Game Over? Not Really!

172814233_1361332471Time flies so fast. Here we are on our “finals week.” Counting back the days we’ve spent in this course may be so little, but the knowledge and understanding we’ve gained are superb. I never imagine Distance Education (DE) will be this great. I can even say that I’ve learned so much more that what I can obtain in one semester of traditional classroom interaction, partly because of the self-regulation learning that I somehow honed in myself. And I’m pretty sure most of my classmates feel the same.

Distance Learning is more than what I used to think of. Before, I was just thinking that DE is a Hands on a globeboring program whereby I just need to read and read the prescribed modules. I also thought that learning and understanding will be fragmented as I won’t encounter my “physical teacher” who can answer me outright should I have queries in mind. However, while I was enjoying the labor of being a De student, I came to realize so many things and subsequently correct my misperceptions. First, I appreciate the fact that I was able to meet many teachers with rich and diverse ideas-my classmates. Not to mention what Teacher Malou did for us to use our critical thinking. Though I haven’t met any physical teacher, well, every time I do my post or entries in the discussion forum, I encounter several teachers in their own ways. I learned a lot from their perspectives which I believe were more plenty than what a single traditional classroom teacher can give me. Thanks so much everyone! Especially to you Teacher Malou for facilitating the class well. 😀

imagesSecondly, thinking that DE program is boring is TOTALLY WRONG! For me, such approach to teaching-learning was indeed exciting (based on my experiences here in UPOU). There were days I consider overwhelming as far as outside conflicts are concerned, but it helped me in organizing my things and plans better than before. I remember what the two students mentioned in the video before we start this class; that self-discipline and proper time management are very essential. 100% agree on that! DE taught me to become more responsible and efficient. And I know I can apply it to everyday living.

Theoretical foundations of Learning are very important. Knowing how students learn best differently is a big factor among learning-theoryeducators towards effective planning and teaching implementation. Considering the diversity of learners, we can always capitalize on their strengths in learning in an effort of mobilizing other aspects of themselves. Personally, these theories provided me a more solid understanding of how should I teach in the future. Though I am an advocate of teaching strategies even before, my belief of creating and integrating something “new” the old classroom has been reaffirmed in this course. If there’s one thought I consider very important learning as of now, that would be empowering my future students to become more active in the pursuit of acquiring knowledge, skills and attitude. Much has been said about the indispensable role teachers do, but I believe that the present time calls for a more “responsible learning” mode.

images (1)Discussion forums and e-Journal entries are great learning tools. Engaging in several group discussions is something I anticipated before I applied in this program. I used to think of this as the heart of DE as a means of facilitating meaningful exchanges in ideas and opinions. And I guess I find myself right. I appreciate the learning opportunities that these forums gave me every time I open up the course site. I can say that the class in general is so smart. At times my beliefs and points were challenged, but it led me to widen my understanding and insights. I met a lot of brilliant people which somehow inspired me to become one of them in the near time. As teacher Malou once said, the class is full of eager and enthusiastic minds. Pretty much because of your mind-stimulating activities Teacher! 😀 Truly, I learned many things from them, and I hope that they also gained even a little from my shared posts.

Likewise, our e-journal served as our “notebooks” in this class. Like a student who is diligent in taking down notes while listening tostudying his teacher, I was also given chance to do the same thing. Admittedly, I encountered some difficulties from the creation of it up to how I can improve its appearance. I am not that superb in computer technology. That explains the simplicity of my blog page. 😀 This was the first time I created my own blog in fact. However, the purpose of it I know served me well. Through that, I was able to extend my points and ideas about the topics that we have just discussed. Further, it also became a tool to know my classmates more. Personal reflections and realizations section gave us ample space to express ourselves as DE students. I just hope my personal schedule provides me more time to read others’ posts. Well, for sure we can still do this even after the course is over. Learning is continuous, as they say.

images (2)When you’re down, remember that your IFC and Classmates are there to support you. Many times I was overwhelmed by the tasks needed to accomplish coupled with the pressures from my other studies/subjects and work, but the unending support from my classmates was so powerful that I was encouraged to continue what I’ve started. Social persuasion as I can remember form Social learning theory is one powerful thing that played vital role in keeping us cohesive and determined.

