Chain Notes – A PowToon Presentation

I have created a digital project on the Classroom Assessment Technique, Chain Notes.  Its a great feedback instrument to get fast, honest student feedback on their engagement and learning.  I hope you enjoy and learn something new.

Please follow the link below:




Adult Learning in Under 3 Minutes


Reposted from:

YouTube,  “An introduction into Adult Learning Concepts” By Alan Caddell MA Ed,
Uploaded on Mar 30, 2011

Teaching to Diversity

book tornato

Is it possible to teach to every student’s unique learning style and needs? Even with multiple types of teaching approaches it is still going to be an endless struggle. Classes are always changing, it’s hard to say what dynamic of race, personalities and learning styles, are going to walk into your classroom next.  Now a days there is just so much diversity. You have multicultural classrooms with self- directed learners, and highly teacher dependent learners. Things get even more interesting when you have English as a second language for some students. This is where using a feedback instrument is going to pay a big part in you instructing. It can help you get an understanding of where your students are in their learning and where you may to make some adjustments.

In Chapter 8, of The Skillful Teacher, Brookfield gives some examples of excellent teaching approaches he uses. Brookfield (2015)  states variations and experimentation are always bounded by our personalities, abilities, knowledge and experience. We have limits, as individual instructors. He refers to team-teaching as one of his most successful teaching approaches, especially when the right mix of personalities, teaching styles and racial backgrounds are combined. I am so lucky this is how I get to instruct in clinic everyday, so i know first hand what a great success this can be.


Brookfield, S.D (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Trust, technique and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

New Insight: Roles of an Educator in Student Engagement

If you asked me a few years ago about the variety of roles of an instructor I could have told you two, they present knowledge and they evaluate. That was the depth of my knowledge into instructing. Wow, what a shock it was when I started instructing at the Okanagan College in the spring, and even more when I started the Instructor Diploma Program at VCC, just 2 months ago. What I have already learned in a short few months is amazing, instructors are amazing. I just can’t get enough information; I want to absorb ever piece of knowledge from my co-workers and my mentors. I love hearing about how they are using their roles as instructors to motivate students with fun, interactive learning activities in their theory classes or how they use the internet to find interactive slide show related to their courses to engage their students.

Instructors have control over the learning environment, the course materials, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessments. The way these are designed and aligned influence student motivation (Ambrose et. al. 2010) and deeper engagement in learning (Biggs, 2003).

It is the role of an instructor to assess the needs and goals of their students. When expectations are clearly outlined by an instructor, students are more likely to be engaged in their learning. I have read this over and over again while doing my research for this assignment. It is my role as an instructor to take the time to build a rapport with my students, learn their goals, and skill knowledge, so I can use teaching strategies that can help me meet my student’s goals as well as my courses content. It is one of my roles to be a planner, to understand the different levels of student knowledge and take this knowledge in to the planning of my course, so I can help all my students be engaged during class.

In the CDA program it is common to have students with past employment in the dental field. We normally have one or two students a year that have taken the dental receptionist course or even a few students that have been working as chair-side assistants, these students are looking to further their skill levels and get certified. It is the role of an instructor to consider this previous experience when try to keep these students engaged. As an educator we are always assessing our students learning, giving feedback and guidance when needed. One of our main roles as an instructor is to facilitate our students in all aspects of learner. It may mean different things for different students.

The knowledge I have gained from my research on roles of instructors to engage students, has given me the awareness that there is no one way to teach students. They come from all different backgrounds of knowledge and have different goals for their outcome. Our roles as instructors varies from a planner, a motivator, an evaluator and a facilitator, this just to name a few. In the end, how we use our roles as instructors, how we design our courses and work to meet our student’s goals will determine how engaged our students are. I truly believe that Clement said it best with her line “it was a true passion for the subject, a desire to learn all about it, and a further desire to share that knowledge.”(Clement, M. 2014) There is nothing more rewarding then having an educator that loves their chosen profession. This may not be a role of an educator, but I truly believe students will be more engaged if they have an instructor who has a passion for their profession.


Ambrose, S.A., Bridges, M.W., DiPietro, M, Lovett, M.C & Norman, M.K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. San Franciso: Jossey-Bass.

Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco:Jossey-Bass.

Clement, M. (2014, November 21). Six Things That Make College Teachers Successful. Faculty Focus. Retrieved From

Isophere, (2014, May 6). Free digital photos. Retrieved from

Trends in Student Engagement


With the introduction of ever changing technology our roles as educators is changing, we need to develop new ways to keep our students consistently engaged. One of the new trends that Carl Hooker addresses in his article, How technology Trends Have influenced the classroom, is the increase of interactivity. Students are getting used to always being stimulated everywhere they go, their brains are craving more and more interaction. Our Role as educators is to help keep our students engaged and focused. By changing up activities and giving our students mini brain breaks every 15-30 minutes, we can help our students get refocused in the classroom. Since my field of Certified Dental Assisting, is hands on learning as well as theory, I think I can easily introduce clinical materials into the classroom to create fun group activities. These activities can also help students connect the classroom theory to the clinical aspect of the course.

The CDA department at my College has recently incorporated computers into every operatory in the clinic. Dental offices choosing to go paperless and digital is a newer trend in dentistry. As an training facility, it is our responsibility to meet the levels of technology in the changing dental practices. We don’t want to restrict our students by only offer paper, or paperless training, so our role as an instructor is to find a balance between the two.

As Hooker points out, “we have three options when dealing with these changes: avoid it, struggle with it, or embrace it” (Hooker, C. 2014). How we choose to deal with technology as an educator will affect how we engage the digital brain for the many years to come. I feel that being a younger instructor and planning to be in this field for a very long time, I have no choice but to embrace the new trends with technology. Believe it or not but I like to relate technology to the dental field. Being in the dental field we are constantly have to take continuing education. Dentistry is always evolving, there is always a new tool, new material or something bigger and better at every course you attend. It can get very overwhelming especially if you refuse to embrace it. Technology is the same, always growing, always changing. This is one trend that I don’t think is going anywhere.

Ahlefeldt, F. (2013, December 29). Hiking Artist. Digital Slave illustration. Retrieved from

Hooker, C. (2014, March 5). How technology Trends Have influenced the classroom. In Mind/Shift: How we learn. Retrieved from