What I learned about myself:
I learned that my lack of flexibility was an impediment to my success and ease in this class. I was also reminded that my unwillingness to ask for help keeps me suffering and ineffective in producing results. I had a picture in my head on how I wanted my course to look. Once I had that picture in my head, I couldn't see the course any other way. I've asked my Success Coach to continue to remind me that there is more than one way to get something done and while process is important, intended results and outcomes are more important. I am making a display to also remind me of this fact.
What I learned about the way I want to teach...
is to continue to create structures for learners that support all learning styles. Now that I've started the investigation into accommodation vs. modification, I will incorporate a section in the syllabus for all my courses that reveals my learning differences, and the available assistance for learning success. By disclosing my situation I hope to give learners the encouragement they need. Making it possible for them to seek the support they need to achieve at even higher levels than before. I will use learner feedback and the Office of Accommodations to craft language that creates a safe space and an environment of inclusion of every type of learner. I'm also thinking about drop-in or check-in office hours. They would be the same time very week and totally optional. I would set them for 30 minutes and block out an hour of time. We would meet via Google Hangout and simulcast conference call. People need social interaction and some of us are too stubborn to initiate it (another thing I'm remembering about myself). I'm also toying with the idea of having learners identify themselves as morning people (larks) or night people (owls) and setting their deadlines accordingly.
What I learned about the structures that support my learning:
This semester I really pushed myself and took 2 online asynchronous courses. My stress level would be greatly reduced by taking only one online asynchronous course at a time. In the area of time management and planning, (always been a week link)
* I will plan twice as much time to produce the desired product in a design project than I think it will take.
* At the beginning of the course plan out the times to work on assignments for the entire course, create appointments on my calendar and set reminders for those appointments.
* Have a conversation with the course instructor at the beginning to discuss if we will be able to work together without me driving them crazy with missed and late assignments, At 52, I should know better than to delude myself. I can beat myself up for being the way I am or put the structures in place to support achieving desired results just the way I am, capitalizing on my strengths. I hope the thoughtfulness of my reflections will compensate for their tardiness.
* No more working after 10PM. Having a partnership with my instructors will allow me to negotiate 9AM deadlines. I am a card carrying procrastinator (thank you ADHD). I rarely allots enough time for a project or the myriad ideas in my brain. It is counter-productive to grind out a project when my brain is mush. It has me beating myself up for delivering work that isn't the full realization of my vision.
As I'm completing this reflection I realize that creating structures that support my learning and implementing them in the courses I teach will go a long way in creating a supportive learning environment for all the students I teach. Maybe this course isn't just about designing an online class and learning management systems. Maybe it’s also about becoming a more empathetic, encouraging, inclusive educator.