What? So What? Now What?

The title of this blog post presents a framework for reflective teaching practice that I would like to play around with in this blog post.

I have just participated in the three day Course Design Intensive workshop offered through the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UBC. My role was both as a participant and as a future facilitator. I took notes about both the workshop facilitation and the course design principles. I brought my First Year Seminars in Science (SCIE113) DACUM (aka. our course goals, skills, and objectives) and reflected on the strengths of our course design and the changes we have made in our re-design efforts.

So What?
I found the workshop valuable on several levels. I connected with like-minded teaching colleagues, and enjoyed the opportunity to hear about and provide input on a wide-variety of teaching scenarios. I’ve identified new teaching tools and lots of literature that I’d like to follow-up with. This was a chance for me to evaluate my own interest and suitability to act as a facilitator for future offerings of the workshop – which I see as a great opportunity. This course helped me to set aside valuable time (in my extremely time sensitive schedule this term) to reflect on the SCIE113 DACUM. I have concluded that the changes we have made in implementation and assessments from the pilot to the scaled up version of the course are still aligned with our course goals and learning objectives. I wonder if grouping the learning objectives into three units instead of six units would better help students (and Instructors) connect the in-class writing assignments to the course content. However, my visual views of the course materials (mind maps/visual syllabus) still identify at least 5 distinct units (see picture below).

Now What?
I will draw the visual syllabus picture – that I came up with today – on the first class of SCIE113. This picture will offer a valuable view of how the course content connects together and will highlight the course goals to students. If I start with the “you” part of the picture, I can also start with a comments about my classrooms as 1) safe places, 2) the importance of trying, and making mistakes, and 3) hard work. I also like how the voice, piece of writing, and the hand highlight the role that students can play in science – and how their voice is important.

I have a list of books that I would like to add to my library.
Dee Fink ISBN 0-7879-6055-1 ** I already reference this book. I should buy it.
Brookfield/Preskill Effective Use of Discussion ISBN 0-7879-4458-0
Brookfield -Teaching Critical Thinking ISBN 978-0-470-88934-3
Weimer Learner Centered Teaching ISBN 0-7879-5646-5
Graphic Syllabus ISBN 978-0-470-88934-3

I also need to set aside some time to read this literature. In fact, I think it would be useful to do some deliberate reflection around several topics 1) Balancing my workload, 2) Things that worked well this past term in SCIE113 (This past term of SCIE113 was very close to my description of my ideal teaching experience. What did this look like? Why did this happen? & What did I do that supported this experience? 3) Highest Priority for changes in SCIE113 (at a personal level and at a program level) 4) SOTL research ideas/action items/follow-up stemming out of SCIE113.

Lastly, I will follow up with the CDI team about participating in future offerings as a facilitator.

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