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Attendees at a workshop

An Educational Developer reflects on his experience at the Instructional Skills Workshop

Johnathan Bevan, an accessibility-focused Educational Developer at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning attended this term’s Instructional Skills Workshop. Here are his reflections.

April 3, 2024 — 

Attending the ISW sessions was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There are so many complimentary elements inherent in the structure of the workshop that make for a fun and informative week spent with colleagues from around the University. My focus as an Educational Developer is Accessible Instructional Design. Creating environments that are accessible to as wide a variety of people as possible is something I am very passionate about. After having taken the ISW allowed me to focus on specific elements of my workshop delivery. I am now better able to communicate the importance of accessibility to people who have not considered it to the extent I have.

The ISW focuses on structuring a lesson plan. This may sound a bit dry, but it is anything but that. The facilitators, Mona and Iwona, kept us engaged and interested throughout the event. We focused our efforts on creating a mini lesson for a specific teaching objective(s). Having the focused time to work on this aspect of my pedagogy was instructive of what aspects of my teaching are strong and where I need to improve. Having the workshop leaders and my peers make observations and provide suggestions was very helpful. It boosted my confidence in the strengths I thought I had, and I was able to improve where I was weak. It is also very helpful to critically engage with other people’s lessons and incorporating the things learned there into your own teaching practice. I now feel much more capable to building new educational materials and engaged learning in the subjects I cover. There are also fun elements in the ISW that brighten up the week and make it especially memorable.

Aside from the workshop’s primary focus, spending time with people from a wide variety of disciplines is quite fun. Hearing about the things people are passionate about (whether the mini-lessons were in their subject area or not) was interesting and informative.

While the material covered in the ISW is not the only way to think about or structure pedagogical practice, it is a very useful process to participate in. I can’t recommend it highly enough.  

Learn more

Johnathan Bevan is available for Accessible Course Design Coaching through The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He is planning on becoming a certified ISW instructor.

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