BbWorld Pre-conference Report – Part 2

Well, the remainder of the day was a bit less pedagogic theory, but still highly about the pedagogy.  (That’s not a bad thing, but instead as opposed to “mechanical”, if you take my meaning.)  Basically, after establishing that learning modules are an effective way to chunk down and deliver material, we delved into the types of assignments to use for that delivery.

WebQuests, Virtual Tours, and other such Active Learning assignments were discussed, and some nice examples were included in the handouts I received.  There was also some time spent working with group activities, calling back to the language discussed during the Learning Outcomes period to define the activities.  Since we picked up after lunch everyone was a bit logy, which rather highlighted the point of Active Learning – don’t let the students be passive.  So, I guess my take-away from this was to avoid letting students run on cruise control, but keep them mentally shifting gears during the classwork.

The lessons wrapped up with a discussion on the importance of rubrics, for both the students (knowing what their grade will be based on) and faculty (easily being able to defend the grade given).  A point I raised is that rubrics can also be effective for the instructor to self-evaluate the course material as they create it; after all, if you’ve created all those Learning Outcomes, oughtn’t you to check every step of the way to see if your material is matching up with the outcomes?

The workshop ended with a nice little review, cast into the PowerPoint template of a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? mold.  The review was kinda fun, and I found out that my reflexes are way slower than any other attendee when it comes to popping up a “call on me” card.  Apparently, I don’t want to be a millionaire.


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