Mabel's Learning Reflections

Thursday, April 06, 2006

TLLM Workshop for Victoria School

There were about 80 teachers that attended the TLLM workshops. It was quite a large group and they certainly know a lot about engaged learning and the elements of PETALS.

Hence the 1st workshop on the elements of Engaged Learning to them is something that they are already familar with.

Personally, I feel that for any workshop to be effective, we should not have such a big group. It makes the workshop more like a seminar although we tried to make it as hands on as possible.
Another thing I learnt was to be able to keep an open mind and be prepared to make changes on the spot. We had to make changes to suit the needs and composition of the group. As such, many of the things which we prepared and thought we could use at the workshop were put aside.

Finally, we also need to be able to connect with the participants. With 80 of them around, and many of them feeling tired in the afternoons, it was a challenge trying to "connect" with them. Perhaps with a smaller group, it might give the trainers and facilitators more opportunity to connect with them.

TLLM Workshop on Instructional Design

My understanding of this workshop is that we'll be trained on the various ways to go about designing lessons or curriculum. But I left the workshop more confused than when I first went in.

Several questions that I would like to ask :

1. What exactly is Instructional Design? What are the things to look out for?

2. What's Socratic Questioning?

3. What's the difference between Socratic Questioning and simple question such as "What", "When", "Which", "Why" and "How"?

4. What are the effective strategies to use for "Big Group" and "Small Group" discussions?

My concern is that if we are going out as trainers to train schools about IDs, we ourselves need to be clear about what we are going to train. However, if the training workshop for trainers does not achieve that, then how can we confidently go to schools to make train other teachers?

TLLM Workshop 1

Was glad to be given the opportunity to be involved in the training on TLLM. It gave me new perspectives on issues to consider to engage our pupils in their learning.

There are 5 elements of engaged learning for educators to consider when designing lessons :

P - Use of Pedagogies
E - Experiences of learning
T - Tone of Environment
A - Assessment for Learning
L - Learning Content

The above elements are not new, but there are some elements that I feel teachers or at least myself could take into consideration when designing lessons.

I particularly feel the need to consider the element of the Use of Pedagogies. We need recognise that each of our pupils is different and learn in different ways. Hence we should not design a 'once size fits all' kind of lesson and assume that our pupils will be able to learn well. Instead, we should consider things such as their learning styles, readiness in learning a particular topic and customise the lesson to suit the learning needs of our pupils.

Assessment for learning is another area to consider. We're very used to assessing our pupils through tests and examinations. However, I also feel that it is important to take care of the process of learing by providing constructive feedback to our pupils when they are engaged in certain activities or projects. But how do we go about doing that? How do we know if the feedback given is helpful to our pupils? What kind of feedback to we give? These are some things that we need to think about and include them when we design our lessons so as to ensure that our pupils are given the opportunity to be engaged in the learning.