PIDP 3260, is my last class in a learning journey that started three years ago. We had just reapplied for the grant to run our program, and realized that funding had been cut significantly. In order to continue to run the program the college had make hard choices to eliminate services and positions. We were asked to essentially reapply for our jobs. Out of over a dozen people, only four would retain their positions so to make myself more competitive, I enrolled in PIDP 3100. It was a weeklong, in-class course that I enjoyed so much, I continued to take classes as I was able. Here we are – only the Capstone left.
My favourite class to date was 3210, Curriculum Development. This is the class where literally the next day I would apply my learning. Since we were in the process of re-designing our curriculum, I used this as the platform for my studies and assignments. This is what I enjoyed the most in PIDP: Being able to work on an assignment, receive feedback on that assignment and then implement it immediately at work.
In a close second was 3220: Delivery of Instruction. This highly interactive class consisted of mini-lessons that we designed and presented to the class. What an enjoyable week, being able to watch dozens of mini-lessons, and reflect on the inner workings of the curriculum that made the lessons work.
Another class that I devoured was 3240: Media Enhanced Learning. There were so many parts to this well-designed course that I loved. Most of all, it was a chance to play with all the software and platforms I had always wanted to learn about, but never made the time. It gave me permission to learn about digital media and because of this, I learned so much. I learned how to create and publish a podcast and an online video. Petchakucha (sp?) was a format I desperately wanted to try, but who has time in workaday life to spend 20 hours producing a video? 3240 was an excellent space to make that happen.
Overall, the PIDP course work has been informative and enjoyable. I really loved being challenged so the main feedback I would provide is for the program to go a bit further in challenging students. One low-light for example, was spending an entire afternoon watching a Hollywood movie about teaching. Although a good movie, I would have preferred an in class project and watched the movie on my own.
Beyond the program, I have acquired an enjoyment of learning about learning. It is a complex and interactive field that is evolving with technology. With the momentum I have gained through my PIDP assignments, I hope to continue developing and producing online educational media that will contribute to a flipped classroom. I have seen the potential of these tools and enjoy employing them in my practice.
The absolute best thing about PIDP is the teaching reflects best practices and I learned as much from each instructor’s style as I did the reading and assignments. It was time and money well-spent and I would recommend the programme to anyone who instructs as a career.