First, I applaud the point offered by this site http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/10/02/22-secrets-from-the-most-successful-online-educators/ (Thank you to Dawn MacDonald!):What students can teach each other is just as important as what the professor teaches. I wholeheartedly agree and in this course, I am most interested in how to use technology to support active learning among and between the students.
Based on that learning objective, I will add to the conversation about this week's discussion questions.
My teaching Philosophy:
My beliefs are deeply rooted in constructivism. Defined by Dunn (2005), constructivism is an orientation where “individuals create or construct their own understanding/knowledge through the interaction of what they already know and through the ideas, events, and activities/experiences that they encounter” (p. 230). More specifically, social constructivism resonates with my philosophical views of the learning process as seen by Lens Vygotsky. In Vygotsky’s view, learning is a result of the interaction between the learner and the social environment, by way of reflection and meaningful discussions (Dunn, 2005; Pratt & Paterson, 2007; Vygotsky, 1978; Young & Maxwell, 2007). Like Vygotsky, I too believe that learning is enhanced when the material is meaningful to the students (Beatty, Leigh, & Dean, 2009; Vygotsky, 1978) and when social interaction is integrated into class activities.
Some scholars argue that social interaction functions to increase the student’s awareness to social phenomena and new ideas. Kersten (2002), Schutz (1932) and Van Maanen (1983) suggest that people do not have the ability to see and understand the complexity of a scenario without pre-knowledge or a stock of knowledge that provides an awareness to the presence of social phenomena. Without a stock of knowledge in a particular area, the student requires another individual to help them notice things in which they lack experience. I believe that students have a stock of knowledge upon which educators can build, but I also hold that the role of the educator (and that of their peers) is to expand the student’s thinking, to notice the unnoticed.
Deciding and describing the ‘mix’ of face-to-face and online learning will be best for my course:
For my course, it is institutionally mandated that the delivery format will be a hybrid of face-to-face and online; the first week will be face-to-face and the subsequent weeks are online. I think my role will be to build their stock of knowledge and then by way of peer interaction, reflection and meaningful discussions, students will 'play' with the content and enhance their knowledge. As adult learners, I will be clear on my expectations related to postings and student contribution. I am interested to learn more about how I can embrace technology to stimulate discussion, critical thinking and peer learning. I think that it may also be useful to contact some nurse leaders in the hospital setting and gain their perspective of the course content (these would be stakeholders). Perhaps I might do this by entering their comment into a twitter? How would I do that? Is this advantageous over a blog post? Perhaps I could ask students to download twitter on their handheld device and the message would be more immediate?
Hmm, it is tricky (but exciting) to intersect accessibility and course content. :)