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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Reflective Practice in the Classroom

This past Friday and Saturday I attended the Lilly-East Conference on College and University Teaching, hosted by the University of Delaware. As an online practitioner, I had not previously attended this conference; however, this year I was in attendance to co-present a Learning Centered Teaching Practices tool set developed by Dr. Phyllis Blumberg and myself. I found that the conference attracted knowledgeable classroom practitioners that were very willing to share their teaching experiences and strategies that in many cases could be adapted for online environments. One of the sessions I attended Friday morning was facilitated by Dr. Virginia Johnson Anderson, Professor, Biological Sciences at Towson University. In 45 minutes she shared 8 reflective practices that can be very easily implemented into most classroom and online teaching environments. Dr. Anderson give me permission to share some of her suggested practices on this blog.

  1. During the first class session give a five minute summary of the course. Stop and ask students to summarize what you said. Next hand out your summary and ask them to write a reflective paragraph on how and why theirs was different (this segment can be a take-home assignment). Have the student submit the summary and reflection for review.
    • This may start students on the road of reflective practice
    • Differences noted by the students will identify possible problem areas
  2. Use Venn diagram assignments and have the students explain how this process prepares them for compare/contrast writing.
  3. When using journals, have students mark their best entries prior to submission.
    • This activity provides students with opportunities for self-assessment and reflection.
  4. Ask students to engage in reflective practice. Have them view an image and then write at least three sentences about what is happening in the picture.
    • Allows for reflection on personal biases
    • Can lead to discussion of how varying interpretations can impact group processing.
  5. When using poster sessions as an assessment tool have students reflect on their own posters and those of their peers. Students should write one page about what they learned from the assignment and another page on what they learned from their peers’ projects.
    • Provides students with opportunities to practice summarizing divergent data and apply it to their personal learning objectives
    • Provides opportunities for peer-to-peer teaching

Review the following texts for more information on these and other techniques.

  • Assessing Student Learning a Practical Guide by Linda Suskie and Linda A. Suskie, ISBN: 1882982711
  • Effective Grading by Thomas A. Angelo, Barbara E. Walvoord, and Virginia Johnson Anderson, ISBN: 0787940305

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2006 by in Instructional Design, Techniques.

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