Studying while working has never been easy for me, but for some reasons, I still find the course enjoying at the end of the day. Not to mention the friendship some of us built within a short period of time. We haven’t seen each other yet, but everyone’s “presence” was really felt so as our Faculty In Charge (FIC) who made the entire learning experience challenging and fun. Thanks Teacher Malou! 😀

The game is not yet over. We just have started. Now that we’ve come to the end of this term (specifically for this course EDS images (3)103), I know we will continuously bear in our minds and hearts whatever it is that we’ve learned. For me, it’s a very good foundation for us who aspire to become noble teachers. I am looking forward to experience same level of enthusiasm and learning spirit in the coming terms. I will definitely miss everyone. I know we will all meet again-maybe not as classmates anymore, but for one surest thing, as professional teachers in our respective fields. Stay positive!

Life-Success-in-3-StepsWe just finished one race but the game is not necessarily over. The road to success is yet to come and I hope each of us will continue until the end. May God bless us all!

 

Cheers! 😀 😀 😀

Advertisements

Fluctuating Practices

adsense-income-fluctuationLooking at Bloom’s taxonomy made me think of how I used to manage my thinking skills. Am I consciously nurturing it or unknowingly neglecting it? Well I came to realize that I am doing both somehow which I labelled “fluctuating practices.” There are times I am so eager to enrich my critical and analytic abilities while there are also times I am not into any of it at all.

On the positive side, especially true when I feel determined to study well, I do devise ways on how Istudying can further advance my understanding of a certain topic. Say for example I am not that aware of the word or term I have just encountered, I won’t just find its meaning from the dictionary but I will do more. I after knowing what it means, I will then use it in a sentence, think of its synonyms, relate some previous experiences I had, analysing it further when it comes to application in certain situations, and so on. I sometimes include such terms in my “vocabulary list” (I had this list since 1st year college).

images (4)On the other hand, I also experience times when all I want is to rest and relax. So, if there is a “need” to study (say deadline for a particular course activity), most likely I will resort to shallow understanding and average output. Just last week, I am reviewing my statistics lessons of which some topics are very hard to capture. One thing I’m pretty sure that hinders me from using my critical thinking skills is when I don’t let myself think for the process of solving the problem situation and immediately go with the answers provided instead. I mean, I could have try and find out “how it is done” but due to some reasons (laziness I guess and being not in the mood) I chose to play the easy game. Well, I know I lost a chance of enhancing my thinking skills. Surely when I encounter similar statistics problem, I might have difficulty arriving at the right answer. But don’t worry because I will be returning to my “determined mood” with this matter. 😀 I know I can do better than that (self-efficacy). 😀

Finally, I can say that even with the choices that we make in everyday living could have an impact in our thinking skills. When it choosing-300x274comes to sports or hobby, choosing between chess and candy crush game distinguishes which one could help us think and analyze better. With the TV programs we used to watch, “teleseryes” and discovery channel show different things. Clearly, there are some practices that we used to do that may significantly affect the way we think. Definitely it’s more fun to enjoy life with these stuffs, but remember that our brains are subject to “disuse syndrome” which I guess nobody wants to experience.  😀 😀 😀

Keep going everyone! God bless!

Bloom’s Taxonomy in my Profession

imagesAs a review lecturer for the licensure examination of graduate nurses, it is imperative for us to prepare our students not only for the upcoming examination but also in the real-life world of being professional nurses. For most of them, getting their licenses is one of the very best things that will happen in their lives as they will become eligible to practice their aspired profession. The empathy is really there as I once experienced dreaming the same. Working on this, I know I have to devote time and effort to make their review stay with us worthwhile and fruitful.

