Triad Listening

Check out a colleague of mine’s digital project on Triad Listening:

I really appreciate this video’s short and sweetness. Sometimes I find videos a bit too long. Typically anything over 2 minutes, I’m going to be looking for something to do in addition to watching the video or at least something to click on. When I watch a TEDtalk, I’ll generally have some data entry or other ‘low thinking’ task to do while watching the video. I don’t know if this means I have a short attention span, but it does make me a bad movie date.

Or maybe I need to practise some Triad listening! This strategy is one of those strategies that I breezed over when I first read about it. But after reflecting, this would be a fantastic strategy for teaching customer service. We often use role play to practise customer service. What I like about triad listening over role play is the addition of the referee. Not only does this ensure that things stay on track, but it encourages more self assessment via peer assessment, rather than relying on the facilitator.

Definitely going to try this one sometime when I have the opportunity.


Background Knowledge Probes


Please check out one of my classmate’s digital projects on Background Knowledge Probes:

One thing I really appreciate about this particular video is that she not only created a video, but also did her own audio. Anyone who has tried to make videos knows it can be a challenge–it is even more challenging when it comes to doing voiceovers. So KUDOS!

I think Background Knowledge Probes are very useful and important strategy. In some ways, I almost think it’s a necessary component to a good lesson, as it helps you determine the level of knowledge of the class.

This is also a strategy that is applicable to almost any teaching context. I recently suggested this technique to a colleague that needed to survey the knowledge level of his large team. This was not for training reasons directly but rather a survey to help assist a new manager getting to know the team. Originally, his plan was to do random quality audits, but he was finding it very difficult to assess the breadth of topics needed. Using the idea of Background Knowledge probe, I helped him develop a self assessment scale ranging from I don’t recognize the content of the question to I could teach someone the content of the question. With this he was able to quickly assess a wide range of topics for a large team.


Great Blog

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to draw attention to a great blog posting of one of my classmates:

This posting deals with handling requests for references. I found this particularly interesting as I get asked all the time for employment references. Granted my context is a bit different–generally these are employment references of my direct reports. Nonetheless, there is both a thrill and awkwardness to them. I also found this interesting to get a teacher’s perspective, as I am currently looking to apply for a Master’s program which will require academic references.

What I really like about this post is how she and her colleagues have developed a matrix for professional behaviour so that leaners can self-assess. She also has learner’s requesting references to write the letter, so it is very self-directed.

I think this is a very good method that could even be applied to the workplace. One of the major fears that managers and employers have with giving references is backlash for giving a bad reference. You can be sued for giving a bad reference in some cases, particularly if it prevents the employee from gaining employment:

By making the reference based on the self assessment of the employee you can avoid the surprise of a negative reference. If you disagree with the self-assessment that the employee provides you can always decline to provide the reference directly to the employee.


Please see the below video that a fellow learner created on the teaching strategy Kahoot!

This is a great outline of a way to introduce gaming to the classroom.

In a workplace training environment like my teaching context, this would be a very easy strategy to organize and implement because it takes away some of the ‘cons’ indicated in the video. In a workplace environment, you typically have company supplied devices, like phones or laptops, and usually wifi connection. Additionally, it is likely that you would have a shared communication tool, such as skype for business or go-to-meeting. These programs typically have polling features built it, so setting this up would be as easy as scheduling a meeting.

This is also a great way to engage remotely located learners. When you are training remotely, it can be difficult to gauge whether learners are understanding the material. If you’ve ever attended a conference call, I’m sure you can empathize with the doozy feeling you get from listening and watching a screen that just does not progress fast enough. Or on the flip side, the frustration of screens that move too quick and comments that make you feel like you missed the first half of the meeting. Using polling or “Kahoot” can be a way to keep remote learners engaged AND feel like they are part of the team!

Jigsaw Presentation

Here is an interesting digital project from one of the students in my PIDP 3250 course:

There are a couple things that stick out for me. First, I was not familiar with the Prezi platform. There are just so many digital options out there–each really do have their own look and feel. I really liked the look of Prezi here. Very professional looking sideshow platform.

Second, I think Jigsaw is an absolutely under utilized strategy. Because of it’s focus on not only on becoming an ‘expert’ on a topic but also how to best teach it to others, it really targets the highest levels of learning.

While this could be a difficult strategy to use in some teaching contexts–for an example if it is a single meeting workshop–some out of the box thinking could work.

For an example, in my training context, I accidently implemented jigsaw to train our support team. Our Support Team is 24/7 and it is often difficult to have more than 2 members off their phones at once. Training the whole team efficiently can therefore be difficult. One of the best and easiest ways I found to deal with this was to nominate a few employees as “product matter experts” who would attend these sessions, then communicate back and train the rest of the team. This role would rotate through the team and we typically choose 1 senior skilled and 1 moderate/new skilled person to attend so that all perspectives are covered.

The team often has a lot of fun doing training this way. It also builds into our philosophy of having everyone contribute to our peer reviewed company knowledge base.

Great Blog!

Hello everyone,

I was looking through my PIDP 3250 class blogs and was struck by one in particular:

This blog is well organized and developed. It is truly appealing because of the effort that has been put into it’s organization. One thing I really like about the blog was the number of outside sources that it links to. It is truly a resource.

This is what I am looking to get out of the blogging experience–to create a learning and development resource that I and colleagues can use to learn and continue the discussion outside of regular course work and teaching experiences.

While I often link to articles and videos within individual posts, I will be taking this inspiration and trying to create more resource pages!

Flipped Classroom Video

Please check out a fellow learner’s digital project on flipped classroom:

This was a very entertaining introduction to the flipped classroom. It clearly outlines some of the best practices in creating the flipped classroom environment, as well as its strengths and weakness.

When I first read about the flipped classroom concept, I thought it was interesting but would never find a use for it in my teaching concept. Boy was I wrong!

Recently, we started a small team of remote employees based on the other side of the country. While we were planning to bring them out to Vancouver for training, the question was ‘how long’. Cost was not the only driver–the longer employees are away from home and their families this could cause stress or even additional costs to them.

There is a lot of videos and reading in our training. So instead of lengthening the face to face training, we reorganized the training. We started the training remotely where they completed the foundational video watching and reading, then in Vancouver the training was active, hands on workshops.

So morale of the story, if you think you cannot use the flipped classroom in your teaching context think again!