School of Instructor Education

Website for the School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College

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SIE Facebook Page

Link to the Vancouver Community College School of Instructor Education Facebook Page.

Great source for articles and resources.

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Course Journal


“the need for continuing education has dramatically escalated with the increase in knowledge production” (p.18)

This statement is something that I have felt is occurring over the last few decades, especially in developed countries. For members of my parents’ generation getting a bachelor’s degree was a huge accomplishment. It is dramatic that with my generation getting a bachelor’s degree is often not enough to secure employment or at least secure lasting employment. Now in some areas not even a PhD is enough, there are now post-doctoral degrees to further learning. Personally I completed a biology degree prior to going into nursing. I decided to go into nursing since I correctly assumed that it would be less years of school then going on to do a PhD. Ironically I may still need a PhD to continue within an education field. Taking this course is the first step to securing a permanent teaching position. I was fortunate that I was able to start teaching prior to taking this course but I have found that the assignments have helped me to develop new teaching strategies and teaching methods. This quote specifically gave me an opportunity to reflect on how my students are returning to school to further their careers also. For some attending the Health Care Assistant program is a challenge in itself while for others it is the first step in a long process to increase their knowledge and job opportunities.


“learning in adulthood is often a function of changing roles and responsibilities and physical and mental development” (p.95)

Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner (2007) discussed the McClusky theory of the challenges of students needed to maintain balance between load and power. The majority of the students I teach as returning students have many more challenges that add to their personal load. I find that the majority of the students that I teach follow the “Caroline” example. They are juggling other jobs, family responsibilities and school often with limited resources. We work with the students to do what we can to help maintain a balance. By working to increase the student’s power or at least the feeling power the student’s ability to manage stress improves along with the balance discussed by McClusky. This is critical for students who have had previous negative experiences with school.


“The ultimate goal of education is liberation, or praxis ‘the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it'” (p. 141)

I selected this quote because this is how I feel about education. I believe that this quote resembles the well know statement of “Knowledge is power”. I feel that the more education a person has the greater their freedom is. When you increase your knowledge of any subject you are better able to see the biases that are presented and are able to make decisions for yourself. The better you understand a topic the better equipped you are to make changes to the current system. One way I see this being done is at my other work place is that upper management is asking for staff to suggest ways that the hospital or health authority can save money. This way the staff are empowered to suggest things that they see often that waste resources. A similar example would be when students at the end of the course give feedback about changes that they would like to see in future classes.

This quote for me gave me the opportunity to better understand the benefit for the students to give feedback to their instructors. As an instructor I found the feedback helpful to enhance my teaching practices I never realized the extent to the benefit for the students. By giving the students the ability communicate their experience gives them the opportunity to change the educational system or at least to provide feedback helps to empower them even if it is at the end of the program.


“Learning is a process that brings together cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing, or making changes in one’s knowledge, skills,values, and world views” p. 277

I selected this quote because within health care there is a focus on more than just physical aspects of health. As students we learn that health is not just physical aspects, there is also social, cognitive, emotional and spiritual aspects that are equally as valuable. I learned from this quote the importance of the environment as an influence on education. At the start of the year the students create the caring classroom. The caring classroom is a way that the students create a positive learning environment. The students give feedback about what they want their classroom rules to be, not just for each other but also for the instructor. It provides the students with a safe environment to share their previous experiences. Since one of the aspects the instructors ensure is added is a non-judgmental view the classroom becomes a place where the students can share their views and knowledge. Maintaining a non-judgmental classroom can be quite challenging as an instructor since some of the statements are not viewed by other students as relevant. I try to give all students an opportunity to speak in class and share their views, when students are disrespectful to my best to handle the situation quickly so there is not time for behaviors to worsen or the student speaking to feel not valued. Going forward this is a practice that I will continue but I will work to develop a more caring classroom by responding sooner to situations. This quote has also made me more aware of when I do not respond in the best way to student comments and since my behavior is the one that I can always manage I will also work on myself.

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Trends and Roles

New Insights:

What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play?

From these articles I learned that educators of non-traditional aged students have to work in a more collaborative fashion than will traditional aged students. Adult learners typically returning to education come with increased demands on their time but also an increased drive to do well in school. Wyatt (2011) explains that non traditional age students are less likely to come to class with unfinished assignments and were more likely to be engaged in class discussions. I experience this in my classroom settings where typically mature students are the first to make comments on topics. Since I have the same group of students for set period of time I enjoy how some students start to engage more as they feel more comfortable in the classroom setting. When non-traditional age students are having a challenging time with returning to school often a sense of community or stronger engagement can assist with challenges associated with returning to higher level education (Wyatt, 2011). Student engagement can be improved through student service activities. Typically it has been traditional age students have engaged in student service activities while non-traditional age students have been focused on caring for family (Bye, Pushkar, and Conway, 2007). The Health Care Assistant(HCA) Program that I teach in typically has unusual start times so often the group form their own sense of community. As instructors it is important to help foster this sense of community by helping to set up study groups and doing group activities.

At the start of each program the different instructors will do icebreakers to help the students get to know each other and the instructors. Prior to these reading I had identified that by getting the students to engage in these icebreakers they would feel more at ease with their future classmates and be more willing to engage in group discussions. I did not connect performing the icebreaker activity with starting to develop the sense of community that would enhance the students ability to succeed in the HCA program.


What are some trends in your field? How are you preparing to address these trends?

