Words of Encouragement for Beginners

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    • #515
      Melanie LefebvreMelanie Lefebvre
      Moderator

      1. Connect!! If you’re reading this, you’re already off to a great start. Find out what other educators are doing, ask questions, seek feedback.

      2. Aim for production over perfection. If you wait for things to be “perfect” you might never produce anything. Production generates production.

      3. Be transparent with your students. Let them know HyFlex delivery is new to you and that you are on this journey together.

      4. Elicit feedback from students across all modes of delivery. Find out what’s working and what’s not working as you go rather than waiting until the end of the course. Build flexibility into your curriculum so you can make adjustments as needed. Help empower students to have an active voice in their learning.

    • #737
      Jeanne SamuelJeanne Samuel
      Moderator

      Melanie,

      I agree with you about not seeking perfection. Often the last 5% takes 95% of my time. In addition, I think that when you share with the students why you are moving to HyFlex — what’s in it for them, they are very patient, forgiving, and helpful while you make adjustments.

    • #746
      Brian BeattyBrian Beatty
      Keymaster

      Melanie, thank you for your words of wisdom here.

      I found that when I started using HyFlex I had to give myself a lot of grace and be very patient with myself and with the students who were just starting this adventure with me. There were many times I know that my class was not run perfectly – pretty much in every mode. But we always managed to help students meet student learning outcomes and many of them would not have been able to participate had we not offered two or three different participation options for them.

      So for us, good enough design is where we start and then we go on from there to make improvements incrementally over the class duration and as the class is taught from term to term. Incremental, continuous improvement can lead to a very high functioning, high quality course if you are patient 🙂

    • #889
      David RhoadsDavid Rhoads
      Moderator

      Melanie,
      My recommendation to my faculty echoes your advice, in that I guide them toward a “minimally viable product” (a course that works), and then tell them to make small improvements as they teach and as they move through future terms. I also suggest that they start with only in person and asynchronous attendance choices at the beginning, and then add live online participation only when and if necessary and appropriate for engaging students in the in class activities.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by David RhoadsDavid Rhoads.
      • #1378
        Brian BeattyBrian Beatty
        Keymaster

        David, I’ve found that asking my students what would help them learn better gives me a good list of improvements to make over time. For example, this semester they have been asking for more visible LMS structure around the due dates for assignments so they can better plan their class work. So I’m planning to add an assignment due date table in the LMS and add these dates to the LMS calendar. I don’t use the LMS calendar now (though I know I should) because of the extra time needed to set it up (I don’t use the formal “assignment” tool so dates aren’t automated). And the dates are clear (to me) in the syllabus and in the LMS course sections below. But students want something better for their quick review. So next term, I’ll add this to my courses.

        I like it when they give me improvement ideas like this that I wouldn’t have considered on my own.

    • #2378
      Amanda DeiganAmanda Deigan
      Participant

      As someone who is unfortunately a procrastinator dude to my perfectionist tendencies, this is all such great encouragement to someone who is early in their career in this field. Something I find myself worrying about the following things.

      1. Am I teaching (and presenting information) in a way that can accommodate most learners and learning styles?
      2. Or, am I teaching (and presenting information) in the way I best learn it and how can I change that to make myself more accommodating instead of expecting students to learn best the way I do.
      3. Can I create a space in my classroom that fosters transparency so that if they are having a hard time learning the way I teach, will they be confident enough to explain this to me and tell me what they need from me to learn better.

      I do really like the encouragement I have read and it has already helped a bit so thanks for all of that! The piece of advice I enjoyed the most was the one that said to just get something done without trying to make it perfect. I like this because we are all human and though we can come up with really amazing it will never really be perfect because there will always be room for improvement!

      • #2381
        Angelica PinedaAngelica Pineda
        Participant

        Hi Amanda,

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear that these are things that you consider and think about when conducting your lessons. I think as facilitators of learning, its hard to get that open communication going with students to receive the feedback. To your point, how can we create the transparency between student and teacher? Maybe is having a live discussion where students can submit questions or concerns through Mentimeter, Kahoot, etc. Being anonymous gives students the confidence to voice their opinions.

      • #2384
        Brian BeattyBrian Beatty
        Keymaster

        Yes, Angie – those tools that help us gather candid comments from students can be very useful. And even as a beginning HyFlex instructor they are all pretty simple to use for both us and students. My recommendation is to pick one of these tools and learn to use it well 🙂

      • #2383
        Brian BeattyBrian Beatty
        Keymaster

        Amanda, to your comment about the grace we need to receive as we create effective learning opportunities for students without striving for perfection (when it’s not really practical in the situation) – that’s important for all of us. There is a saying that “perfection is the enemy of progress” and in education that may be true when we consider progress as teaching effectively using something new to us.

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