Over the course of the first three and a half classes in the Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University, I have found my classroom to be lacking in so many areas. First, I realized how fixed the mindset of my students and even I was at times. Then I realized just how narrow sighted I have been as I began to create my innovation plan. The more I learn, the more I want to learn about how to give my students the learning environments they deserve.
During this course that focuses on creating significant learning environments for the students; I have found that I need to think more as a learner than a teacher and provide my students with the choice and freedom they need to become passionate about what they learn. As we dive deeper into these learning environments, we have been introduced to Fink’s 3-column table that allows for the focus of learning to shift to the students. I have had to really stretch my mind to create a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for my course (Collins, 1994). This has been a true test of whether I can step outside my comfort zone to create a true student-centered significant learning environment.
As I reflect on the process I went through to create my 3 column table for my course, I will admit it was very difficult to completely change my thinking when it comes to the big picture of learning and creating my course BHAG. The restrictions of the constant testing that my students go through makes it hard to get out of that mindset, even when I want to break away. Following the signs on the road, as Harapnuik (2016) puts it, shows the connection between the activities and assessments that lead to a successful journey. With this thought in mind, I was able to broaden my outlook while narrowing my focus to make sure all of the goals can be accomplished by my students.
When I came to the decision to propose a blended learning model for my innovation plan, I had the station rotation model in mind. This model allows for student choice while providing guidance for students to enrich their learning. My learning activities fit into this rotation model, as students will be collaborating in groups on a regular basis to find solutions to real-world situations or problems. As I have come to the final edits of my 3-column table, I am starting to visualize some of what my blended learning model could look like next school year (Fink, 2003).
Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. (1994). Built to Last: successful habits of visionary companies. New York: HarperBusiness.
Fink, L.D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Harapnuik, D. (2016, June 16). Mapping your learner’s journey. Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?p=6420
Kerievsky, J. (n.d.). BHAG [Image]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@JoshuaKerievsky/bhags-instability-purpose-8b0afea9c1dd