As an innovator, I was personally invited by my Dean to sit on Cambrian’s Innovation Committee. I strive to continually improve my teaching practices. At Cambrian College, for example, I was the first professor in the nursing program to use computerized testing and Google Docs for class activities. I have also acted as a resource for others who have now transitioned to online testing and begun using Google Docs. Google Docs was one of numerous strategies I presented to faculty as an easy way to integrate technology into the classroom. Other strategies include QR codes, Poll Everywhere, Jeopardy, and paper-based activities. This work has promoted sharing of experiences with these technologies across the colleges in our collaboration.
While the use of technology is often the focus of innovation, it is actually continuous and creative reflection on ways to increase the quality of learning that is most effective. For example, one of my most successful activities was a paper based sorting activity. In a review activity for a research course, students were given laminated statements that they matched to one of eight research methodologies taped to the wall (individually or in small groups). As a large group, we then went through each statement and discussed if the group agreed with its placement and why. The positive feedback related to this activity was overwhelming. One student stayed to observe a second class go through the activity.
Currently I am exploring the use of open educational resources to support student learning. As an early adopter of this revolutionary concept, I am constantly having discussions with faculty and management about the benefits of their use and fears around their potential misuse or negative consequences. Living life on the edge of innovation is exciting and I look forward to ongoing reflection and research around open educational resources. Join me in this adventure by following me on Twitter and/or my blog.