Category Archives: Vancouver Community College

Exit PIDP

PIDP Books

I did it! I completed the Provincial Instructor Diploma at VCC!! What a fantastic learning and growth experience these past few years have been. I feel like I am ‘living the dream’ because I have a clinical position in an OMS practice, and I recently accepted a position as a substitute instructor in the Dental Assisting program at Okanagan College! To me, professional practice is about being authentic, relatable, and creating a legacy.

The final Capstone Project in the PIDP asked me to reflect on my instructional goals, and encouraged me to remain a reflective practitioner (there is A LOT of reflecting in this program). Reflection can be done in many ways, and this post paraphrases my final project. Have I addressed the diverse learning styles of my students? Have I applied the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher forms of critical thinking? Are some learners better at retaining theory (cognitive)? Do others prefer a hands-on approach to learning (psychomotor), or do they learn best by how a lesson makes them feel (affective)? I believe that a combination of all three learning domains is the key to active learning.

My greatest ‘aha’ in the PIDP moment was the realization that it does not matter how well I know my subject, although this is extremely important. I discovered that what matters most is how well I can convey my knowledge, skills, and attitudes to my learners.

Learning how adults learn is key. Initially, I thought I was a behaviourist because dentistry is a vocation that requires strict knowledge and skills: pedagogy; an ‘I teach, you learn’ approach. However, the assigned readings introduced me to Carl Rogers’, Freedom to Learn (1969), and Malcolm Knowles’, The Adult Learner (1973 & 2015), and to the humanistic learning theory which focuses on a student-centred approach to learning: andragogy. I discovered that I can do this! I HAVE been doing this throughout my career as a dental assistant, and now I can articulate and improve upon how to teach adults:

– Value: Do learners know WHY something is important?
– Information: Have learners been given all the tools that they will need to learn?
– Relatability: What knowledge or understanding do students already possess?
– Readiness: What will motivate students to learn?
– Reflection: Have students been given the opportunity to critically reflect and act on what they are learning?

I elected to take the PIDP to become an educator, and it has exceeded my expectationsand I can see the value in what I have learned because I feel more confident as an instructor. Thank you, Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Thank you, Vancouver Community College. Thank you, Jenny Leong (Program Assistant), and thank you to my instructors, Glenn Galy, Jacquie Harris, Bob Aitken, Jeff May, Brian Cassell, Alison Dewhurst, and Karen Brooke 🙂


Bloom’s Taxonomy Link:

Clark, D. (2015, January 12). Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Big Dog’s & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

References:
Knowles, M. S. (1973). The Adult Learner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Knowles, M. S., Holton lll, E. F., Swanson, R. A. (2015). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development (8thed.). New York: Routledge.

Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to Learn. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill.

My Butterfly Effect🦋

Butterfly

3260 Professional Practice Blog (Week 8): Professional Development Plan

Now that I am almost finished the PIDP, this week’s blog assignment is to reflect on, and share my future plans as a dental assistant, and an aspiring educator. I plan on continuing to be a lifelong learner. I am not an over-achiever; I am just innately and insatiably curious.

As a CDA, my licensing body, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, mandates profession-based continuing education, and continuous practice. I am happy about his because it means that I can continue to work as a surgical assistant AND pursue a position as a college instructor. Continuing education for a dental assistant is typically offered by local dental associations. Every October, Kelowna hosts the Thompson-Okanagan Dental Society meeting. The four-day event facilitates a trade show with all the latest technologies in dentistry, offers hands-on clinics, and lectures on an endless variety of topics that pertain to dentistry and healthcare. In addition, my Health Care Provider CPR re-certification is required annually, which gives me another opportunity for continuing education. And, I am fortunate that my employers sponsor my attendance in both instances.

Continuing education as an educator will require more autonomous research. I want to continue pursuing higher education. I am enjoying the PIDP, and I want to keep learning. My goal would be to complete a master’s degree. I put my education on hold while I raised my children; now it’s ‘my time’ and I feel the ‘sky is the limit’. I am considering several avenues, and I need some serious advising, because education is time-consuming and it can be expensive. Do I continue at Vancouver Community College and enrol in the Certificate in Online/eLearning Instruction? Or, the Simon Fraser University Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Post-Secondary offered in partnership with Vancouver Community College? Do I consider applying for the Business Studies Certificate for Healthcare Professionals at Okanagan College? OR, do I apply to my dream program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, for the Graduate Diploma in Learning and Technology? Do I enrol in a free Edx course on Health Professional Teaching Skills at the University of Toronto? AND, I want to design an online course some day: Edx offers a free course on Creating a Course with Edx Studio.