One advantage of enrolling in a review center as I used to say among my students is that they will be test2trained  to answer board-like questions (and not necessarily LEAKAGE of course) which is very different from answering those sample questions that can be found among commercially available books or review materials. For most registered nurses and even those retakers, they pretty know what I mean by this. The way the board of nursing “attack” the pool of questions is really different and should I say complicated. Therefore, questions must be patterned that way to at least expose the students in the battle they will soon engage at.

fx_Bloom_NewFortunately, the examination which is composed of 500 multiple choice items can be viewed as combinations of different levels of questions as far as difficulty is concerned. That is why I have equated it to Bloom’s taxonomy. Because of this, I prepare my review examinations for my students in such a way that the types of questions are of different levels. Though the entire set is on a multiple-choice type, I am pretty sure I’m still able to incorporate the said technique. On the first part for example is simply a test of recall (remembering), followed by items that need interpreting first what the question is really asking for before it can be answered correctly (comprehension). The next part would be application of the learned theories and concepts in the real-world setting (as future nurses in their case). Then, usually on the topics of ethical issues in the practice of nursing, there comes a pool of questions requiring deep analysis and evaluation in order to arrive at the best possible course of action, hence correct answer. Further, when I am discussing the correct answer for very item, I let them think of the reasons why they chose their respective answers in the first place so that comparison can then be made that is hoped to result in consensus.

When it comes to the highest level identified by Bloom which is creation, I think it can’t be appreciated in a multiple choice type of images (1)exam as students need to synthesize and generate “new” concepts or ideas out of what was discussed or presented to them. I believe essays and comparative analysis will better serve this purpose. In general, as I have observed, most of my students commit much errors on the higher level of thinking. As they’ve mentioned, it’s easy to memorize yet very hard to apply in complex situations.

At this point, I have to say that Bloom’s taxonomy can be utilized by educators even in the elementary and high school levels in order to better prepare the students in facing real-world situations in the future. Sometimes, teachers have the tendency to evaluate students’ performance though shallow parameters like using a very objective type of exam requiring only simple recall of the previous topics discussed. I believe that if they will be exposed at a higher order of thinking through complex tasks, they will do PRC-examsbetter in their academic endeavour. Careful balance however is necessary to avoid overwhelming the learners in a sense that is very taxing on their abilities.

My First Day in School: A Test of Memory

KstudentsRecalling my childhood experiences is a bit challenging but exciting one as I know myself being “makakalimutin.” I’m not good at memorizing long list of words but those unforgettable ones, whether the most embarrassing or the happiest moments are definitely intact in my mind. Since my early experiences in school were not that remarkable, I’ll try to recall those events as much as I can.  Let’s get it on!

My first teacher way back in Kindergarten I was Miss Matilde Relativo. I am not pretty sure of her middle initial but I think it’s R. To satisfy my curiosity, I went to my room and have my certificate of completion checked, oh my!!! It’s R! Well honestly, I just wrote imagesthe very first letter that came to my mind. They say that “hunches” are more often right, so trust them! Our classroom itself was so simple. It was a perfect square room painted light green with many graphics on the wall.

{342F2CA1-93E6-4A5D-A724-1523B6A2C3C0}We had two blackboards surrounded by alphabet cut-outs in creative forms. We used to sit in desk-chairs (I don’t know the correct term for that) in different colors. I can no longer recall what group (column) and row I was seated but I’m pretty sure we had 4 groups of chairs, each being occupied by two students.

With the routine that we’ve been doing in the class, I know we always start every morning with a memorized prayer I no longer know. After this was a greeting that goes this way “Good morning Teacher! Goood morning classmates!” Then Miss Matilde will allow us to have our seats and then proceed with her lessons. First topic discussed and activity done? Oh well, I don’t know despite minutes of recalling.preschool

Generally, the most memorable experience I had being a Kindergarten student was when I sang a children’s song and suddenly I forgot the lyrics of the song. Oh my! Until now I can remember the laughing faces my classmates exhibited during that time (hmmm… so insulting but I already moved on… really?). Sad part was, phineas_singing_single_by_ajmstudios-d3e9hegeven my teacher made a wild laugh. 😀 However, past is past and I totally got over as I am a good singer now (compensation???). At least I made myself memorable to them as well.

