to assess their understanding and skill and rather than allowing them to rest comfortably with a surface knowledge, it forces them to develop a deeper understanding of the material.” (Teaching commons,  To keep my students actively learning and motivated I need to continually look to my peers, my students, published research and my own experiences.


When I teach quilting or how to sew most of my students have little or no aptitude in this subject.  They are coming to learn a new skill and as a result have different perceptions of how things will develop.  Some students perceive that that they will never get past their first square due to their lack of skill.  Others will perceive that are going to make a complicated quilt that will be completed in 6 weeks.  “Students’ expectations are inextricably linked with their self-perceptions.  Students must have confidence that, with appropriate effort, they can succeed.  If there is no hope, there is no motivation. Cross and Steadman (1996).” (Barkley, p.11).  When I engage students in decision making and they start the process of creating their project their success at early stages motivates them to go forward.  In addition, students often give the most that encouragement and motivating feedback to each other.  When I have to teach the drier parts of learning to sew I use game strategies to help them to better engage in the process for more active learning.  Ultimately my goal is that the processes and skills that they have learned help then move beyond the classroom and try other forms of quilting.


 Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stanford University, Teaching commons,