New Course: Introduction to Five Educational Domains

It is my pleasure to share a passion for educational taxonomies and their usefulness in course design and learning & teaching practice.
This short course is on educational taxonomies.
Everyone’s familiar with Benjamin Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy which covers the intellectual skills most prized by formal education systems. Less well known are a range of other taxonomies that reflect other skills and attributes that graduates are increasingly expected to demonstrate.
In this course, we’re going to explore what an educational taxonomy is, how it is best thought of as a progressive taxonomy ( taking students through levels of achievement), and then we’re going to explore the five educational domains. The Affective, Psychomotor, Interpersonal, Metacognitive, and the Cognitive.
And we reflect on how important they are in providing a well-rounded experience, valued by both students and their future employers.
This course is extracted from a longer course, entitled, ‘Designing Effective Intended Learning Outcomes’. And so at the end of this short course, you can access a discount, should you wish to enrol on the longer course. See the course here.

New Course: Designing Effective Intended Learning Outcomes

 

I am delighted to be able to share with you the culmination of decades of course and programme design practice, as well as a career spent in academic development, with the release of this course. It represents a 10-hour self-paced course, which you are free to navigate however you choose. The course covers insights and practices that would normally be featured over two days worth of face-to-face workshops.

Register Today

Well-designed courses require a solid foundation of well-structured intended learning outcomes that enable course designers to develop robust, enduring and flexible assessments, and responsive and relevant learning and teaching activities.

This course is aimed at supporting faculty charged with designing or redesigning courses. We are going to explore the structure of effective learning outcomes using a full range of educational taxonomies. We will cover not just intellectual skills, but values, manual, and interpersonal skills too.

The course is largely self-paced but there is an opportunity for you to submit draft outcomes for me to provide feedback on if you choose.

The course, Designing Effective Intended Learning Outcomes, is available for individuals or for institutions to embed within their academic development programmes. Institutions are invited to contact me here please.

I look forward to working to support you in creating the best possible learning experiences for your students.

  • The course is intended for new and experienced faculty who are designing or redesigning courses for the first time, and who want to ensure their course design is built on solid foundations.
  • If you are to fully engage with the materials, activities and assignments, you can expect to spend between 10-11 hours on this course.
  • The course includes the opportunity, entirely voluntarily, for you to share your draft intended learning outcomes for me to review and provide you with feedback.
  • The course is based on nearly 30 years worth of in-house and invited workshops run across the world with colleagues from tertiary institutions.
  • The free-form course does not restrict how you engage with the material, you are free to navigate your way through the course as you see fit.
  • You have access for two years after enrollment.

In-Class Evaluation (Guidance for Educators)

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, if you think they’ll find this of interest. 

I want to talk today about why it’s important that we listen to our students during our teaching practice. I think, first of all, just want to clarify the distinction between providing feedback to students and taking evaluative comments from students.

I think sometimes the language we use is a little bit loose and that complicates things. It also devalues the sense of feedback that students are actually receiving during the course of their learning experience. I think we should always label anything we provide to students for feedback on their learning or in their learning, as feedback, and then anything we receive from them is evaluation at an institutional level of national surveys and in our individual practice. So I want to talk about the way we elicit evaluation from our students. So obviously the easiest way of doing that is to read the room. You’re looking for individual responses. You may be need to avoid focusing on that one very negative, grumpy, miserable looking student and read the room on that basis. You don’t want to imply that that is the common feeling, but if you scan the room, you’ll be able to see whether or not there is a good degree of engagement. I think we need to distinguish between that kind of very informal in session evaluation and more formal mechanisms for evaluation.

And I want to talk about an, an in session evaluation, and then I’ll talk about end of course, or end of module evaluation, in just a moment. Want to focus in this conversation about the way in which we use in class evaluation and the model that I personally prefer, and it works best in a face-to-face environment if you are teaching a series of courses, but it also works in an online environment as well.

Something called small group instructional diagnostics, S.G.I.D., which is essentially a way of eliciting from the students, some evaluative comments on what they’re learning, how they’re learning in your classroom, the structure of the questions that you ask are very important, they’re more important than how you actually ask them. Formal SGID is actually you leaving the classroom and having a colleague coming and running a session with your students for 15, 20 minutes.

And that usually would happen around a third of the way through your course. This is to elicit whether or not the students are getting what you’re intending they get, whether they’re experiencing the learning as you intend it to be, to be experienced. There are a number of different ways that you can do this.

I think it works quite well to literally just hand out pieces of paper with four blocks on and ask them to fill out, put something in each of those blocks. But it’s really important the order in which the questions are asked. 

