Teaching and Learning Philosophy Reflection – Module 12

At the beginning of this course, I asked you to informally share some thoughts as to how you teach and why, and to put together an informal version of your philosophy of teaching and learning. As you put together your formal statement for the preceding assignment, I’m wondering if your philosophy of teaching and learning changed between then and now? Why or why not? In what ways?

I read back through my original post on How I learn, how I teach from the beginning of the semester and I think my basic philosophy of teaching and learning as outlined in my other Module 12 posting falls in line with my previous statements. There are a few things that have been enhanced. Through the readings, article reviews and sharing with the cohort I have more understanding and resources to back up those understandings. Being more familiar with the research literature does a couple of things. It brings strength to support what seems to work in the field. This helps to back up statements I make when I’m talking to other instructors and faculty. It also confirms for me that research depends upon a lot of variables, some of which are really hard to control so research results should be looked at with some skepticism. I also need to do more to understanding some of the statistical results, which might help me get over some of that skepticism.

Another aspect of applying online pedagogy to a course is that it really helps to have others look at your course and talk through some of your ideas to implement them. Just as one doesn’t learn in a vacuum, one shouldn’t design a course without some input from others. I think it is especially helpful when your second (and more!) pair of eyes comes from those outside the specific discipline. One thing that has stuck with me is something that Eric Mazur said when he realized that he wasn’t connected as well to his students as he originally thought.  In the video that we watched in Module 4, Peer Instruction for Active Learning he talked about how he came to realize that he was the expert and had forgotten how it was to be a novice and how he realized that he could never pretend to be that novice again and thus, had to rely on his students to help identify those novice areas to each other. I think that this is something that having that second pair of eyes during the design process can help with. I know it sure has helped me!


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