Tech@Conestoga Panel Interview 2020

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

The following blog post is a summary of the questions and my answers for the Tech@Conestoga Panel Interview May 26, 2020

Q 1) Please share a bit about yourself in your role at Conestoga and about how you’ve embraced tech in your teaching

A: Hello my name is Kim Carter and I am a Professor in the Business School. I have been teaching at Conestoga for over 10 years

  • I noticed worrisome trends in the past few years.
    • Student were not purchasing textbooks
    • Students did not seem to have the digital competencies/computer skills that I was expecting
    • Ed tech options were multiplying so quickly that I didn’t have the time to keep up with them all

So, I went on a quest to update my own digital literacy skills and I discovered Open Educational Pedagogy (OEP) which is sometimes described as critical digital pedagogy (Rosen & Smale, 2015). OEP is a large topic to unpack in a few minutes but what it means to me is to view course construction through an inclusive lens, co-construct learning with students, build digital literacy skills, and consider when tech is problematic.

What I would like to share with you today is the Medical Terminology Open Educational Resources (MT OER) collaboration project.

  • I am co-creating with a collaborative team (from 8 Ontario Institutions) of SMEs, students, library, ed tech and many others on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Medical Terminology (MT) in context with Introductory Anatomy and Physiology.
    • These customized MT OER are targeted for health office administration (HOA) students and the plan is to replace two paid textbooks with these MT OER
    • Variations of the HOA program is offered at 18 colleges in Ontario and Medical Terminology and Introductory A&P are included in all of them
    • We will publish in the eCampus Ontario Open Library in August for adoption in the Fall semester.
    • To learn more about OER and why it is important to me, visit my blog post here
  • This Means:
    • Students will have resources that are customized to their program of study on the first day of class and at no cost to the student
    • The resources are interactive using PressbooksEDU platform with many formative H5P activities built into each chapter
    • Chapters can be linked individually to weeks in the LMS
    • The H5P activities can be embedded in the LMS for ease of use even before publishing
  • Students are Co-constructing the MT OER:
    • Students started participating in Fall 2019 by making (as low-stakes formative assessment) H5P activities
    • Students (Fall 2019/Winter 2020) edited and gave suggestions for the H5P activities as they were being built
      • Seeking out errors and putting forth corrections
      • Making suggestions such as the audio addition to the dialog cards
    • Students (Conestoga College and Georgian College) continue to collaborate by providing the student perspective on the MT OER, creating formative activities, and reinforcement activities
      • They have put in many hours (part of placement and co-curricular record) and still wish to contribute in the process
    • Future students will continue to co-construct because this is a living textbook to which we can pull back, add to, or publish future modified editions.

Q 2) How did the switch to remote learning impact you? In what ways were you ready to tackle this challenge?

A) Remote learning during a world-wide pandemic is stressful. Decisions need to be made quickly combined with heightened anxiety and stress, this wasn’t, and probably won’t be easy for a while.

  • Feeling somewhat prepared:
    • During the bus strike and prior to remote delivery, I had introduced students to virtual conferencing software, MS TEAMS was already set up in my sections, and students knew how to use it.
    • Students were familiar to experimenting and co-constructing with me.
      • For example, students knew that we were going to use FlipGrid for a scaffold assessment in therapeutic communications. They had to make the adjustment from videotaping their group skit together to using virtual conference software (physically distanced)
      • They exceeded my expectations with their ability to problem solve, find creative and kind solutions to the varying levels of computer access, internet access and schedules among their peers.
    • I have a large personal learning network (PLN) through my involvement with eCampusOntario and OEP both within Conestoga and outside Conestoga.
      • I was able to draw from and sort through the large amounts of information on remote delivery because I was able to leverage trusted contacts in my PLN.
      • I was able to anticipate problems because they were already being discussed in my network. For example, students not having access to internet.
    • The MT OER collaboration team proved invaluable. Since, we teach in the same programs we were able to share problems and solutions specific to our programs. We already had a good working relationship and a MS Team set up so that expedited those conversations.

Interested in being part of my PLN? Follow me on Twitter @Kcarte02

Q3) How has remote teaching led you to re-think your pedagogy and practices? How does this impact the learners in your courses/programs?

A) Remote teaching has reinforced the core values of OPEN and critical digital pedagogy for me. The sudden shift required me to think through the accessibility and inclusivity of my delivery and assessments. Consider which tools I use and which tools (if any) did I need to adjust. I also needed to consider low-tech options for students with limited internet accessibility.

  • Moving forward one of my biggest considerations is the amount of assessments in a course and how efficient and equitable they are they at measuring course outcomes.
  • My re-think will benefit students through:
    • Increased flexibility and choice for how students participate in lessons and complete assessments.
      • offering multiple ways to participate: synchronous and asynchronous lessons including low-tech options for students to participate in courses.
      • Morris & Stommel (n.d) posit that we must have multiple entry points for students to participate in our courses.
    • Using a critical lens to view tech options particularly around assessments
      • heightened awareness regarding privacy concerns
      • building and keeping trust with students through assessment choice
        • A helpful tool for assessing tech is the SECTIONS model (Bates, 2019)

Q4) What advice would you give to others who want to pursue new learning to enhance their use of technology

  1. Model curiosity, experimentation, and innovation and be prepared to make mistakes in front of students.
  2. Be honest with students, that this is something you haven’t tried before and that you will be learning together. Most students are happy to help.
  3. Build time into your lesson plan to work through the tech without grade penalty.
  4. Digital literacy skills might just be the most important skills that you teach your students so build them yourself (JISC, 2018).

References

Bates, T. (2019). Teaching In A Digital Age (2nd ed.). Retrieved May 2020, from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/9-pedagogical-differences-between-media/

JISC. (2018, 09). Developing Digital Literacies. Retrieved from JISC Guides: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/full-guide/developing-digital-literacies

Morris, S. M., & Stommel, J. (n.d.). An Urgency of Teachers. Pressbooks. Retrieved from https://criticaldigitalpedagogy.pressbooks.com

Rosen, J. R., & Smale, M. A. (2015, Jan 1). Open Digital Pedagogy = Critical Pedagogy. Retrieved from Hybrid Pedagogy: https://hybridpedagogy.org/open-digital-pedagogy-critical-pedagogy/