I really appreciate this assignment because it has organized my goals, and the PIDP has certainly inspired me to continue my scholarly pursuits, while continuing to practice as a dental assistant. One of the questions in this week’s required blog post is: where will I be in 5 years? I can only say that I hope I’ll still be practicing as a dental assistant in some capacity, and I know that I will still be learning. I call this my butterfly effect: The idea that a small change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photo this May in Christina Lake, BC. The fauna is a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, and the flora is Washington Hawthorn flower.

🎬Me & My Survey Monkey®

Making an instructional video is challenging and time consuming. It is also a lot of fun! However, the content of the film almost becomes secondary to its production. The video is part of a digital assignment in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College. The criteria was to highlight a strategy used to solicit student feedback on the instructional process. I chose to feature online instructor feedback forms with the help of Survey Monkey. I made the video using  QuickTime® on my 2011 MacBook Air® and iMovie®. I uploaded the video to YouTube©. I guess EMI® isn’t happy with me using a Beatles’ song because YouTube instantly sent me a warning and threatened to block my video! I am disputing YouTube’s decision under the ‘fair dealing exception’ in the Copyright Act because my video is for educational purposes only. I hope my dispute holds, and I hope you enjoy my amateur production. Please keep in mind that I’m a dental assistant and a fledgling educator, and not a film maker.

The Final Stretch

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Featured Image: A lone runner on a long path

Hello PIDP 3260 participants, and welcome to my blog! I’m off and running and ready to learn about Professional Practice in this final stretch of the PIDP before my Capstone Project. I am a Certified Dental Assistant, and a lifelong learner: please check out my About page to learn more about me. I elected to begin the PID program in September of 2015 because I want to be an effective adult educator. In addition to studying at VCC, I work full-time as a surgical assistant in a busy Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery group practice in the Okanagan, where I also train and develop the dental assistants entering our specialty. As I wrap up my diploma, I want to share what I’ve learned in the PIDP (so far):

Foundations of Adult Education: There are many different theories of how adults learn. I teach dental assistants, so a mastery approach that is also learner-centred is required. Dental Assisting is a profession that requires the proficiency of clearly defined outcomes, and I want my learners to feel comfortable.

Lesson Planning: Be organized and have a plan, be adaptable, and create lesson plans that are transferable to a colleague.

Delivery of Instruction: Don’t be boring! Use all 3 leaning domains (cognitive, psychomotor, and affective). Be relatable!

Evaluation of Learning: Discover who my learners are (don’t ‘preach to the choir’). Feedback must lead to overall improvement. Do not focus on mistakes; focus on learning moments.

Media Enhanced Learning: Have some fun with technology!

Instructional Strategies: Try to engage my learners! Apply a variety of instructional approaches. Again, don’t be boring!

Professional Practice: I hope this course will help me become a more authentic educator, and I look forward to learning how to solicit feedback from my learners.

My PIDP assignments to date, are displayed on pages under the course headings on my sidebar as a personal archive, and as reference material. On my sidebar, you will also find all the links and resources that I’ve used in this program. I have included a Creative Commons license so that my work can be shared (if it’s attributed). Mostly, I enjoy interacting with my classmates, and I am learning a lot of valuable teaching tips from everyone in the PIDP 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The above photo was taken while pounding the pavement during a visit to my parents home in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec.

(G)Oh Canada!

 

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Featured Image: A lone snowboarder at the top of a snowy mountain

I’ve been reading a lot lately about motivation. My go-to is Daniel Pink’s Drive (2009). Pink argues that having autonomy is the key to motivation, and I agree: at work, at home and in a self-directed learning environment. Pink explains that rewarding people for hard work decreases motivation. He calls it “if, then” (if you do, then you’ll get – also known as the carrot and stick approach). This attempt at motivation takes the control away from individuals to do great work on their own accord, because it “requires people to forfeit some of their autonomy” (p. 36).

