EDUC 206: Reflection Paper

EDUC 206, Pedagogy

For my final paper in EDUC 206, I have been tasked with reflecting on the past quarter and the work that I have completed in the course.  For those of you who don’t know, the EDUC series are classes taught at Lake Washington Technical College that are aimed at developing instructor’s abilities.  I took the first part of the course EDUC 201 my first quarter as an instructor here and it was a lifesaver for me in helping me navigate the student population that I would encounter here.  EDUC 206 has not been the same eye opener, but nonetheless it has been an important refresher in my instructional career.  To help me evaluate those things that I have learned, I want to compare my knowledge before and after in a few areas that we have discussed in the class:

Multiple Intelligences

As mentioned in a previous post, over the course of the quarter we have been discussing the idea of multiple intelligences.  And while I didn’t know who Howard Gardner was at the beginning of the quarter, I was aware of different learning styles that we encounter in the classroom.  What was new to me was how many of these learning styles there were.  The class has opened my eyes up to such intelligences as “Musical” and “Naturalist”.  And while I may not necessarily be turning my editing classes into full scale musical productions — it is nonetheless important to recognize the varying ways in which my students learn.

Copyright

One great in-class discussion that we had was on the topic of copyright.  To be honest, previously I had used kind of a “no holds barred” approach to incorporating materials into my classroom.  In looking at the pre-assessment that I took for the class, I thought that you could copy any chapter from any book as long as I only did one chapter at a time and didn’t try to sell the material.  What I have learned is that copyright is not so easy — however, it is not so complicated as well.  As I discussed in a recent post about using open materials, our librarians here at the college are well equipped to handle copyright questions.  I’ve been thinking about trying to run a whole class using readings culled from these resources.  My hesitation for this doesn’t spring from my reluctance to use the technology, but rather the fact that I still struggle to get my students to read the resources that I give them.

What I have learned overall about copyright is that it is a complicated issue, one that make me grateful for trained librarians that are on my side as I confront these issues.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Another topic that we covered in the class was the Classroom Assessment Technique (CAT).  I think I remembered this term from my first time through EDUC 201.  CATs are small ways that we can gauge the learning of our students.  These may include small surveys that we give our students at the end of class to make sure that they have an understanding of the lesson material covered.  While I had learned about this method before, it has not been something that I have really implemented in my classroom, instead relying on more informal assessment techniques.  I think one of my hesitations has been that I don’t want to get burdened by the paperwork that comes with the CATs.  I would love to find some technological solution that easily gauges my students learning without creating a world of unnecessary paperwork for me.  Or maybe I am just taking too easy an approach to this topic — overall I think I am pretty casual in truly trying to gauge the learning of my students.  It could be worth it for me to kill a few trees and spend some time reading the feedback from my students

Final Thoughts

This quarter has been a great opportunity to revisit some of those topics that I need to refocus on as an instructor.  Previously, I have treaded lightly in the three areas that I have discussed above, instead getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of my classroom.  I think as an instructor, it is easy to get too focused on what is going on in your classroom, considering yourself too busy to really change anything.  However, if you take some time to step back and invest in some of these new techniques, you will be repaid as your students will learn better and appreciate the role that you take in their learning.

 

Integrating Open Resources into the Clasroom

EDUC 206

This week for EDUC 206, we were assigned the task of integrating copyright free or open resources into one of our classes.  The class that I decided upon was my Film Studies class.  Right now in the class, I do not use a text book.  Film Studies text books can be dense and expensive, and for that reason, I didn’t think most of them were appropriate for my workforce-focused class.  Instead, I have put together a series of lectures pulling from a variety of resources.  However, I would like to have some better materials to use that would allow my students to explore Film Studies on their own.

For the purpose of this assignment, I wanted to find resources to support a lesson in the Film Studies class about editing.  One thought that I had was that I could use a chapter from Walter Murch’s In the Blink of an Eye. I met with one of our librarians, Heather Davis, and she checked if the school had copyright clearance to use a chapter in my course.  After checking, she found out that we didn’t have clearance and so I had to look elsewhere for content.

Fortunately, Heather introduced me to a couple of other resources including LWTC’s ebrary.  The ebrary is a collection of published books which are also available in electronic form.  The books can easily be placed in our Angel shells and used as a part of our course.  After a quick search through the ebrary I found a great resource which rivals the book that I had wanted to use.  It is a series of interviews with Walter Murch about film editing titled Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Film Editing.  I will hopefully put this into my lesson content starting next quarter.

