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It is great to see that so many of you have introduced yourselves on your blogs. We have people from lots of different disciplines - health - occupational therapy, nursing and midwifery, veterinary nursing, sport, animal training, psychology, hospitality, social services, Treaty education training, design, automotive engineering, creative writing and horticulture. I have met about half of you in either the web conference or in the on-campus classroom, and others are meeting me outside class times. Most of you are on track and on the path to experiencing flexible learning with this group, and a diverse one it is too. Some people are experienced bloggers, and others have just made their first post.

I have linked to a few blogs that stand out. I will feature different people each week. Please make sure you encourage your classmates to keep blogging by going to their blogs and leaving comments. A good way to do this is to choose three or four people's blogs each week, and choose different people each time so you get round them all. It is best not to try and read each blog each week (unless you want to of course) as this will be too much work. If you are set up to get email alerts as people post this will make it much easier to do.

Featured blogs
Sarah has introduced herself superbly with a photo - spot the student.  She has quite a different clientele to the rest of you since dog training is targeting people directly in the community. Spot the similarity with Nick's post where he describes the work he does with students (building grass karts and mini pit bikes).  Feebee has given us a great introduction to her professional area, and has linked to further information to illustrate the point she is making. Note: It is a good idea to get into the habit of inserting hyperlinks to extend the reader's experience. Lisa has the most gorgeous picture in her blog, and explains the challenges with teaching students complex software applications for design. Gina has shown us the correct way to give attribution to images, and I love her witty image. She discusses some of the challenges associated with technology when two different groups study in disparate locations.  Brendon has his finger on the pulse and has responded to my comment with a further blog post about his area of teaching. His description of artistry versus science in his teaching is interesting.  Jayne has added a really good profile to her first time blog, in addition to some superb goals for flexible learning. Laurie has also told us about her goals for exploring flexible learning. Ron illustrates the need for flexible teaching in his role so that students can continue to study while her is otherwise committed. Helen has taken the leap as a blogger, and makes an excellent point about how stressful learning situations can affect the end product. I may have missed some of you, if you are not yet added to the course blog, but you will be featured next time.  Annette has made a wonderful entrance to the course with her introduction and given us a great deal of insight into who she is and has been brave enough to include a picture of herself. That will be a great picture for your profile as well. Lisa M  has made a great start and created a profile with her pic - good on you!  Suzanne has reconstituted a blog from last year, with a wonderful picture of herself, and a great explanation of her teaching and goals for flexible learning around assessment.


Some pointers
Over the years, I have found that the best way to understand some of what my students' are dealing with is to experience it myself. So when I wanted to introduce online methods into my teaching, I used online learning to update my knowledge. When I wanted my students to use blogs, I started keeping a blog, and now that my interest lies in mobile learning, so I am teaching myself how to use a mobile phone for some of my professional development.

Some of you have mentioned that you use the Vark Learning styles questionnaire with students. You may also wish to explore the Index of learning Styles (ILS). This has 44 questions so is big, but helps learners explore whether they are reflective or analytical, sequential or holistic learners and much more. It is worth a look.

4 comments:

  1. Annette Jensen said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Annette Jensen said...

    Thanks Bronwyn for informing about the alternative learning style questionnaire “Index of Learning Styles (ILS)” as an alternative to the Vark. I ran a quick test to assess my own learning style, using the ILS model and found I have a moderate preference for active and visual learning styles, but overall I can claim I am fairly well balanced on the two dimensions of the scale. What I feel it further tells me is that I am lucky, I don’t have a strong preference for one dimension of the scale, as this could create some real difficulty learning in an environment which would not support that preference.
    Enough about me, as what I really wanted to point out is, this does highlight the many different learning styles and (what I believe is)our responsibility in establishing a better understanding of the specific cohort we are teaching to, to accommodate for their specific needs.

  3. Laurie Mahoney said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. Laurie Mahoney said...

    Hi Annette,
    Like you I completed the questionairre and found that I am a multi-modal learner with equal parts visual, aural and read/write. It made total sense to me as I feel particularly useless with kinesthetic learning. I have always felt a passion for theory, but put me in a lab and I flounder.
    To compensate my lack of clinical skills I tend to use story telling with students, i.e. stories from my clincal nursing practice.
    Laurie



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