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.