After writing and doing this activity, I realized that memory is really amazing in a sense that you can recall even those that are very remote events in your life. However, sometimes I wonder why not all life experiences can be easily brought into consciousness and present thinking? Some needs a couple of effort before finally remembering while others are fragmented no matter what I do. Well, partly it’s because of the physiologic capacities and limitations of our mind as well as the practices that each of us does that may either make or break our mind’s condition. By applying the things I’ve learned from this module, I know I can still strengthen this ability of mine.

I really enjoyed this activity! I’ll try to do some more of this! 😀 😀 😀

How I Wish…

imagesStudying is not an easy thing to do. It is indeed hard and laborious but can also be enjoying and addicting (really?). I regard my opportunity to attend school as a privilege since I know I’m lucky enough my parents are working hard to support me on this.  I have known a lot of people and friends who wish to do the same but financial constraints hinder them from doing so. Therefore, I always bear in mind that I have to do good in my studies as it will be an “insult” among those unfortunate people if will just take it for granted. Working on this, I grew up being serious and diligent with my schooling.

College work has been so stressful and demanding especially during my junior to senior years. Every time I look at my giant books imageswas a cause of paranoia especially when tomorrow is an exam day. Like most of my classmates, such books are the best sedatives for me. I really have to dwell on the boring long texts of medical-nursing books to understand the concepts behind and have some weapon for the following day.

More often than not, I felt so saturated with much information that I resorted to saying “Sana flash drive (USB) nalang  ako. Yung tipong copy paste nalang lahat ng mga information. O kaya naman eh memory card na pwedeng i-upgrade.” How I wish it is possible to supplement AI-lowresmy mind’s capacity of storing information for future use. Knowing that nursing requires memorization of drugs, analysis of procedures and rationale, demonstration of skills, among others, such invention if ever will surely be a breakthrough! But I know shortcut is not the best alternative for that matter. Instead of thinking and dwelling on the things I can’t, I focused my attention and spirit on the things I know I can confidently do. I have to say it’s a matter of believing in your own strength (self-efficacy).

Weeks and months gone by with such routine of endless studying. I created ways of enhancing my learning techniques by using mnemonics (though I am not fond of using this before), course outlines, simplified notes of important topics, and even mini-reporting of some lessons. I also initiated most of the group discussions to gather and share our ideas that truly led to better understanding of many concepts. Practice really leads to mastery and so we continued on those habits that helped us in our learning goals.

In the end, we may not be able to buy any “magic” that will make us think and function so superb like computers, but then we images (1)learned how to devise ways that will further enhance our natural abilities to acquire levels of understanding. Unlike computers which are subject to corruption of files, reformat and “crash” moments, our learned means of coping and handling learning opportunities will continue to serve us throughout life, provided that we continue utilizing them properly.

Cognitive Theory in the Real World

Though each of us has the innate capacities to learn and understand new information, the difference then lies on how we utilize those tools. In the concerned module, much has been presented about how the brain works in when it comes to learning and understanding of which the processes involved are pretty much the same among all individuals. Now, let’s take a look on how a person’s practice affects these things based on how I understood the module.

  •          Attention and Concentration

music-to-listen-toAs explained, we can always select which type of attention we are going to use in everyday encounter, be it selective or sustained. No matter how good the presenter or teacher in front is, if divided attention will be employed, then full understanding of the lessons at hand is unlikely to be achieved. In the previous discussions, I was enlightened about the negative effects that “multitasking” (which falls on divided attention) can bring us especially in the field of studying. Therefore, total focus is one thing that differentiates a good learner from the mere average ones. I believe if they will both employ total focus, then most likely the same outcome will be obtained. I remember most of the academically successful persons I encounter who used to say “stay focus” to become like them.

