Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 2)
Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 2) avatar

In the first week of POTCERT, I discovered that it’s not simply about learning about methods/tools that can be used in the classroom but about finding out which methods/tools are right for MY course(s).

In this second week of POTCERT, I was able to reflect more on my own pedagogy. The “Beginner’s Questionnaire” revealed that I am quite a “mix” (I scored a 13). I believe Lectures are important for my teaching of languages yet it is vital for students to practice to really “get it”.  I focus a lot of my teaching on a student’s individual learning style. At the beginning of each semester, I ask students to take an online quiz to determine what kind of learner they are. Once they know and I know, I gear their learning experience based on their learning style. I could go into details about various ways that I do this but one way would be pairing up students according to the learning style and assigning an activity that helps them learn the same topic in a different way. My instruction isn’t therefore based on a student’s self-instruction but on a combination of my lectures and student activities that help them practice, reinforce learning and review.

The “Getting Started Chart” reinforced my belief in using Blackboard for my course. Much information I post on Blackboard is effective in student teaching and learning. I don’t find Blogs effective in learning French (the subject I predominately teach) at least for now–if I taught a French Literature or French Philosophy class, I might find Blogs useful for students to describe their thoughts on what was studied. I am very curious about using Moodle and hope to learn more about how to use it. I currently organize my classes on Blackboard via “Leçons” (Lessons). Each lessons contains videos, handouts and other useful information for learning the content of each individual class.

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10 Responses to Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 2)
Reflections regarding the Program for Online Teaching Certification Training (Week 2) avatar

  1. Avatar Hocke says:

    About the learning styles of your students, I found this interesting article http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/learning-styles-debunked-there-is-no-evidence-supporting-auditory-and-visual-learning-psychologists-say.html

    I think it´s better to change learning style depending on the material and what you as a teacher feel the strongest for 🙂

    Don´t you think blogging in french would improve the students writing skill?

    • Avatar Prof DeMeo says:

      Thank you! Yes, the French blogging could possibly improve my students writing but hopefully my corrections won’t discourage them from writing… especially if they are beginners!

  2. Avatar M. Conrey says:

    Interesting that you give your students a quiz on their learning style! Do you have a link to this online quiz? I have my students do a Myers-Briggs Personality Test a few weeks into class as an assignment about how personality type can determine how you may deal with stress. I think I’d like to do a learning style quiz at the beginning as well. It would be a great tool when pairing people up in groups.

  3. Avatar Sou Lackkaty says:

    I like that you’re very absolute in knowing what is best for your class. I am also using BlackBoard and find it very effective for my developmental skills composition class. I don’t think blogs will be necessary when Discussion Board is available and works very well. Nonetheless, I am willing to explore new resources, but, for now – I am with you. I am going to stick with what works.

  4. Avatar Jason Green says:

    I’ve found that blogs/journals can be useful in encouraging students to reflect on learning. Especially in an asynchronous class, you don’t get the constant stream of feedback you do in a room full of live students. Asking students to blog their learning journey, and discuss the difficulties they’re having, lets them tell you explicitly the kind of information you’d gather through constant adaptive observation in the classroom.

    The more I teach language, the less I lecture. First of all, there are dozens of explanations (written, audio, and video) of most of the standard grammar points you’d find in French I. Reinventing them all is terribly inefficient.

    There’s also the question of how you want students to approach the materials. When I can, I let students see examples of the language and at least try to decipher it before presenting the explanation. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think it’s closer to the kind of processing you really have to do when reading/hearing a language in which you have limited proficiency.

    What’s your take on the assertion (Krashen, desuggestopedia, etc.) that language learners have a significant initial “silent period” ? If they do, what do you assess the first several weeks?

    • Avatar Prof DeMeo says:

      I’m starting to open my mind more to having students (especially in higher levels of French) have a blog. I usually grade assignments within the week they are submitted so students get feedback fairly fast. But perhaps I should wait longer…

  5. Avatar Jim Sullivan says:

    “My” course. I always catch myself saying that. But really, the course belongs to the students just as much as to me doesn’t it. They are going to be putting as much work into it as I am. And the question for me is how can I make them feel excited about that investment–and feel they are full partners–to extend the metaphor–in our educational enterprise…

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    • Avatar Jason Green says:

      @Jim – Even though the students live there with you, you’re also the architect/contractor. Especially when talking about the design decisions you make before the course starts, it is in a way yours (singular) rather than yours (plural, you and the students)

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