Panelist: Kim Welch

 

 

Adjunct Instructor | Learning Technologist

Dixie State University | Vivagogy

Research Area (or Specialization):

Kim Welch has taught at the higher-education level for over 20 years. She has a master’s degree in second language acquisition and an Ed.D. in learning technologies. Her studies have included research in learning theory, User Experience, social learning, and informal learning, while her classroom and faculty development experience have included flipped and hybrid/online learning.

Relevant course(s) name/number, approx. number of students, and short description

English 990/1010: English Composition (both face-to-face and online), French 2010: Intermediate French (both face-to-face and hybrid formats) , ESL (all levels; all skills, face-to-face), Higher Education Pedagogy (face-to-face course for graduate students wanting to become academics), Readings in Higher Education (online course for graduate students wanting to become academics), Cyber-Pedagogy (online course for graduate students wanting to teach online).

Teaching or learning problem/challenge that made you rethink your learning model or approach or try something new

Boredom! We tend to teach to the middle of the class, then to the lower-level learners, and if we have time, we challenge the higher-level learners. This can create boredom for those who aren’t being “taught to” at any particular time. The first time I decided to deal with this head on was in a group of grammar courses I taught for ESL students.

How you addressed that challenge (if applicable, what technology, learning strategy, etc. you integrated to do so)

Round One: I created a series of online tests and tutorials that would help students to learn at their own level and pace, advancing more quickly if they had the ability to do so, or taking more time if necessary. It was my own version of “personalized learning” for that particular group of classes.

Round Two: I created social learning environments so the students would have others within reach of their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development).

Technologies: Canvas (LMS), Video recording software (Educreations at the time, would use Panopto now if available), classroom computers and shared headsets with splitters so two individuals could be listening to the same audio.

How students responded, any challenges, and lessons learned

Round One: Students initially liked the personalized approach, but they quickly got bored in class (again!) because they weren’t able to talk to each other about what they were learning since they were all on different levels. I did a three-week check in and the results were quite poor. This made me rethink the course (very quickly). I sat down with the students to negotiate a better class and the results were fantastic.

Round Two: Instead of relying solely on personalized learning, I created a mix of personal and group quizzing techniques. Students were able to see their own learning needs and ask each other questions in order to succeed when they were held accountable with their personal learning.

What images or media might help tell your story

This is the type of energy and engagement I want in every class: ESL course