Learner Educators Improve

As learner educators, we are tasked with improving ourselves and student learning.  To demonstrate proficiency in this area, we need to concentrate on four areas: professional development, further development as an instructor, maximizing our instructor-to-student interactions, and providing students with methods to improve.

To concentrate on professional development, we, as MET students, have been given multiple opportunities to improve.  We can incorporate new methodologies into our curriculum through ongoing research into current technologies and sharing those results with our peers and colleagues.  Throughout this course of study, I have also explored several online communities dedicated to instructional design, maker spaces, design, and social media.

We have also been challenged to improve as instructors and to leverage technology more effectively.  Each course in the program has helped us to do just that.  As we approach design, we must consider setting goals and experimenting.  In our curriculum design course, we developed a lesson based on the ASSURE model.  This model gives us a framework to help redesign previously less intentional lessons.

Using technology to benefit the instructor-to-student relationship is also key to learner educators.  It is with technology tools we can provide timely feedback to help our students improve more quickly.  We can also use the technology to let students evaluate lessons and courses anonymously.  As an online instructor, I can also review the LMS analytics to help determine how classes may need to pivot to serve the learners better.

We can also help our students become better learners through the employment of technology.  The online forum provides an arena for feedback and critiques that may not occur in the classroom by ensuring every student has a voice.  Collaborative lessons are also more achievable with the introduction of the technology element.  Students can work together to take notes, create a presentation, or explore a new topic with only a few keystrokes.  Most importantly, technology allows for inquiry-based exploration that begins with a question.  The adult learning class bases the main project on this concept … what do you want to explore?  And then, we were provided tools like tagmemics, annotated bibliographies, learning contracts, and project analysis to help adult learners focus our efforts and be more successful.

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