Dave commented on the similar structure of the presentations this afternoon. He was even surprised to see PowerPoint used to introduce the topic. “You don’t need to know how an internal combustion engine works to know how to drive a car.” Quite true. But at the same point, you don’t put people in a car and say just try pushing pedals, pulling levers and turning ignitions and see what you can find out. If so, we’d take people to the bumper cars at Sandspit, let them play for a while, ask them if they learned anything and if they knew more than when they came we give them a drivers license. Whoa now. That’s not really going to work. We better reconsider here. What are the differences in teaching, what is going on in our classroom and what are we supposed to be learning?

One of the differences between the class we are attending and many of the core programs at Holland College is that core programs are competency based. In ED366h there is no required level of competency in anything to achieve a passing grade. Not true for core programs. Most typically there are course outlines with specific outcomes and some still have Dacum charts with 100 or more “skills” that need to have a minimum demonstrated competency. Getting everyone to the same endpoint requires a different approach.

Another difference is the profile of learner. This class is certainly more mature, motivated, and self directed, on average, than the typical Holland College student body. This has to be taken into account for delivery.

How about risk? In my program areas we have saws that rip at 1000s of inches per minute, mills that will cut stainless steel like butter, car hoists that lift vehicles weighing tons, gas turbine aircraft engines that spin at 30,000rpm, 600V electrical circuits that we don’t even want to think about. What is the risk in playing in our ED366h class? If we got really lost we might trip over some porn (if Marcel will give me his log in maybe I’ll try ;).

What is the same? Just as in our ED366h classroom we have in our core programs students of different skill levels, aptitude and interests. Certainly the jump in and play with the instructor giving mentored assistance works well for these differences. Also, the learning as a community can help knit different students with different starting points and aptitudes together to arrive at the same end point. One of the most important elements to learning is confidence. The structured approach of this afternoons presentations was a known, comfortable path that gave me confidence I would arrive at the desired end point. All of the presentations had a clear end point, Dave’s often don’t because with technology there never is an end point. Different objectives, different approaches.

We are learning a different delivery style and also different technology tools to be used in delivery. They don’t necessarily need to be used in parallel. We need to consider each separately for their potential application. What the presentations do offer is the chance to try the different delivery style and different technologies in a benign setting.