The three-day version of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) has mixed blessings: although time efficient for busy instructors, it doesn’t allow as much time as longer versions for transmitting information and developing familiarity with the lesson-planning resources provided. Instructors get going on Day 1 delivering their mini-lesson to peers.Two affordances proved beneficial in helping develop a convivial environment without feeling rushed in the process. We used a Blackboard course to provide advance knowledge of the lesson-planning model, the feedback process and some foundational theory for the workshop. An “Introduce Yourself” discussion forum helped participants learn a bit about each other, and get to a deeper engagement level right away.This was the first ISW in the new flexible learning space, the Collaboration Room (S0620 at the New Westminster campus). The ability to reconfigure the room helped us easily set up several learning environments:
- The eClassroom setting for conventional lecture mode (with the added feature of being able to see the presentation on a rear monitors if desired).
- A central round table for shared discussion.
- Two areas to demonstrate content, concepts, and tools.
- Three interactive monitor areas for participants to present their lessons, and allow participants to shift smoothly between stations.
- A library: a resource and book area.