Paul Folkestad

Paul FolkestadCHEP


france, italy and the oregon coast


I myself am a late-boomer/early-genxer. Something instilled in me early on was personal responsibility, I.E. the need to manage the burdens of school, bills, and social obligations. I will admit it took me a while. I notice in certain instances with GenY learners that they need constant reminding of deadlines. Perhaps there's a tech tool that I might incorpoarte where these students can take ownership of these issues?

I concur. We have had discussions among campus leadership about offering computer tutoring. The naysayers cite the GenY stereotype of tech-savviness. The truth is many are capable and can adapt, and they have proficiency with "devices" such as Ipads and smartphones, but lack skills in excel, word, publisher and powerpoint. It's almost as if they are "digital immigrants" with these formats.

Other than simply looking something up, are there ways I can have students use their devices to enhance a group learning experience?

Discussion Comment

I have found that many of my gen y students want to view their grades and feedback on the student portal very soon after an assignment or test. I have found at the same time that while the numbers don't lie, they don't tell the whole story. I like to have a discussion with each student about "what their grade means". In addition, I like to give students the opportunity to "defend their answer" after a test. I try to score the tests as soon as possible, get the results posted, then get right to the review of the test… >>>

I tell my students all the time that most people lose their jobs for lack of soft skills. The people we tach at culinary school, most of them want to be behind the scenes cooking. They are not particularly fond of being in the dining room and greeting people or dealing directly with customers. For that reason they may tend to dismiss soft skill development as unnecessary. Quite to the contrary, i like to emphasize the fact that as cooks we work in small, overheated spaces in highly stressful conditions. Thos with solid interpersonal skills will gravitate to leadership roles.

One method we like to use in cooking school is a "kickstarter"; it's basically a way to break the ice and get students to offer feedback on an event or topic that may be only loosely related to the curriculum. Every Wednesday, for example, I would read the New York Times restaurant review at the start of class. It became easier to elicit feedback and "prime the pumps", because we could all relate to a dining experience either as a customer, cook or server.

I have yet to teach an online learning course, but many of these strategies are helpful even in "Brick&Mortar" classes. There is still alot of email and mIM communication with students, along with grading posted on a student portal. These ideas can help facilitate better classroom learning as well; can help students be more prepared when they come to class.

Discussion Comment

Interesting topic in that I need to have a conversation with two students today about learning obstacles. It seems these two look for every possible means to avoid class: scheduling appointments during class time, extended breaks to visit food carts or smoke, etc. I intend to use some of the info here to help them understand the tangible benefits of what they are doing and how it affects their goals.

I think from this course we can be put at ease that our jobs will not "be outsourced to robots". The gist of it seems to be that adaptive learning is the future; it's what our students want, and if done right it will enhance our ability to teach. We face a broad spectrum of learners daily, and if we think one method of delivery will work, then we are sadly mistaken. It's time to embrace adaptive learning not only to help students achieve goals, but to make our jobs more interesting, and dare i say it, easier!

I concur.… >>>

I like to ask them to share a little when we first meet. It almost acts as a pre-test in some way; helps me guage their experience and cooking ability.

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