So you’re going to ask the students what’s happening on this course that is supporting their learning, not what am I doing to support your learning? What is supporting you in your learning? What is hindering you in your learning? What could I be doing differently to support you? And fourthly, what could you be doing differently to support your own learning? It’s very important that you end with them thinking about it as a reflective exercise.

Very often, students will say that last comment. What can I, what can you be doing for your own learning? Students will very often say, oh, I need to do the pre-reading or I need to prepare better for class or so, it encourages them to take some degree of ownership over their own. It’s really important that when you collate all of those responses that you do feed back.

So if you’re teaching face-to-face or online on a weekly or, or a regular basis, some scheduled basis, it’s really important that you then say to the students, I listened to you, you suggested this is what strengthening your learning collectively, I’m going to do more of that. This is what’s hindering, I’ll try and do less of that.

That gives students a sense of participation and a sense of ownership in the learning process. That’s a very important part of getting evaluation from students. 

The more formal aspect of end of course, or end of module evaluation. It’s usually structured around whatever institutional regional or national surveys are carried out.

Historically institutions used to just do their own end of course evaluations and tutors regarded that as almost a tick box exercise. It’s become much more significant in many countries to have institutional data that is then aggregated across the, the entire piece. And I think it’s important that you recognize that those questions are not necessarily questions that you have any direct control over, but it’s very important that you are aware of what those questions are because you can then signal answers to the students through the course of the course, through the course of the learning. 

So I think it’s really important to be aware of what the end of course evaluation looks like, which you’ll probably end up administering, although you may not be able to control the questions, but you do have complete control of the in-class evaluation that happens.

So please feel free to share this video with colleagues. If you think it’s interesting, like and follow. 

Be Well

Educational Posters for Sale

Colleagues have been asking me for some time whether they can have copies of the various visualisations that I have produced over the years. These were usually developed as posters, from A3 to A1 sizes, for workshops and events. I am happy to share high-quality originals for colleagues to include in publications but I think it appropriate to charge for the majority of them.

The updated 2022 version of my comprehensive taxonomies of educational objectives poster is available. This and future versions will be available as high-quality downloads to be printed locally. This saves a fortune in packaging and postage and allows you to decide whether you want it board-mounted, matte or gloss, and so on.

In the setting up phase of this new ‘storefront‘, here is a discount code for 20% off the price. Just put in the code G4G5EURM at checkout. Look out for more useful visualisations and resources being posted over the coming months.

Guidance for Educators: Avoiding Burnout

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this video with colleagues if you think they’d find it of interest.

Want to talk today about burnout. Being a teacher, being a lecturer, being an academic, very often leads to periods of intense pressure, and very often we see colleagues burning out. They leave the profession.

They literally just find the ongoing pressure too much to bear, and I think it’s really important that we support each other, but we also have to preserve ourselves and avoid exhaustion. We do that by setting boundaries. You need to learn to say no. You need to learn that your responsibilities have a limit.

Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to, take on all of the pressures, all of the responsibilities that our students expect the entire institution to provide for them, and it’s important that we make time for relationships, for relaxation, for recreation. 

Education is a team game or a theatrical piece. It’s not a single performance. It’s not a solo game, nor are you actually a solo performer. You’re not a stand-up comedian standing alone on your stage. It’s a team effort. So if you do feel yourself under oppression. If you feel overly stressed, turn to a colleague and ask them for support. If those colleagues aren’t available for you to lean on, then you need to learn to escalate because it’s not your responsibility to run the entire college or the entire university or to run the entire school sector.

You need to be able to escalate your own stress just in order to avoid burnout. So if you feel the pressure lean on a colleague, if there’s no colleague to lead on, escalate.

Be well.

Guidance to Educators: Developing professional relationships

Transcript:

Welcome all, please feel free to share this video with colleagues if you think they would find it of interest. 

Let’s talk today about building professional relationships. Teaching can be quite a lonely experience. Depends a little bit on the organization that you teach in. You might be teaching in a very isolated part of the world, or you might be teaching a very specialist discipline. You might be the only person teaching that particular subject in your school, even in your area. 

And having good connections with other practitioners that understand you, understand your context, definitely do serve to lower the level of anxiety that you might feel. There’s evidence to suggest that well- connected educators do suffer less anxiety.

So reaching out now is much easier. There are any number of digital platforms that you can engage with and connect with other people. And in doing so you benefit not just that level of human connectivity, but you’re also using them as a source of new ideas, new sources, new perspectives. 

It’s very important if you do get involved in any of these platforms that you do become a contributor, as well as a consumer. That’s not just because that’s fair. It’s just, it’s also that echoing your voice is really important, using your voice to mirror the practice of others is part of the process of building those relationships.

