Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Training teachers

In the Blackboard meeting we also discussed the training of teachers using Blackboard (although the findings were not strictly related to Blacboard. Willibrord Huisman gave a good presentation

on their experiences in training teachers. A number of things were quite recognizable and also worth repeating here.
  • Just putting stuff on the web doesn' t work (naturally ;-)
  • When a teacher comes with a question it is normally in the middle of a course and not in the design stage. This means that is not really worth pointing out the fact they should have thought of it earlier. You can better find some sort of solution to help them out.
  • What is the primary background a teacher will use when starting to teach? Their own experiences as a student! This is rather like raising children. How you raise your children will always be based on your own upbringing, in one way or the other. This does pose the question how long it will take for the new teachers to adopt a new pedagogy for a new generation of students...
  • Is there such a thing as Digital Pedagogy? In practice this is usually a phrase that is coined from later going backwards. From use in practice looking back on the design process. This was his opinion at least. I think he may be right in practice. I personally do not believe in a digital pedagogy even if you work in the correct order. It is very important to take digital opportunities into account when designing your course, but in the end it is humans taking your course with their specific learning styles. I argue that this even holds true if you are designing a course for the net-generation. Of course they will learn differently and be able to use digital tools much more effectively in their learning.
  • Willibrord had made some very entertaining fact sheets and as a visual learning I was very charmed by the drawings. The drawing pictured here is describing the use of a discussion board as depating tool. I can advise you to have a look at the fact sheet (it is in Dutch).

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