Personalize support for educators by planning and modeling the effective use of technology to improve student learning

In the November 2020 post, Student Flourishing in the Virtual Classroom, I investigated “tips and tricks” educators might use to best effectively use technology to improve student learning in online learning environments.  Suggestions include:

  1. Communicate often with students to promote a feeling of connectedness
  2. Create ample space for student voice
  3. Take care that a course set-up in a learning management system is intuitively laid out, action oriented, and adaptable to student needs
  4. Give timely feedback and highlight student strengths
  5. Create opportunities for synchronous activities when possible
  6. Be explicit about expected course outcomes

Additionally, in the post “Put me in, Coach:” A Brief Look at Best Practices for Instructional Coaching in Higher Education, “situated instructional coaching”  was highlighted as an effective way to come alongside higher education instructors to improve their teaching practice.  Situated instructional coaching has a qualified collaborator (i.e someone familiar with the subject/discipline/curriculum in question) working one-on-one with an instructor to change a course design over time, including class observations and feedback on real-time delivery, as well as creating opportunities for the instructors to reflect on the changes. Situated instructional coaching provides training specific to a particular discipline and occurs in the classroom in real time; instructors are not investing time to attend general training workshops, listen to talks, or read and interpret unfamiliar literature as additive activities on top of their already-full schedules, nor are they having to wonder how certain strategies will actually translate into their specific field of study.  Situated instructional coaching is the epitome of personalized support.

Finally, in the March, 2022 post What if Professional Development Could Be…Fun!?, suggestions are made for engaging professional development activities which help educators use the technology they’re expected to integrate into their teaching.  Technology can be modeled (and then used) in collaborative, enjoyable programming like scavenger hunts, games, and icebreakers, or perhaps in a more “laboratory” type environment like an EdCamp.

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