3260 Digital Feedback Project

Creating this digital project on Instructor Feedback strategies showed me the variety of options available for obtaining feedback.Researching this digital project also showed me how easy and effective it can be to obtain effective and meaningful feedback from instructional sessions either using self-reflection or other feedback methods discussed by my peers or suggested in the references.

I decided to create a digital project on Self-Evaluation as I felt this method was not extensively covered by my classmates as well as it has a number of unique boons to it. The feedback strategy is highly customizable and is easy to modify and grow with the instructor.

My digital project can be found at the following link: Creating A Self-Monitoring Feedback Strategy

PIDP Reflection

At this point in my  PIDP I have taken the majority of the available courses save for the Instructor Skills Workshop/PIDP 3220 and the final project.

It has been an interesting journey up to this point, I would not say that these courses have been groundbreaking or a revelation in thinking for me. However, these courses have confirmed pre-existing concepts and assumptions I have developed through my own experiences during my post-secondary education as well as my experiences as an instructor. I am very fortunate that I am a young instructor taking these courses early in my education career not only am I more open and adaptable to change but many of the concepts taught and emphasized in this program I had already come to or eluded to myself through my personal experience in the field of education.

In terms of actual learning in the courses, I think one of the more important concepts is that incorporating digital media and active learning pedagogies are easier than perceived. All that is needed to effectively use and incorporate new ideas and techniques is a bit of research, effort, and the willingness to take a risk and put yourself outside your comfort zone. Initially, this seems quite daunting and overwhelming but the more you strive to exit the safety of tried and true methods the easier it becomes to adopt new teaching styles.

I would not say that my thinking has changed substantially but I am definitely leaning more towards open and inclusive concepts of active learning styles and trying to foster the proper use and application of digital media in classrooms. These courses have been great in the sense of introducing me to like-minded individuals who share my yearning to make a change and ameliorate the learning experiences of our students. It can often be difficult to be the voice of change when you seem to be the only one carrying the tune. The coursing has also provided me with a wealth of resources to tap into in order to deliver the highest quality content to my students. I still struggle though with fundamental problems in the PIDP such as the courses are not targeted or designed for technical courses. The big difference I have found between the PIDP courses and my own teaching is that I have very dense course material with tight timelines. This manifests itself as a problem since I have found very few techniques in the courses that aid in decompressing a course and relieving the need to meet course milestones. There are many wonderful teaching techniques and pedagogies discussed in the program but very few of them I find applicable to my field of instruction due to the fact that they require more class time to cover less material. While this may provide a more engaging atmosphere for the students it does not assist those of that must cover a specified number of topics in a given course when I am already struggling to meet course timelines.

After completing the PIDP I will continue to pursue new teaching techniques and pedagogies. I have been increasing the volume and types of digital media in my teaching I have taken to creating Infographics which I have received positive feedback on from both peers and students. I have also started creating mini-podcast series for laboratory portions of courses and students seem to be well receiving this form of digital media addition to their coursing. I’m not sure where my PIDP learning and experience will lead me but I know it will be a better instructor for it and my students will be better learners because of it.

Program Accreditation

I teach at Camosun College located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We have a number of accredited programs based on the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CTAB). The technology programs offered at my school have been accredited since 1998 or from when they were implemented. The following courses are offered in the technology field at Camosun College under CTAB accreditation:

  • Civil Engineering Technology 2005 Sydney Accord
  • Computer Engineering Technology Technologist Information Technology  1998 to 2010 Sydney Accord
  • Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology – Renewable Resources
    1998 Sydney Accord
  •  Environmental Technology Technologist Bioscience 2003 none
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology Technologist Mechanical 1998 Sydney Accor

The synopsized process of acquiring accreditation from CTAB is as follows.

“The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) provides the evaluation of applied science and engineering technology programs in Canada. Accreditation is a voluntary, yet detailed, review of a technology program measured against the National Technology Benchmarks™ (NTB). CTAB uses a two-part process to assess the program at a level of performance, integrity, and quality, ensuring that technology programs across Canada keep pace with change and remain relevant to industry.

Part 1: Self-Study

The organization seeking accreditation evaluates its own compliance against a national series of outcome requirements. The self-study portion requires that the program demonstrate how it meets/exceeds the National Technology Benchmarks. Key areas that are examined during the process include the list of program strengths, course outlines, evidence of student work, the organization’s governance, faculty qualifications, and the management of the program.

Part 2: Peer Review

External reviewers undertake an evaluation of the program to measure the organization through an on-site visit. This review offers clients the opportunity to have the program assessed by external and objective reviewers. During the on-site visit, the reviewers meet with a broad spectrum of individuals, such as faculty, students, graduates, advisory committee members, and senior administration to discuss their experiences, perceptions, and expectations. The findings from the evaluation are summarized in a report and focus on the strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations and opportunities for improvement are made to assist the organization in curriculum development.” (CTAB, 2016)

This is a changing landscape though and our institution is moving away from CTAB accreditation to a more inclusive and in-depth accreditation process called Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). We will be transitioning to TAC accreditation in the coming years. The move towards TAC from CTAB is based on the recommendations of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) the following is the general overview of TAC program accreditation.

“TAC accredited programs represent excellence in education, directly embodying the standards of the engineering technology profession.

The TAC accreditation model was developed in direct response to findings made by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) after performing a comprehensive, independent review of technology accreditation practices that existed at the time measured against best practices from other jurisdictions and sectors.

Accreditation involves an educational institutions providing information about its institution and program in accordance with the National Accreditation Components (NAC). This information is evaluated by a trained audit team against the Canadian Technology Accreditation Criteria (CTAC) to determine whether the program meets the standards of the engineering technology industry.

TAC accreditation is a fair, responsive and transparent audit process which measures an engineering technology or applied science program against the engineering technology profession’s national standards using a trained, skilled audit team.”(TAC, 2016)

Creative Lectures

I instruct in a highly technical field with dense material. After taking many of the PIDP courses which provide alternatives to lecturing I still find it difficult to implement them in my classroom settings due to limitations on time, requirements to cover material, and milestones required by accreditation and alignment with laboratory work. Upon investigating some articles on faculty focus I found this article to be in alignment with my views of pedagogy Active Learning vs Lecturing. I don’t believe that there is anyone perfect format for creating an engaging classroom not only is it topically dependent but it must also work with the style of the instructor. When possible I try to use a varied approach to my lectures and seek out opportunities to engage with the students individually and as a whole.

That being said my version of lecturing is not one where I drone on for hours at a time I try to employ many aspects of creative and engaging lecturing. I strive to break my lectures up with reflective pauses and moments of silence. During these moments I pose questions to my students ask them to solve the next step in the problem or example presented. I also ask the class to identify my assumptions if I’ve made any and what would we do to validate or check the assumptions.

I also try to organize my lectures in a manner that throughout the term we are building upon the foundation of previous lectures and topics and do not jump around from place to place without a unifying theme. In addition, when lecturing with my students I try to draw upon my own experiences sighting examples from my professional career or moments where I have applied the theory that we are discussing, I also attempt to incorporate analogy whenever possible as I find it provides a new viewpoint which often helps to crystalize theory in the mind of the students.