Even if it’s just to go back to someone who’s posted something, you found a value to just say “I’ve used what you suggested. It worked very well for me” or it didn’t and I made this adjustment, and I did it this way. Having that level of feedback is really important. 

So, I’m on a number of different platforms. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Instagram. I’m on Tik Tok. I’m on YouTube and I’ve got my own website, but I think the two that everyone needs to start with are Twitter and LinkedIn. Build a profile on LinkedIn, doesn’t have to be expansive, but at least something that gives people a sense of who you are as a person.

And then Twitter is a great way of just picking up ideas, sources, perspectives, re-tweeting things that you think are of interest, identifying things more widely, and posting them and share that community experience. You’d be surprised how quickly it does build and giving you a solid network to lean on will undoubtedly reduce your anxiety. 

So you might want to try some of those platforms for yourself. See how it goes. 

Let me know. Be well.

Guidance for Educators: Post-session reflection

Guidance to Educators: Reflecting after sessions

#teachers #learning #educators #education #university #tutors #lecture Visit http://www.sijen.com for transcripts and links. Please share, like and follow.

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this with colleagues. If you think they’ll find it of interest. 

Let’s talk today about how you handle a session that doesn’t go so well. Any problems that crop up can be quite demoralizing. Sometimes you walk out of a session thinking either I dropped the ball or the students didn’t respond. Something just didn’t work in any given session. 

Now not every session is going to go well. It could be something you have failed to plan for, it may be that you misjudged the receptivity of the students. It may be that they just were very resistant to what it was you’re asking them to engage with in the session and how you manage that system dynamic is obviously very problematic.

So after any session, educators really need to sit back and reflect if it, even if it just takes a few minutes, even if they’re just doing it in their heads, they need to be thinking about what went well, what didn’t go so well. If it doesn’t go well, there’s a particular problem in any given session, it’s a really good idea to journal it, write something down, even just a few notes on the back of your notes are fine, but to write something down as soon as possible after the session. To discuss it with colleagues, just to literally go back to the, whatever the virtual coffee room is, or the staff room and talk to your colleagues about why something didn’t go well and be open about that. You won’t be judged for it if you’re honest about it. 

And thirdly, to reflect, and how deeply you reflect will depend a little bit on whether it was a serious issue or, or relatively minor issue. You maybe want to think about, from a positive perspective what you would do differently if you had it again.

And if you were faced with those similar circumstances in the future, how you might plan to do it differently. So it’s really important that you do reflect at some level, either using notes, conversation or indeed just thinking about it. I always try and make some notes after a session, particularly if it hasn’t gone well, but even if it’s gone well, I might want to make a note as to why I think it might’ve gone well.

I think it’s really important, and I would encourage you to do that. So do try something like that, try something similar. 

Let me know how it goes. Be well.

Guidance for Educators: Session Planning

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this with colleagues. If you think it would be of interest to them. So, today I want to talk a little bit about why it’s important to plan your sessions. This is particularly pertinent if you’re delivering a stand-up lecture, that’s expected to keep students engaged for 40 minutes, 45 minutes, but even in a normal session, a normal seminar session, it’s still really important that you plan. Down your session. It’s really important that you don’t plan around the content. And rather you plan around the learning experiences. We can almost take them as synonyms. We would almost say content and experiences are the same, but it’s really important that you think about how the student is hearing that content, how they’re engaging with that content rather than just delivering them raw content.

I think it’s also really important as you plan out those linkages, those connections between the experiences in your lecture, that you don’t use a hundred percent of the time, certainly lecturers when they start their careers, if they’re not particularly confident, they will walk into a lecture theater, start delivering, keep talking and leave at the end, in order to possibly avoid confrontation, avoid questions.

And once you’ve found your feet, you will be able to use the time really effectively. And I think it’s important that you plan possibly for up to 80% of the session to be around the learning experiences, the guided experiences that you were expecting to share with students, and leave 20%. at the end. Sometimes people say, what do I do if people don’t have questions, if students don’t ask anything, how do I use that time?

There, there are a number of ways that you can use that, but it is important to have a, almost an Encore in the way that a musician is expecting to come back onto the stage and perform again. we don’t usually get, rounds of standing ovations for our teaching, but very often having an Encore is really important.

It’s almost the most important thing because it’s the last thing that the student is going to experience. So it can’t be something that is core. Can’t be core content or core content experience because you might not get your opportunity. The session might go long and it’s dangerous to leave the best to the end, but it has to be something that’s reinforcing something that’s empowering and it’s worth actually concentrating really on what that Encore is going to look like.