  •        Practice Application and Memory

It is not new for most of us that constant application of what you’ve learned will lead to better retention of those learned materials. Procedural knowledge for instance is likely to be retained in LTM if these are being applied often in the course of living, say cooking.puzzles We are all bounded by the physiologic limitation of our brain. We cannot remember everything and we will lose many memories whether we like it or not especially in response to aging. I remember in my topic Alzheimer’s disease in the review, it says that one good practice to minimize the risk for developing such illness is to keep the mind healthy by engaging in mind-stimulating activities like solving puzzles and novel situations. Therefore, if we will just rely on our seemingly good ability to recall things whenever we want to, then chances are not being able to do so and experience some frustrations.

  •          Personalized Techniques in Learning

mnemonicsMost of my classmates who are good in academics from memorizing to class reporting have their own unique ways of making things easier. Most of them are fond of suing mnemonics as an aid to better remember things especially the long ones. Others then prefer transferring the information on books to their own notes which I personally do as well. For me, I can grasp and understand the ideas easily if they are written in the manner I want to see them- bulleted, in two column format with highlights of varying colors. Further, I’m also into reciting what I’ve just learned as if I’m discussing in front of many, which according to the module is helpful in the retention of those information. It is not expected for all to share similar techniques or strategies. Learning styles for the most part can also account for this. The thing is to maximize the resources that we have to make the learning experiences enjoyable and fruitful.

  •         Seeking for Clarification

Lastly, I believe that the tendency of good students to seek for clarification whenever misperception or misunderstanding occurs is one more thing that separates them from the average ones. There are students who are very active in such scenarios. For instance, when they answered wrong in an exam, it’s not sufficient to accept the fact that you commit mistake but rather an explanation mustimages be sought to clear things out. After all, the very reason you’ve selected that answer was because you’ve thought of it as the “best” answer among the choices. I can tell much about this as I encounter different kinds of students in the review classes I have handled. Those who consistently get high scores in post-tests or drills are also the ones who are very eager in seeking for explanation of why such answers are right. In the licensure exam for nurses (and most professions I think), the key factor is to select the “BEST” answer among the choices provided fir every item. More often than not, they select the 2nd best answer that makes them disappointed but which in turn results into further motivation to study further. This somehow gives us a hint on which group needs further focus and encouragement to succeed in the boards. 😀

These are just a few of those I can think and relate that distinguishes successful learning from failure in the context of cognitive theory. Any feedback will be highly appreciated. Happy learning! 😀

Two Heads are Better than One

imagesI used to prefer studying my lessons by myself. I think I can concentrate more if I have quality time in analysing and reflecting the lessons that we’ve already discussed. However, I know this wouldn’t work at all times. There are situations during which collaborative effort must be employed to arrive at the best suitable alternative and course of action.

images (1)Brainstorming for instance is one common scenario during my high school and college days. In fact, we used to do this among our major subjects that were really hard to understand. I remember I often lead the review session for psychiatric nursing, while my best friend took his turn in medical-surgical nursing. Though we were leading the group, we also serve as “facilitators” so that everyone’s ideas were considered and given recognition. It really did work! Most of us were surprised that examinations became easy for us since we gained further understanding through such activity. Admittedly, I also gained a lot from those who are considered by the class to be just average students (don’t find us judgmental please :D).

Likewise, I can still remember our Science Investigatory Project (SIP) and exhibit way back in senior high school. I believe the hardest part for this project is to think of the “title” or at least idea to work on. Most especially that previous batches have already brainstormingexhibited their good works, we were somehow left with few choices to consider. Couple of days have passed and still I wasn’t able to think of one. Good thing that at the end of the day, our adviser instructed us to work in group. And oh, I find it an answered prayer! I couldn’t imagine that one of the most silent students in our class had this brilliant idea on his mind. Without any second thought we all decided to work on that suggestion. Collaboration and mutual support came next that led us to the victory of becoming the overall champion for that exhibit project. In fact, our project was sent outside the school to compete with many other schools in Laguna.

teamwork

 

These are just a few of those I can share about the significant impact of group work and cooperation. I still have lots in my mind but I know these are pretty common experiences that you guys might already encountered as well.  God bless and happy learning! Team spirit!!!! 😀 😀 😀