In Student Engagement Techniques (2010), Dr. Elizabeth Barkley explains that motivation requires two elements: expectancy and value. People must expect that they will be successful at performing a task, and they must value the work that they are doing (p. 58). I suspect that a combination of expectancy and value is what motivates our Olympic athletes in PyeongChang. I’m not sure if autonomy has anything to do with their success at the Winter Games though. These athletes must rely on family, coaches, communities, and the support of their country to excel at their sport. I suppose it’s autonomy that drives them to work harder than their competitors because the goal is not just to represent your country and your sport, the athletes are also trying to achieve a medal or an Olympic record. And these athletes must be motivated even when they are sick or tired or COLD or in pain. Such drive!

As a Canadian, watching the Olympics this winter, I’m inspired by the dedication and sacrifice of our athletes, and I am so proud of all of them for their motivation to represent us all.

2000px-Maple_Leaf.svgThe above photo was taken on a very cold day at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia

Momentum

Bridge

Featured Image: A photograph of a calm lake with mountains in the distance taken while crossing a bridge

Hello PIDP 3250!! This course on instructional strategies, outlines ways to facilitate the processes of adult learning, and I get to blog as a course assignment!! I want to begin by saying that I love my blog. My sisters and a couple of close friends are the probably the only people who read it, and that’s okay. It’s comparable to being anonymous, and that gives me the freedom to talk about whatever I want, and even contradict myself as I learn new things. Maybe someone out there on the Internet (likely one of my classmates at VCC) will ‘like’ something that I’ve posted or check out a link that I’ve recommended, but I need to warn you that because I’m completing an assignment, I will be blogging more than usual over the next few weeks (I’m in blog heaven).

As a recap, I created this blog in the first PIDP course (3100 Foundations of Adult Education). I am a Certified Dental Assistant and an aspiring Instructor.

Being in the sixth course of the PIDP has created an affecting momentum for me because I am almost finished my diploma! Blogging to me reflects my own thoughts and theories. Being given the opportunity to reflect on my profession and my research in adult education is moving me.

In my first blog post, I quote Albert Einstein. He states that “the ordinary human being does not live long enough to draw any substantial benefit from his own experience.” I’m sorry Professor Einstein, but I’m learning and I’m changing. As an example, I routinely recommend frozen peas in Ziploc® bags for post-surgical cold compresses because they conform well to the jaws. A patient recently told me that frozen corn kernels work better than frozen peas for ice therapy because the kernels stay cold longer, and will not melt or get mushy. In fact, corn kernels re-freeze quickly, AND, they remain pop-able after being frozen! I realize that frozen corn kernels do not compare with discovering the Theory of Relativity, but it feeds my perspective that there are things in my lifetime that I am still learning, and these things are affecting change in me. In another example, a classmate pointed out in our online forum that it is best practices to create blog posts that are accessible to learners with disabilities such as visual and hearing impairment, or cognitive challenges; I am now ensuring that my text is as clear as possible in my posts to accommodate assistive technologies like screen readers, and I’m including media captions to assist my audience as well. As I continue to navigate through the PIDP, I can see that gaining knowledge and building skills affects attitude and positive change, no matter what your profession, how small the changes seem, or the impact that the momentum has.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photograph on my cell phone from a car while crossing Okanagan Lake bridge. The focal point is the mountains and the lake in the background, but if you look closely, you will notice my movement in the side rails of the bridge.

Welcome!

Terrace Beach

Featured Image: An unbelievably beautiful blue cove surrounded by tall pine trees

I’ve embarked on a journey to complete the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) at Vancouver Community College! My first completed assignment, the Learning Theory essay on the Behaviourist’s Theory is posted on my PIDP 3100 page. My Instructor gave me great feedback, by asking me to think about how I would reinforce and reward learning. While doing research for this assignment, I stumbled upon journalist George Sylvester Viereck’s Albert Einstein interview in the Saturday Evening Post (1929). The article is rich with Einstein’s philosophies on teaching and learning. He states that,

“the ordinary human being does not live long enough to draw any substantial benefit from his own experience.”

I’m not sure if Einstein was being literal, or in which context his statement originates. I guess I’ll have to try to be extraordinary if I want to learn and to change. Thanks for the pep talk Professor Einstein 🙂

Check out Viereck’s article:

http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/what_life_means_to_einstein.pdf

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The photograph was taken at Terrace Beach in Ucluelet, British Columbia on my cellphone; it seemed like a great pic to include with my first post 🙂