Teaching and Facilitation

Demonstrate teaching and facilitation skills and strategies in a variety of higher education and community education settings.

In Fall 2013, I participated in collaborative research, writing, and discussion for a variety of group projects in IT 546 (Instructional Technology and Education), which included the recognition of learner needs for “literacy related to security and privacy” (published at Wilder, 2013) in the context of historical and current events (published at Wilder, 2014a) that include a report from the Associated Press on July 18, 2013 that “[t]he tactic of collecting everything was unknown to the public until former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked word of it to the public.” (Yost, 2013).

This collaborative group work extended into the development of a presentation for the 2014 Online Northwest Conference (Gossett et al., 2014), and includes a public Zotero folder titled “Digital Security and Awareness” (Gossett, 2013) that began as an IT 546 group assignment. A screenshot of this Zotero folder can be seen at the WWU Center For Instructional Innovation and Assessment (CIIA) website, in the 2013-2014 Innovative Teaching Showcase portfolio by IT 546 Professor Paula Dagnon (2014). I plan to continue adding links and notes to this folder, and I plan to use the phrase “courage and a backup plan” as a starting point for thinking about how to respond to these challenges as an educator (Wilder, 2014b).

One of the challenges in teaching this material is the potential for emotional reactions to the content that may be related to what Weimer (2002) describes as “the loss of certainty that has sustained them and been a refuge in an increasingly complex and confusing world” (p. 152, quoting Kloss, 1994), and may be enhanced by the magnitude of what these recent reports may mean for our current and future democratic system of government. Similarly, the amount of materials available in the “Digital Security and Awareness” Zotero folder (Gossett, 2013) includes a risk of ‘cognitive overload,’ as discussed by Smith (2008, pp. 60, 73-78) and McGinty et al., (2013, pp. 53-54), due to the amount of materials that have been collected, tagged, and cross-referenced in the Zotero folder. I see Zotero folders as capable of serving as an interactive textbook that can allow learners to direct their own research according to their interests through a variety of options, and I look forward to incorporating this tool into my future practice as an educator when it is a relevant support for the student learning experience.

Caine & Caine (1994) discuss “active processing” as a way to support the learning experience (p. 113), including because this can slow the pace of the learning experience and offer students “time to allow for new connections to be made” and “”space” for reflection.” (p. 157). Smith (2008) offers guidance that includes checking in with each student to assess comprehension, getting frequent feedback from students about how the course is going (p. 39), choosing the most important topics to focus on (pp. 59-60), as well as ‘chunking,’ ‘repeatability,’ and ‘pauseability,’ (p. 64-73), which all seem to be important potential supports to consider when teaching and facilitating in a variety of higher education environments, and particularly for complex subject matter. For this particular subject matter, on-ground classroom time may be an important support for reflective discussion about the course concepts and the online components of the course assignments and materials.

 

References:

Caine, R.N. & Caine, G. (1994). Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley

Dagnon, P. (2014, June). CIIA: Innovative Teaching Showcase: Paula Dagnon – Portfolio. Western Washington University Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/showcase2013/dagnon/default.asp

Gossett, G. (2013). Digital Security and Awareness. Zotero. Retrieved from https://www.zotero.org/groups/225433

Gossett, G., Wilder, R., & Davidson, B. (2014, March 5). Information Literacy, Privacy, & Risk: What Are the Implications of Mass Surveillance for Libraries? — Online Northwest. Online presented at the 2014 Online Northwest Conference. Retrieved from http://onlinenorthwest.org/about/blog/2014/3/4/information-literacy-privacy-risk-what-are-the-implications-of-mass-surveillance-for-libraries

McGinty, J., Radin, J., & Kaminski, K. (Spring 2013). Brain-Friendly Teaching Supports Learning Transfer. New Directions For Adult and Continuing Education, 137: 49-60

Smith, R.M. (2008). Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Weimer, M. (2002). Responding to Resistance. Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wilder, R. (December 2013). A Philosophy of Technology. Learning Document. Retrieved from: https://learningdocument.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/a-philosophy-of-technology/

Wilder, R. (2014a). The Epoch of Incredulity. Learning Document. Retrieved from: https://learningdocument.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/the-epoch-of-incredulity/

Wilder, R. (2014b). Courage and a Back Up Plan. Learning Document. Retrieved from: https://learningdocument.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/courage-and-a-back-up-plan/

Yost, P. (2013, July 18). Hostile Hill territory on NSA surveillance issue. Yahoo News. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/hostile-hill-territory-nsa-surveillance-issue-061859478.html

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