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Strengths

Developing two lessons for this course was an eye-opening experience for me because I

previously had not realized the strength of using learning objectives to guide my workshops from

creation to completion. By clearly identifying and communicating learning goals before, during,

and after each lesson, participants are more likely to walk away with the knowledge I intended

for them to learn (Brookfield, 2015). I achieved this by writing clear, succinct learning

objectives into each lesson plan, included in written and oral forms during my presentation, and

reiterating before handing out the feedback forms. By using multiple forms of engagement,

expression, and representation, I made sure participants could learn and express knowledge in

ways that met their specific needs individually, in pairs, or in large group discussions (Meyer,

Rose, Gordon, 2014). Evidence of this strength is present in the feedback from my peers in

comments through Canvas because each person commented on this ability.

In addition, my strengths lie in my ability to create a comfortable environment where

participants can engage in meaningful interactions with the content, and each other, allowing

them to experience all four stages of Kolbs Learning Style, ensuring students engage with the

content in ways the work best for them (Kolb, 2007). I did this by establishing ground rules, and

ensuring that students could engage with the material in a variety of ways, all with a calm tone

and demeanor. Evidence of this strengths is present in the feedback evaluation forms I received

from participants, where one person said they felt comfortable to ask questions.

Needs Work

As someone who recently started to incorporate "teacher" into my professional identity, I

must continue to use self-reflection to fill in gaps of knowledge as I continue to hone my skills

and abilities (Brookfield, 2015). Two areas I can improve upon include redeveloping the
materials I created to supplement my lesson plans, and learning how to be more of what

Brookfield refers to as a guide on the side. In terms of my materials, one of my peers

suggested via Canvas I create a handout of common definitions, or to provide more context on

the handouts in future lessons. This way, participants can refer the handout as a guide when they

are on-the-job. Additionally, one of my peers suggested via Canvas I incorporate more

interactive, creative activities that allow me to be a guide on the side, and do less of the heavy

lifting for my students (Brookfield, 2015). Through many of my lessons, while I try to leave

room for silence, I tend to lecture a lot, and give participants the answers before they have time

to think or respond. To better incorporate UDL and Kolbs principles into my practices, I can

use a wider variety of activities that encourage peer discussion and reflection, including a circle

of voices, hatful of quotes, or another activity requiring students to state or reflect on their

perspective before I provide any answers or new information.

Growth

As a life-long learner who is committed to the field of higher education, it is important to

me to continue to find ways I can improve my teaching methods. Two of the most important

teaching improvement goals that I have set for myself include incorporating more UDL

principles into my activities, specifically multiple means of expression, and developing more

effective Critical Incident Questionnaires (CIQs) to ensure that my lesson plans are effective and

conducive of student learning.

First, while I had a variety of learning activities in the course, I want to focus more on

incorporating different creative activities that allow students to express themselves in more ways,

including physical action or art, to help students navigate the learning environment if they are not

able-bodied, or struggle with English as a first language (Meyer, Rose, Gordon, 2014). To grow
in this area, I will utilize the free, public resources, including joining a forum for educators who

consistently incorporate and reflect on UDL practices and specific student learning challenges,

and watching a The UDL Series, hosted by the National Center for Universal Design for

Learning, which is a free online collection of rich media presentations that help educators build

UDL understanding and implementation skills.

Second, while I used CIQs at the end of each lesson, they were very simple, informal, and

did not include the learning goals, or enough context about why the feedback was being collected

(Brookfield, 2015). To improve my feedback evaluation forms, I will take the course Program

Evaluations in Higher Education (ADET 5770) online next quarter to improve how I evaluate

each activity and lesson plan I create, and continue to use Brookfields insights of how to best

administer CIQs in large and small classroom settings. This way, I can get timely feedback, and

change my lesson plans to incorporate different aspects and methods from UDL or Kolb as

needed.
References

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the

classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kolb, D.A. (2007). Kolb learning style inventory: LSI workbook. Boston, MA: Hay Group, Inc.

Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and

practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing.