The course has started with communication happening through a course blog, our own blog, the google email group, Elluminate and Bb. Of these I am only familiar with Bb. It was all a little confusing to begin with, much like any new student to an unfamiliar course and environment feels. It’s true to say that I’m in the ‘dark ages’ about computer technology, having only mastered the basics of word documents, spreadsheets, the web etc, so I’m beginning to get a sense of a big new world out there, which is both scary and exciting at the same time. This is also the first course I have taken where I have not had the opportunity for any f2f sessions with any of the other participants at the start, so I’m finding it a little strange not having any faces to fit to people’s comments.

An initial online ice-breaker activity had us introducing ourselves to the group. While I gained a ‘feel’ for the group and identified areas of commonality it didn’t spark much social conversation. I think at this time many of us were preoccupied with trying to sort out the various ways of communicating. I think icebreaker activities are important; they set the tone that ‘we want to know you and start working together’. Lots of examples can be found here at the index of icebreakers.

Learning styles (ILS questionnaire and descriptions available here)

My learning styles result showed I have a moderate preference for sensing (7) and visual (5) dimensions while the other dimensions were fairly balanced (1). Sensing learners like fact, details, well-established methods, practical work, and learning with real-world connections, and this fits well with my science background and teaching the fundamentals of environmental science and bioscience. I’m surprised the visual learning didn’t score higher as this is very strong for me, and used extensively in my teaching with lots of pictures, flow diagrams, concept maps, and demonstrations. And also I would have thought that the reflective dimension would have scored higher because I definitely prefer to sit back and think through things before I rush into anything (in learning and life in general).

The foundation level students I work with usually determine their own learning styles at the start of the course and guidance is provided on how they can best use this to help themselves learn more effectively. Because they are often just entering tertiary study for the first time it can take a while for this to develop. Also those students who are more intuitive do struggle with the emphasis on facts, detail and difficult terminology that is typical of science-based courses.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.| Header image by southenz using Wordle | Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.