Last week, myself and my learning partner, Adam Neave, had a Skype call and discussed various trends in our own fields as well as trends in the field of adult education. We also discussed how our own roles and responsibilities may change in the future as we take on more teaching or training responsibilties.
In Adam’s field of Occupational Safety, a big trend right now is that of completing and complying with the new WHMIS – 2015 requirements.WHMIS is basically a system for categorizing chemicals and products and is used to ensure safe handling, storage, transportation and use of chemicals. These new 2105 requirements will require workers to be retrained to meet the new standards. Interestingly this trend in his field also ties into trends in the field of adult education, as much of the WHMIS-2015 training is done online.
As online education seems to be a trend in adult education, we discussed and wondered if the new WHMIS-2015 online courses will be developed to incorporate adult learning theories. As these courses are intended mostly for adults, hopefully the course frameworks will incorporate adult learning theories. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about the new WHMIS-2015 regulations you can check out Health Canada’s website here for more information.
As it’s back to work soon for fall classes, I’ve been attending a number of faculty training seminars and another trend in adult education that I became aware of is self-reflection. Adam and I discussed this as well. Self-reflection is strongly encouraged in my university for faculty and in the dental hygiene program for the students I teach. We discussed how when we both were first introduced to self-reflection years and years ago as students, we didn’t see much value in it and it was one of those tasks that we didn’t t look forward to doing. Over the years both of our opinions towards self-reflection have changed and we see a lot of value in it, both in how it lets us as instructors reflect on our own teaching and allows students to reflect on their own learning and see what does and doesn’t work for them. The difficult part will be getting students to see the value in the process of self-reflection.
We both felt that in the future as we take on more teaching and training responsibilities, we may find oureslves incorporating more online courses and online course work. Both of us agreed that we enjoyed the blog format in this course and would likely try to develop a similar aspect into our courses in the future.
Overall, our Skype call was pretty good and interesting. I have to admit I did initially feel kind of uncomfortable Skyping basically a stranger, (I don’t even like video calls with family and close friends!), but after a few minutes, it was easy and the conversation flowed naturally. It was a good learning experience and interesting to discuss the course work with a real live human being!