The current trend in my field on Vancouver Island is a move towards having more HCAs in acute care settings. This transition comes with multiple challenges since there are many justified political concerns with this transition that are negatively clouding the transition of HCAs into acute care. From an instruction point of view it is great that my students will have opportunities to work in many more specialized areas. The challenge is that with this transition to acute care the scope of practice will change and the course material will have to be changed also. The difficulty with changing the course material is that with the HCA programs the course material is standardized so changes can take a long time to become required elements. Instructors of course have the ability to add in material that is not currently testable but the focus has to be on content that will be tested so that students can succeed. Already I have started in incorporate flow sheets and tools that they will use in the acute care setting into my teaching so the students are more familiar with these tools.

Currently there is another challenge that the scope of practice for HCAs is actually less in acute care when compared to long term care. This is likely to change but it is not know how quickly changes will occur. Since HCAs working in acute care will need to have a great deal of on unit training the challenge for educational institutions will be to try to reduce the amount of conflicting information. The other areas that educators will have to address will be clinical settings. Currently all of the clinical occurs in long term care and community settings, the areas where HCAs are already established. Instructors will have to figure out and find placement opportunities in acute care that allow the students to meet the education requirements. These requirements state that the students must care for a set number of complex patients which is harder to manage in an acute area where there is a higher turnover of patients.

Since the new care model has not been formally introduced in Southern Vancouver Island settings we have not yet developed ways to adjust and meet the new requirements.


Reflect on the Web-Conference experience. How was it? What was one thing that you learned?

The web conference experience was an engaging and informative experience. I enjoyed the informal way that my partner and I discussed our individual articles. I found it was interesting that despite the fact that we had selected the same topic for our articles the articles that we had selected took the topic in such different directions. I felt that we had an in depth discussion about our articles. Prior to discussing the articles we met to discuss our backgrounds and what steps had led to us taking this course. The prior discussions made it easier to discuss our articles will having a better understanding of why each of us may have selected our articles.

One thing that I found interesting about my partners article was about teaching in the prison setting. The many issues that instructors would have going into those areas was eye-opening and gave me a better understanding of obstacles that instructors in correctional setting face. The one that I remember the most was that the instructors would be non-contract employees, so they would not be members of the union and the potential challenges this caused during strikes or lockouts.

Bye, D., Pushkar, D., & Conway, M. (2007). Motidvation, Interest, and Positive Affect in Traditional and Nontraditional Undergraduate Students. Education and Educational Research, 57(2), 141-158. doi: 10.1177/0741713606294235

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide 3rd Ed. San Francisco, United States of America: Jossey-Bass.

Wyatt, L. G. (2011). Nontraditional Student Engagement: Increasing Adult Student Success and Retention. The Journal of Higher Education, 59(1), 10-20. doi: 10.1080/07377363.2011.544977

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Lesson Planning

Lesson Planning

Use of Five Lesson Planning Components


Bloom’s Taxonomy


Bloom’s Taxonomy of separating out different learning objectives works well for me to help to remember to ensure that I include all of the different learning objectives into my lessons. This allows me to ensure that students are stimulated by all three learning objectives. Cognitive objectives through power points, critical thinking scenarios and asking questions of the students. Psychomotor allows for hands on experiences which help to re-enforce the power points and other content. Finally affective is used throughout health care teaching setting to remind student to teach their patients with the consideration that they would want for their own family.

Creating a Positive Environment


At the start of the year with each new class the students develop a caring classroom. This is a set of expectations that the student create for what they feel will show respect for each other and the instructor. These expectations are then used to create the classroom rules which provide structure for the rest of the school year. These rules are helpful when challenges arise in the school year since we are able to remind the students that they created their rules and it helps to dissolve the challenging situations.

Characteristics of Adult Learners


The students come with multiple learning styles, different backgrounds and different goals. The knowledge of different learning styles is important to remember as an instructor since it encourages me to tailor lessons to different learning styles. Remembering the characteristics of adult learners is needed to plan activities for each style of learner.




Use of media is a great method to engage students. I use power points as a method to provide structure. Following the completion of a unit I sent out the content from the power points to the students, this gives the students the content to use for studying for exams. Within the power points videos and handouts can be incorporated which adds to variety of learning styles and further engages the students.

Instructional Process/Strategies


Using ice breakers at the start of the is a great way for the students to get to know each other and a little about myself. My favorite icebreaker is getting the students to play BINGO where they have to get a blackout. I use the above link to assist to generate topics that most people will have done but not topics that come up easily. I find that in doing the icebreaker the students get up, meet new people and learn something unique about their new class. This works well for me to learn the students names and something individual about them.

Atherton, J. S. (2010). Learning and Teaching; Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from

Candler, L. (2013). Creating a Caring Classroom. Teaching Resources. Retrieved from


Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative. (2007). Adult Learning Theories

and Principles. Retrieved from  HYPERLINK “”

Whisnant, D. (2005). PowerPoint Creating an Effective Presentation. Retrieved from


Yahoo Voices. (2010). Sample Icebreaker People Bingo Questions. Retrieved from




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Trends And Roles Articles

Bye, D., Pushkar, D., & Conway, M. (2007). Motidvation, Interest, and Positive Affect in Traditional and Nontraditional Undergraduate Students. Education and Educational Research, 57(2), 141-158. doi: 10.1177/0741713606294235

Wyatt, L. G. (2011). Nontraditional Student Engagement: Increasing Adult Student Success and Retention. The Journal of Higher Education, 59(1), 10-20. doi: 10.1080/07377363.2011.544977

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Starting this blog as a component of a class I am taking. I am hoping that I will use it for future classes. I currently work at Island Health as a Registered Nurse and at Camosun College as an Instructor. I am relatively new to being an instructor so I am starting courses for my Provincial Instructors Diploma Program. Outside of working I train for triathlons and half/full marathons. I also have an adorable lab retriever cross puppy who enjoys destroying everything I leave in her reach. 

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