And then build the session back. If the session does go a little bit long, that Encore needs to be able to be prepared either as a short video interaction to go up on the website on your, virtual learning environment, or possibly. Yeah, featuring featured in a handout, but it’s really important that you plan out the experiences for 80% of the session, and link them together, conceptually through good planning.

There are some templates that you can use for planning sessions, a search on the web would find any number of them. I’ve also got one on my website as well. If you do want to access that.

Just give it a go. See how it goes. Let me know. Be well.

Teaching Enhancement Toolkit: Simple 5 Step Lesson Plan

‘Resilience’: the latest hyped up term being applied to education.

“If you managed to cover the absences of staff successfully last semester, are you maybe just over staffed?” If you managed to move all of your learning in a frantic fortnight with minimal support, well “how hard can it be, and do you really need all of that expensive support?”

There is a danger of being ‘successful’ in responding to a crisis. Senior management often don’t see the pain and sweat, the family disruption, the anxiety, and stress as it is happening. “Look how resilient you have all been in response to Covid-19, just carry on like that.”

Resilience is very in vogue at the moment. There are any number of workshops and seminars to empower you as an individual to recognise your own resilience. Some generously provide a ‘toolkit’. Others provide just a forum to share stories of resilience. I have been a participant in a number of these session in the last 12 months. To coin a Yogi-ism ‘It’s déjà vu all over again’. In the 2000s the same workshops were being run for us a managers using different buzz words, adaptability and self-awareness.

Adaptability requires a certain degree of intellectual flexibility, but above all it requires that an individual feel secure and trusted. Most individuals can be persuaded to try a different approach, provided if it turns out not to work, that they won’t be reproached. Most employees will find creative solutions, in collaboration with others, if they feel that their jobs don’t depend on them getting it right first time. Employers need to provide safe zones for failure. Employees need to understand their boundaries and self-imposed limitations. How far should you stretch outside of your current experiences, your ‘comfort zone’? This requires one to be self-aware. To know your limits and when it’s ok to step beyond them.

If senior management in tertiary institutions really want to ensure the resilience of their staff they need to empower even the most junior faculty or support person to make mistakes. To encourage them to be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances. They must also ensure that staff are self-aware, willing to declare their own limitations and their own boundaries. Given the ability to recognise one’s own limits and being creative in adapting practices to stretch them is a practical definition of professional fulfilment.

I can cope with the evolution of language, it is one of the things I love about English. I recognise that running workshops encouraging staff to be adaptable and self-aware might sound a bit 2000s and language may need to be spiced up a bit. It just gets a bit tiresome to have old concepts repackaged and presented as something radically new. Personally I think it better to confront the underlying conditions in which ‘resilience’ is enabled.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

 

Guidance for Educators: Finding the Passion

Transcript:

Welcome, all. Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, if you think it would be of value to them.

I want to talk today about passion. It’s really important that your passion for your subject is conveyed to your students. Even if there is something about your subject that you don’t particularly find interesting, you might find it a little bit dull, even, it’s really important that you look deep inside and find the nugget of passion for that particular topic or that particular lesson because if you don’t, you risk losing your students’ engagement with you.

So, think back to a situation where you have yourself had a teacher tutor, or lecturer, that you thought was exceptional. You may remember everything that happened in this session. You may have looked forward to going to those particular sessions. What was it about that particular lecturer, or tutor, sis that proved so effective? When I’ve done this exercise with, academics as part of academic professional development, almost without exception, they would say, actually it was the passion. It was the passion of the teacher for that particular discipline. Sometimes that specific lecture, sometimes that series of lectures, that course.

And so I think it’s really important that you do look to find that moment of passion within anything that you’re teaching. So, sometimes that can be quite difficult, and you may need to about, sometimes a very small, aspect of the entire topic that you think is a point of passion, and you build from that. Because it’s your passion for the subject that will allow you to get your students engaged. It will allow them to be more receptive to the enlightenment that you are going to share with them, and it’s also going to mean that you are more likely to be able to give them the empowerment, to go forward, to think about what they’re going to do with that learning later.

So your learning needs to engage, enlighten and empower. And, I personally found it quite hard on occasion to find that point of passion and it’s worth literally thinking, just before the session, “what’s the one thing that I’m going to share with my students in this session?” That sparks other people’s passions. What other researchers, other academics, whatever thinkers have spun off that particular point?. And if you don’t have anything, particularly that, you find passionate, you can convey the passion of others, but it’s really important that there is passion in any teaching session.

So you might want to try that. Let me know how it goes.

Please share, like, and follow.

Be well.

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