Final Reflection: Just the Beginning

At the beginning of this course, we were given a list of adjectives and asked to choose the 5 essential characteristics for a learning experience.

I chose well-written, user-driven, story-driven, interactive and engaging. My team also emphasized the importance of accessibility. Looking back on the list and reflecting on the past 7 weeks, I honestly don’t think I would change my choices. More than ever I realize that learning must be learner-driven and focus on the needs and motivations of the learner. I think the biggest thing I will take away from this experience is learner empathy and the importance of bringing the learner into the designer process from beginning to end.

I feel like this course provided a lot of benefit by giving us a lot of different ideas to digest and focus on. The learning community was great because it allowed everyone to share their applied knowledge and unique backgrounds. I feel like a lot of common ground was found through the learning community and I’m looking forward to further professional collaboration with some of my peers even after the course is over. I believe that many of the members of the class will also be continuing on to the Writing for Learner Engagement class, so it will be great to already have a community going into that class. 

I think pieces of this course are very relevant to a number of projects that I am currently working on (or hope to soon be working on): 

#1: The Learner/Program Dashboard we are working on for the MD program is all about performance analytics and understanding the significance of data and how to take action on that data. Many of the resources offered in Week 3 have lead to other resources and information searches that I think will be key to developing a solid tool for performance analysis. I will be coordinating the development of this tool over the coming months. 

#2: This course has forced me to look at learner motivation quite a bit, which has lead me to consider assessment tools. Again, one of the projects I’m working on is helping to develop assessment tools for CBME (Competency Based Medical Education). The course redesign project that I’m working on with Engineering has also encouraged me to reconsider the assessment model. I’d like to look into the relationship between assessment and learner motivation in more depth and see if anyone has explored the discrepancy between particular teaching models and assessment tools in higher education. 

#3: I would also like to explore the possibilities of storytelling in delivering the Fundamentals of Engineering course. One of the biggest pieces of feedback that we were getting from students pre-redesign and are still hearing is that the course is very disjointed. It covers a width breadth of topics, and it isn’t always easy to make the connection between the topics clear to students. I think if we were to find a way to embed a story into the course- perhaps the journey of a single Engineer or of a couple of different characters, and have them show up each week, it might help tie all of the pieces together. My goal is to pull together a proposal for this approach over the break and present it for a possible approach to redesign 2.0 for next year’s course delivery. 

#4: Something that I came across not directly through the course but as I looked through course materials was the concept of game-based assessment. I don’t fully understand the possibilities or complexities of this yet, but I hope to dedicate some time to researching it further. I think it may have applications in both projects I’m working on (Engineering and MD)

#5: For the final assignment, I have starting working on the design for one workshop within the Engineering course. I hope to refine this design and get approval for it’s development and implementation in next year’s course delivery.

For my personal development (rather than professional goals), I am going to commit to maintaining this space for the next 37 weeks, or until the start of September. I hope to add at least 1 post each week on a different topic or article (lit. review style). I’m hoping this will allow me to stay connected to a wider variety of topics as I know it can be much too easy to get bogged down in specific projects. I’m walking away from this course with a lot of questions and a lot of topics I want to explore in more details (some of which are capture on the Read more. page), and I think this will be a good way to start tackling some of them. This space will be more for my own personal reflection and development rather than mass consumption, but I think it will be a valuable exercise. 

One thought on “Final Reflection: Just the Beginning”

  1. Dani,

    You are an inspiring educator. Keep going, stay out of your comfort zone and always be creating.



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