I have realised that my blogs have been a bit negative in tone and so I wanted to write one that was positive about the course and some of the things I have learned so far.
CSU’s uImagine page on flexible and adaptive learning really resonated with me in its goal to help learners prosper on their own path. I have a background in sport and to me this spoke of the ‘coaching’ approach I have grown up used to, where the coach was there to help you achieve your goals in a symbiotic relationship.
I think this is different to the more reactive approach I have taken to teaching previously where I was very willing and happy to assist students but only reactively when they asked for help. I am personally never likely to ask for help and so through my approach, I am ignoring students like me.
So how do I tackle being more proactive? I think there is a level of extra engagement required with your students in reaching out to help understand their experience so that you can activate that existing knowledge base. This is one of the ‘First Principles’ of instruction discussed by Merrill (2002). The next step is demonstrating the knowledge in ways that activate different parts of the brain. This course has exposed me to a raft of new tools for me to do this and the things you need to focus on to ensure the tools you use actually achieve you goals. Claire has a great blog about the need to invest in pre-production to improve the quality and effectiveness of your multi-media resources.
I am going to be a better teacher as a consequence of this course and the interactions I have had within it 🙂