Posted: September 18, 2017
By: Natalie Ebel
What are we Learning?
In this new article series, What are we Learning?, we feature a Western Continuing Studies employee each month to discover what they’re currently learning at Western Continuing Studies, see how they’re applying it to their role and find out what they hope to learn in the future.
For our third feature, we asked Curriculum Development Assistant Tanya Filipcic, “What are you learning?”
What’s Tanya Learning?
I work with instructors and subject matter experts to redevelop online courses with a focus on delivering student-centered learning. I've been in this role for about a year and a half, however, I've been working at Continuing Studies for close to four years in a variety of other roles.
What is the most recent course you’ve taken with Continuing Studies?
Teaching Online: Online course taught by Natasha De Gouveia
This course took a practical approach to teaching adults online. It covered current online teaching trends, learning communities, challenges with a virtual classroom and how to overcome them.
How are you applying what you learned to your current role?
Every day I seem to be able to apply some principle or technique that I learned from the courses in the Professional Certificate in Learning and Development. Since my role is to provide guidance to our instructors, I think the biggest take away from the online course is to remind our instructors to be present. It sounds like such a simple idea, but in an online classroom environment it helps to know that your instructor is with you every step of the way.
Another important technique that I apply to redeveloped courses is REV – Relevant (content/learning has real life application); Engaging (connect with learners – make an effort to know audience as best as you can); Visual (make the lesson aesthetically pleasing and add bold or coloured fonts to highlight important points and of course videos and images help as well). Keeping this technique in mind helps me determine the best way to display the content within OWL.
Do you have a learning tip for other students?
Stay on top of the work load and don’t be afraid to try something new. In an online class, it can be very easy to procrastinate or put off the work until later, but this approach can cause you to quickly fall behind.
Many courses require you to participate in forum discussions, and if you only look at the course once a week, you quickly realize that a lot of new posts have piled up. I found that logging in and reading the forum posts on a daily basis (usually only took 15-30 minutes a day on my lunch hour) helped me stay on top of the new posts.
Also, I would recommend trying something new if you have the chance. It’s a great way to develop new skills. Classrooms are a safe environment to try new things. During the online course, we talked about providing audio responses instead of written responses. I took this chance and posted an audio response to share my experiences with my fellow students.
Is there a story or anecdote you would like to share?
Growing up, I never thought I would end up in the adult education world. However, my curiosity and desire to learn new things caused me to begin enrolling in continuing study courses (here at Western and at other schools). Prior to working at Continuing Studies, I had experience as an adult learner, but working here has also provided me with behind-the-scenes knowledge. The e-learning world is constantly evolving, and being able to learn about new trends, techniques and technology is extremely fascinating for me. I am extremely fortunate to be able to continue learning something new every single day!
What are you hoping to take next?
See what Continuing Studies Director, Carolyn Young is learning.
See what Communications Manager, Alison Adair is learning.