This week's activities have encouraged me to add more theory behind my lesson planning and instruction. The first area I need to improve in is catering more to the visual learners. A long time ago I had a supervisor who liked flow charts and I had to create one for every major work process we had using Visio. A challenge to this was that I was the only one with the Visio software so I printed them for the supervisor to see. I don't need to see things to understand them, so I provided these charts to my trainees but I didn't attach too much importance to them. Perhaps in addition to these charts, or maybe as a replacement for them, I will provide different types of graphic organizers for my trainees to enhance their understanding of accounting concepts. For example, using Marzano's first strategy, Identifying Similarities and Differences, I could have the students compare different account types. This way they would learn what is meant by zero-balance accounts (the accounts we need to keep at zero) versus normal balance accounts (those that can have either a debit or credit balance).
Note-taking, another of Marzano's strategies is another concept I need to explore in greater detail. I have seen several trainees take note after note only to not be able to find what they are looking for. I've mentioned to a couple of them that they have too many different places they are taking notes in--the same notes are being entered over and over again. It seems like the majority of students don't refer back to their notes, which I find extremely irritating. I don't understand why one would bother to take notes if they won't be consulted. There are several times when I tell trainees not to take notes, I want them to concentrate on the overall picture and watch me perform a task several times instead of trying to copy down everything I say (which Marzano says is the least effective way to take notes anyway).
I put a lot of effort into creating new learning activities for another assignment this week because I really do see them as an opportunity to make my instruction better and I'm looking forward to getting a new group of trainees soon so I can try them out!