As I finished my time within The Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) offered at Vancouver Community College, it seems appropriate that some of the last assignments ask for reflection on the courses I have taken to date.
I can tell you that the PID Program is well organized and since I took the courses sequentially I could see the progression and building on new learning throughout the course.
When I look back at each of the courses, some offered me tangible tools through creating items for evaluation, dacums and lesson plans… each course offered one similar piece and that was bringing my reflective practice into a more formal context. I have journaled in the past, or even just gave time to think about new experiences… I had always seen myself as a reflective practitioner… the reflective writing assignments using the focused conversation model helped me a great deal to break down what I was learning, it helped shape how I approached online learning in a sense.
When I think about what has changed for me as a result of the PIDP it really comes down to feedback and evaluation. While my role in the workplace includes education and facilitation; prior to the PIDP I did not have the tools to offer substantive evaluation or assessment to either my students or stakeholders. Summative assessment has always been a requirement for course completions and while I was doing formative assessment, perhaps not knowingly for the purpose of gauging or providing information or adapting what was occurring within the lesson or activities. It was an odd sensation for me learning about these pieces and taking a more critical look. I have always believed you cannot manage something without measuring it, and yet I had been blindly going through workshops or courses without measuring my curriculum , lesson plans and the actual learning that was occurring … CRAZY I KNOW!
The feedback piece for me was also an interesting revelation… as the first courses started to mention feedback for students, I was like… yeah of course… but then as I progressed through courses in the PIDP it kept coming up about student feedback going the other way… you know… towards me, the material, the course… WOW… new learning, more reflection! I have really enjoyed learning about this and building it into my practice… and not just a smile sheet at the end of the workshop, but REAL feedback that can change things when added to my own self-reflection and willingness to consider this feedback.
I have a lot of things that will be changing in my practice as an educator… for now I know I can say it will be feedback and evaluation… perhaps as I bring my PIDP learnings into my classroom I will recognize more… what I can tell you all is that I have so far found use for all the major themes I have learned about, and the neatest part is some have not been in formal educational roles, some have been as a Father or a Husband, some applications have even just been colleague to colleague or friends…
The most important part of the PID program is that it has reignited my drive to pursue my formal academic adventure…
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