REPLY TO CLASSMATE POST DISCUSSION BOARD “NEED IN 8 HOURS”

Discuss how you can apply the concepts learned in this course to your current or future career. How might the lessons you have learned positively impact your career success?

                                                         Classmate Response:
Differentiated learning was not a concept that was ever introduced to me as a culinary educator but I believe that the differentiated learning strategies can be utilized with my adult learners in ways that go beyond the traditional use in academics. My ultimate goal is to serve as a “coach” to my fellow peers to help bridge the gap between student learning outcomes and how our teachers apply learning strategies in their courses. I work every day with great faculty who try to find new and innovative ways to create engagement in an online classroom. In the virtual world, it is even more difficulty to create a teaching relationship that is personal, substantive and productive for both student and teacher. It is difficult to assess a student’s learning needs when the only interaction you have with a student is through assessment and discussion boards; though I have seen several faculty who have embraced more personal and engaging practices. For example, one CSU professor in his Western Civilization course posts weekly All Stars (lists of students) who excelled in their writing assignments for the week. It creates a connection between students and teacher and he follows up in discussion boards posting personally to each student with positive feedback and questions designed to engage each student in deeper discussion. To me, this is a great tool for differentiated learning in an adult learning environment. He is able to create a dialogue with each student to hone in on where they are weak in their discussion board so that he can create a spark in each student by focusing on their interests in the subject matter being reviewed. He empowers each student and in return, his course can yield higher retention rates and students who are more successful in completing their course work. For my career success, I am already blessed to work with faculty every day but I hope to take the lessons I have learned here and share them with other educators. For me, this course was eight weeks of enlightenment by showing me aspects of teaching that I never knew about but am excited to explore more. Student Centered differentiated learning will be a new component in my teaching wheelhouse going forward!   

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