Archive | May 2014

Positive Learning Environments – forum discussion summary

One of the forum discussions we have had for course 3250 was on Positive Learning Environments. There was an incredible amount of discussion happening with a ton of great information. Everything from setting ground rules to bringing energy to student feedback was debated. Using humour in the class and creating a positive on-line learning environment was also discussed.
Below are some of the links and resources on the topic of Positive Learning environments.

Barkley, Elizabeth F. (2010) Student Engagement Techniques :A Handbook For College Faculty. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass,

Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (2nd Edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Carey, J. (2012, Nov 29). 4 Smart Ways to Use Cell Phones In Class. MindShift Retrieved from

Doherty, B. (2012, Jan 25). Tips for Teaching Adult Students. Effective TeachingStrategies. Retrieved from

Donato, N. (n.d.). A Discussion of a Positive Learning Environment and Classroom Management. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from

Edutopia Staff. (2011).Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment. The George Lucas Educational Foundation, Retrieved May 12, 2014, from

Smith, N. (2010, May 4). Teachers Embracing Social Media In The Classroom. Tech News Daily. Retrieved from

Steele, A,, Richards, T. (2012). Student Perceptions of a Cloud Assessment Learning Environment. The Online Journal of Distance Education and E-Learning 2 (1).

Swafford, M., Bailey, S. & Beasley, K. (2014). Positive Learning Environment Enhance Student Achievement. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, 89 (5), 32-35


Kathy Kolbe and the Kolbe Index Assessment

Check out Kathy Kolbe’s blog.  The Kolbe is an assessment to discover your natural approach to a task or a problem.  Another useful assessment tool for designing high functioning teams and using management skills that will get the best from your colleagues and coworkers.  Could this be another instructional tool?

The Power of Introverts

OK….so I define myself as a bit of an extrovert. I’m pretty good in social settings and can schmooze with the best of them….but get in a corner in a one on one conversation or oppositely on a stage performing where everyone is looking at me and I can be a bit of a wallflower.
Is that because my vulnerability is a stake or I’m an introvert or an extrovert or an ambivert? Or am I shy or outgoing? Lots of great questions raised on this subject.
Check out Susan Cain’s video below and her thoughts on the Power of Introverts. A great subject, an extremely well-done Ted Talk and definitely a subject we all need to pay more attention to.

The Flipped Classroom

My forum topic starting tomorrow is all about the flipped classroom, creative, critical and metacognitive thinking skills.

Here’s a link that defines the flipped classroom. Great start posted by my classmate – thanks Barb!


Our forum continued with many thoughts on what a flipped classroom is, how it affects the instructors techniques, the benefits to students, the drawbacks and the future of flipping.
I have posted below some of the links that inspired me, fired me up, got me thinking and left me questioning. enjoy!

This first link is about critical thinking – the basis of why we want to flip our classrooms is to get students to think creatively and critically.,%20Snyder.pdf

How about thinking outside the box? Another concept that is so widely celebrated.

More info on what a flipped classroom really is about:

Once you flip…you’ll never go back….really? Check out the link below:

And finally…does flipping your classroom make you a more effective instructor and allow students to be better learners?

Some final thoughts:

Blogs I follow

Here are some links to a few blogs I just started to follow from fellow classmates in 3250. They all offer a wealth of information. Talk a look!

Amber’s blog:

Brent’s blog:

Denice’s blog:

Donna’s blog:

Barb’s blog:

Rhonda’s blog

3250 colleagues

Wow….that is all I can really say after looking at some of my fellow 3250 course colleague’s blogs. Everyone is so darn tech savvy I feel a bit out in left field. Great blogs with tons of great info! Growing up in an era without internet and working in a field where I didn’t really have to do much with all that tech stuff has left me a bit behind the 8 ball. I am coming to all this learning late in life and feel a bit behind things…however I am also inspired.
Let’s face it…you don’t know what you don’t know….and everything is easy once you know how so that is what I will keep in mind as I figure out how to link blogs and post and cite references.
Exciting stuff ahead in the PIDP!

Thoughts on course 3250 Instructional Strategies

I have just begun my second course in the PIDP called ‘Instructional Strategies”.  Upon reviewing the assignments and timeline involved it seems a bit more daunting than my first course.  I figure my focus for the next few days will be to come up with a great plan to tackle my homework and reading while maintaining balance in my life.

So far what I have read in the book as well as reading posts in the forum have left me pretty energized.  The more I read about student engagement, the more engaged I feel so hopefully that feeling will take precedent over the daunting and overwhelmed feeling also creeping around.

Look for more journal entries on instructional strategies on my course journal page as well as links to my fellow classmates blogs and articles.