otl101 post 5

The most valuable lessons that I learned in this module are a) students feel more comfortable in the exploration phase of critical thinking and learning and as a teacher my presence is essential to encouraging the transition from this phase into the integration and resolution phases; and b) feedback addressing errors can bridge the gap between learning goals and achievement, but what is needed is to create a safe environment in which students will not fear constructive feedback from other students.

Two questions that I have are how to reach out to those students who are in it just for the grade and support them in their learning process so they become more high level thinkers and how to deliver ongoing feedback that is both meaningful and useful for the learner, and not just when assessments are graded.

My goals after completing this module are to identify effective communication methods for encouraging student engagement, not to provide the answers but invite learners to move beyond just exploring their ideas and find connections and discover their own solutions collaboratively. Also I want to create a learning environment that is safe for the students and they can feel empowered to take risks, question both the teacher and their peers, and provide feedback to each other. A strategy I might employ to achieve these goals is to get to know the students on a more personal level and understand what their learning goals are and how best they learn. I also might introduce myself to new students telling a story about how I learned from putting myself out there and welcoming feedback from not just my superiors, but also my direct reports and peers. This may give them a sense that their feedback is important to me and they can feel assured that the other learners and myself will be supportive but not judgemental.