After developing and designing the professional development workshop, my partner and I received feedback from our peers. Unlike the feedback on our Needs Assessment, which was provided online, the feedback on our design was during class. This allowed for us to bounce ideas off of each other and to come up with multiple solutions, which was very helpful in the long run because I think we got more out of the experience. With the Needs Assessment, there was more praise than constructive criticism, which may help boost someone’s ego, but does not necessarily help improve the portion of the capstone project. However, the feedback to the Design Decisions was much more constructive and our peers gave us many pointers to look out for.
Initially, my partner and I had planned six separate training sessions, which were planned to span six weeks (one training session every week). However, it was brought to our attention that it may be difficult for all of the participants to dedicate six straight weeks to workshops. Instead, we were advised to break it up into either 2 weeks (3 sessions combined each week) or 3 weeks (2 sessions combined each week). However, we went with neither of the two options because my partner and I had a general idea of how long we were planning to have each training session. As a final decision, we decided to combine the first two sessions, keep the third session separate, combine the fourth and fifth sessions, and keep the final session separate, which would total four weeks. The rest of the class agreed to this modification and thought it was a good idea to keep certain sessions separate and to combine others.
Because some of the sessions were to be combined, this brought up a new issue of the sessions being too long. We came to a conclusion to include breaks in the lengthier training sessions to let the participants breath and relax for a bit. With the help of the class, my partner and I were able to decide which two training sessions we wanted to develop more in-depth, as well as what artifacts we would create for these training sessions. My partner and I decided to expand the third and fifth training sessions, even though we had originally planned on expanding just the sixth session due to its length and overall goal. The overall design of the professional development was geared around providing the participants with enough knowledge and information for them to apply what they learned into creating something of their own. In this case, they would apply their knowledge on differentiating instruction to create a lesson plan that was varied enough in instruction to accommodate all types of learners and abilities. My partner and I saw the value in the final training session, which is why we had initially wanted it as the lesson to develop. However, it was mentioned by our peers that it may be difficult to create artifacts for this training session because so much of it relies on the participants rather than the facilitators. As for artifacts, we had decided to create a puzzle using case-based scenarios for the third training session and a PowerPoint presentation for the fifth training session. In addition, we had gotten the option of creating a third artifact to enhance the professional development, so my partner and I had initially decided to create an infographic, but later decided to create a PowToon video.
Lastly, we had discussed assessments, both formative and summative, because the participants are still learning something and they need to be assessed to see if the goals and objectives of the professional development were met. Therefore, we had discussed the different options for assessments and had decided on discussions and observations being our formative assessment and the final lesson plan and the “L” portion of the KWL chart being the summative assessments. Discussions play a major role in the professional development, as my partner and I believe it is important for the participants to share experiences and their own thoughts with each other. This will also help raise questions that we can address as a whole group. In addition, there will be some collaborative portions of the professional development, such as think-pair-share, modeling, and jigsaw methods, which will help my partner and I to observe how the participants are working together and to see what they struggle with. The lesson plan that the participants will create is designed to be a final project and final assessment of what they had learned from the professional development. They will use this knowledge to create a lesson plan in pairs that uses multiple differentiated instruction practices. Lastly, the KWL chart will help both my partner and I to see and the participants to see the progression of their knowledge and to see what they initially knew and how their understanding has grown. All of these assessments were decided upon as a class, and it was very beneficial for us to get feedback from our peers because they asked us questions and gave us suggestions that we did not consider, allowing us to improve and cultivate our professional development. It also showed us how what we could have initially thought were good ideas could be turned into great ideas, which is the whole purpose of getting feedback from peers and listening to their constructive criticism!