In PIDP 3220, I prepared and delivered three mini-lessons, received constructive feedback in class from my instructor and classmates, and watched video recordings of my mini-lessons. To document what I have learned and what I plan to do with the information I will be reflecting on my experiences and feedback from my presentations using the Focused Conversation model.
I have learned that well prepared lessons that focus on delivery first, and content second result in a more rewarding experience for learners. I have realized that pre-assessing learners can help draw them in during presentations and that post-assessment can help measure how effective the lesson was. I now know alignment between pre-assessment, learning objectives, and post-assessment is critical for learner success. My lesson that implemented the CARD approach caught my imagination as I do not recall experiencing this instructional pattern as a student and had never thought of using with my students. The CARD approach is a powerful technique that I can use to promote higher-learning in my classes.
The high point during the course for me was the notion of injecting affection into cognitive lessons to enhance the learning experience. I found this method went very well in my lesson on strong passwords. On the other hand, trying to deliver a primarily affective lesson had its frustrations. I found it is difficult to plan for emotion in a lesson and I feel I did not quite achieve this during my lesson on the digital divide. Furthermore, the ten minute time constraint for the mini-lessons added a challenge, albeit an intriguing one. Delivering affective lessons is an area I want to improve on and investigate further in future PIDP courses.
My “aha” moment in the course happened when I realized that my teaching needs to be learner-centred as opposed to instructor-centred. I was aware that this is a view many instructors hold, but I did not really understand it until I starting preparing my mini-lessons using the BOPPPPS model. Ensuring that the learners have a clear learning objective, are invited to share previous knowledge and experience, and are post-assessed on the content of the lesson in a participatory manner is now a very important part my instructional process. I found that my post-assessment with learners regarding drawing a compass rose was not well aligned, but I am pleased I improved on this alignment during my strong password lesson.
As a result of my experience in PIDP 3220, the strategies I use in preparing a lesson have drastically changed. Instead of focusing on the content to deliver to my students I will now be focusing on the process in which my students will learn the content. I need to shorten my presentations to enable more effective post-assessment and I need to carefully decide what questions I want to ask the class. One challenge I plan to face is releasing some of my control to my students and I believe group work with well thought-out essential questions can help me achieve this. I look forward to applying what I have learnt in this course and I will never forget the experiences that PIDP 3220 has provided me with.