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    “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then,having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

    Nikos Kazantzakis

  • About

    I’m Alejandro, and I’m a Nursing Practice Advisor at one of the Regulatory Nursing Colleges in BC. I help nursing students, faculty members, nurses and employers to understand and apply regulatory requirements to nursing practice. I took on the journey of adult education and learning to improve my presentations and teaching skills, so I can better connect and engage with my audience in meeting their educational goals. I've created this space as part of my journey through the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) at Vancouver Community College. It is a place where I will be posting assignments and recording my experiences in the world of adult learning. Welcome!

  • The Blog

     

     




     

  • Reflecting Writing Journals

    PIDP 3250

     Journal # 1

    This journal entry is my reflecting thinking report for chapter 1-2 of Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley. Next, I address objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional questions in regards to these chapters.

     

    Objective

     

    When Elizabeth Barkley talks about how important it is for teachers to look for ways to challenge their students' higher-order thinking, and keep them engaged, not only in traditional face-to-face courses but also in courses taught partially or wholly online; I could not be more in agreement with her assertions. Nowadays, students need/want to learn things not only in a very interactive way, but at the same time that keeps them engaged. I have found this very useful resource Instructor Presence in the Online Class- Key to Learner Success, on the role of the instructor in online learning.

     

    As a potential teaching and learning tool, technology has made it easier for students to use their computers and mobile devices to continue learning beyond the classrooms. As Jessica Kennedy argues in her article, “How Colleges Use Gaming Technology to Keep Students Engaged Inside and Outside the Classroom” , while gaming technology can often be consider a break from hard hours of study, gaming is a fast-growing trend in higher education, and an important tool in today’s college education, inside and outside of the classroom.

     

    Innovating educational technology tools provide instructors with ways to better engage and teach students.

     

    Reflective

     

    At the College we are running an online-competency based exam that became part of registration this year. We wanted to create a resource that was innovative, and fun to learn with. But more importantly, engaging. As Tony Bates discusses in his article “Designing online learning for the 21st century”, adult learners nowadays are looking for education that applies to their own needs, to their own domain, so they are motivated and engaged.

     

    Enter Gamification. By creating cased-based strategies and simulations on role play, we could engage and educate registrants really well. When I create a scenario where the clinical and regulatory piece meet, the information I want to share, becomes easily applicable and understood.

     

    Interpretive

     

    My ‘aha!’ moment while reading these chapters came from realizing how well we are doing at the College by incorporating technology that motivates and engage our registrants in understanding their regulatory requirements. I can use the principles on learning through gamification, to create tools that provide an efficient and problem-centered approach to the problems nurses face in real life. By creating educational modules in a fun and interactive way, my audience would be readily and immediately engaged more easily than when doing it in traditional ways.

     

    Decisional

     

    With the flexibility of time and place, technology provide instructors with innovating tools to better engage and teach. An important role as an instructor is to make sure that the design of the course facilitates my online presence. Creating forums, using social media to communicate is vital. For our online teaching at the college, we communicate regularly with our registrants via online newsletters and our website. They can always send us feedback on issues or questions they might encounter while doing the exam.

     

    This new approach on education, has put our organization in a position that is significantly improving nursing practice in BC.

     

    References

    Barkley, Elizabeth F. Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

    Instructor Presence in the Online Class - Key to Learner Success. (2012, May 18). Retrieved September 20, 2015 from: https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/instructor-presence-in-the-online-class-key-to-learner-success/

    Designing online learning for the 21st century (2012, April 24). Retrieved January 26, 2016 from http://www.tonybates.ca/2012/04/24/designing-online-learning-for-the-21st-century/

     

     

     

     

    Journal # 2

    This journal entry is my reflective writing for chapter 3-4 of Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth Barkley. Next, I address objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional questions in regards to this chapter.

     

    Objective

     

    When Elizabeth Barkley suggests that “instead of standing in front of the classroom working hard to present information as clearly as possible to students who are expected to sit quietly and absorb it, we can set up conditions where they are doing more of the work”, I could not be more in agreement with her assertions. The flipped classroom method fits perfectly this approach. In the constructivism theory, learners construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. The flipped classroom method offers that opportunity. Learners are empowered and encouraged to take responsibility based on their learnings needs. In addition, it supports instructors in guiding their students to deeper thinking and higher levels of application. A flipped classroom keeps student learning at the center of teaching.

