Blog Post 1 for Online Class

For those of you who have read my blog before, these next three blog posts are for an assignment in my online educational technology class.  They will definitely still be education related, but may be of a different flavor than the things I have thought might be my next blog post over the last 8 months or so.

If you are here because of the EDU 255 Technology in the Classroom class, welcome to my teaching blog!

The first teaching topic I have been thinking about lately is Robert Gagne.  I am currently teaching introductory college level orientation courses for an engineering department at Iowa State University.  It has been a very enlightening teaching experience with interesting topics, which are sometimes hard to build great learning activities for.  It is also tough to get students motivated for their orientation class once Calculus and Physics classes start getting really tough.

What does that have to do with Gagne?  I keep having experiences where I feel that the content is very quickly being forgotten or not sinking in in the first place.  Then I was reminded of Gagne’s 9 events while reading the textbook for this class:

  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide “learning guidance”
  6. Elicit performance (practice)
  7. Provide feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job

and it made me realize how much I focus on the “present content” above all of the rest.  I do spend quite a bit of time planning how I want to present content, but once I have that figured out, I just don’t focus on the rest.  And I think this was true in my teaching in the middle school as well.  It’s like I have this idea that if I present the perfect lesson, everyone will just magically understand because of how the concepts was presented.  This has caused me to set a goal to develop habits and tools to help me plan all aspects of the learning.  I know this is what lesson planning in school was for, but I think I got complacent about the pre-presenting content and the post-presenting content aspects of the teaching, particularly in the classes I am currently teaching.  I’m going to try to attend to the other aspects in Gagne’s events, as see if I get better results.

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