I think that I learned from this experience that using copyrighted and open resources is an exercise in flexibility.  While you may not be able to use your first choice, looking for options that have flexible copyright restrictions will ultimately save money for your students.  I think that is also a good opportunity to fully use the resources that library has available.

Howard Gardner and Incorporating Multiple Intelligences

EDUC 206, Pedagogy

A few weeks ago in my Teaching and Facilitating Learning class at Lake Washington Technical College, we discussed the work of Howard Gardner.   Gardner is a Harvard professor whose research work focused on the theory of multiple intelligences.  In the classroom, this translates into the fact that we must incorporate several learning styles into our instruction, rather than just relying on straight lecture.  The main 8 Intelligences that Gardner posits are:

  1. Linguistic
  2. Logical-Mathematical
  3. Visual-Spatial
  4. Bodily-Kinesthetic
  5. Musical
  6. Naturalist
  7. Interpersonal
  8. Intrapersonal

The challenge for my assignment was to take a current lesson plan that I teach and address the intelligences that are used in the instruction and discuss ways that I could incorporate more intelligences into the lesson.  One of the struggles with selecting a lecture for this process is the fact that my class topic sometimes dictates automatically what intelligences are used for learning.  For instance — if I am teaching a software class, such as Final Cut Pro.  The hands on nature of that class is naturally going to lean more toward the Kinesthetic, while when I teach a Film Theory class it will lend itself more to the Visual-Spatial.  I guess the key however, is recognizing that no matter what a class naturally lends itself toward, there are always ways to incorporate multiple intelligences into a lesson plan.

The lesson that I have chosen for this exercise is a lesson on Commercial Concepting from my Digital Storytelling Course.  My lesson plans are roughly outlined in the PowerPoints that I use in the class.  To get an idea of what I do, you can look at the PowerPoint in the embed below.

Currently, I feel that most of the lecture is set up in my own learning style, which leans more toward the Interpersonal, Visual-Spatial, and Linguistic.  I like to talk and discuss issues.  The way that I learn best is by talking in large groups and through the comments of others coming to conclusions about things that I observe.  Because of this, I count most of my class time to be filled with student discussion.  I rely on that discussion to make sure that students are understanding the things that I am teaching them.

Probably the best way to assess this lecture would be to list the Intelligences and see the way that each is addressed in the lesson.  Feel free to correct me if you don’t think that certain activities are properly addressing the intelligences.

  • Linguistic — Discussion of “What makes an effective commercial?”  Usually lends itself to discussion of need for commercials in society
  • Logical-Mathematical — not currently present in lecture
  • Visual-Spatial — watching examples of commercials and how they exemplify the topic
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic  — Having students use Celtx software to write their own commercial script
  • Musical  — Not currently present
  • Naturalist  — not currently present
  • Interpersonal  —  YouTube search activity: students share examples with each other of commercials they found
  • Intrapersonal —  Students go off to find their own example of a Branding or Informational Commercial

So from this exercise, it looks like I am doing an okay job of incorporating these intelligences into my lecture (or at least this one lecture).  The problem remains however, what do I do about those intelligences that don’t naturally lend themselves to my Video Production classroom — especially when talking about something abstract as Storytelling?  Here are some quick thoughts of things that I could do in each of the missing categories:

  • Logical-Mathematical:  Give students a problem scenario.  They need to create a commercial for a certain product.  What elements do they need to gather in order to finish planning the commercial.
  • Musical:  Pitch students different parts of a commercial treatment, have them pick out a song that they think would go well with the commercial.  Helps them contemplate mood and the role of music in the storytelling process.
  • Naturalist:  Have the students do a quick location scout.  They could go outside and document different locations that might lend themselves to a given commercial.  How does the location influence the mood of the commercial/story?

It seems as though the incorporating all of the intelligences isn’t too much of a stretch in any assignment.  While I initially thought that there was no way that I could incorporate the Naturalist intelligence into my work, the idea that I came up with came quickly and legitimately.  I think it would be a great exercise for a video student to document their natural environment.   In the same way, we can gradually little exercises into our lessons which can further help our students who may learn differently.