     

    Reflective

     

    As a student, most of my adult learning has been based on this approach. It has offers me the opportunity to take ownership of my education. It has forced me to be accountable and responsible, and to shift my approach to education from a passive role to an active one, becoming more discipline. As an advisor, the circumstances are not ideal for my audience to be prepared before my educational sessions. But when the opportunity has presented, I have been able to guide students to actively clarify and apply that knowledge during my sessions. Through problem based learning activities, they become their own teacher. It encourages collaborative practice, critical thinking, and self-reflection. I, on the other hand, become a facilitator.

     

    Interpretative

     

    My ‘aha’ moment came when I realized that it is because of this method I have enjoyed learning. And it is important for me to implement this approach more and more into my teaching style. One of the most important things about this method is collaboration. A flipped classroom encourages students to work together. This increased interaction helps to create a learning community that encourages them to build knowledge together inside and outside the classroom. Collaborative practice is vital in nursing care. If I can introduce this collaborative concept in the classroom and it is carried forward into the practice settings where all nurses help each other, the level of patient care could improve dramatically.

     

    Decisional

     

    I am finding it difficult to apply this method in my teaching. I don’t get the opportunity to follow up with my audience that often, or get enough time to implement this method. But either way, by combining the principles on constructivism, problem-centered activities and flipped classroom, I will have available the necessary tools for my audience to acquire the knowledge and the ability to use it.

     

     

     

    References

    Barkley, Elizabeth F. Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

    Merriam, S., & Bierema, L. (2014). Adult learning linking theory and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

     

     

     

    Journal # 3

    This journal entry is my reflective writing for Susan Cain’s TED talk on “The Power Of Introverts”. Next, I address objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional questions in regards to her presentation.

     

    Objective

     

    When Susan Cain states that being introvert does not mean you are a shy person, I could not be more in agreement with her assertion. I have always considered myself an introvert individual, but in many social occasions, others viewed my behaviour as being shy. The two get confused because both are about socialization, but no wanting to socialize, is clearly not the same as fearing it. The difference between motivation and behaviour is consistent with the ability many of us have to behave like extroverts when we choose, whereas shy people cannot turn their shyness off and on.

     

    Reflective

     

    I notice my introversion at times can be a limitation at my work place. At meetings, I realized I fold my arms way too often. And folding your arms sends a hidden messages that you are either not that interested in the topic, or you are too smart to really pay attention to other people.

    As an introvert, I am inclined to stay away from social interactions and focus more on my tasks at hand. I have failed to realize that I can be incredibly productive by socializing as well. Growing up, I learned a technique that sends a poor hidden message--by glancing away or thinking of a different topic during conversations, I am dismissing that person. Staying focused is a way to show them I value what they are saying, I'm interested, and I'm paying attention.

     

    Interpretative

     

    My ‘aha’ moment came when I realized that although is not bad to be an introvert, I do believe our society nowadays is more socially aware, and in order to build great relationships and be successful, I need to work on becoming more of a centrovert. As an introvert, I've noticed I have issues with non-verbal cues. I know I could learn a few things about how to react when people talk to me, let them know I am listening, and how to be more attentive.

     

    Decisional

     

    I learned about emotional intelligence a few years ago, through a book written by Daniel Goleman. Developing your Emotional Intelligence is particularly important for introverts like me because we tend to get so focused on tasks at hand that we forget to pay attention to the non-verbal cues we are sending off and receiving from others during interactions.

     

    Introverts seldom pay attention to non-verbal cues, but again, I believe that social and emotional awareness are so vital in our lives nowadays. Making connections by touching someone on the arm so they know you are present and you are listening, engaging in conversations and smiling, creates a sense of empathy and closeness.

     

    References

    6 Illustrations That Show What It’s Like in an Introvert’s Head. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from: http://www.quietrev.com/6-illustrations-that-show-what-its-like-in-an-introverts-head/

    The Power of Introverts. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from http://www.quietrev.com/ted-talk/

    EQ at Work for Introverts. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from: http://www.theeiinstitute.com/ei-personality-types/2-eq-at-work-for-introverts.html

    Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from: http://www.danielgoleman.info/topics/emotional-intelligence/

     

     

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