Innovative practice is part of who I am and I enjoy exploring new ways of doing things. Innovation is defined as “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value”. This kind of research translation is key to my clinical practice, and in education the word ‘innovation’ seems to more closely match what happens in this space.
In my teaching practice, creative ideas often come about because of the need to translate research into occupational therapy practice. It comes about as a result of conversations, reading and reflecting on what I have observed online as well as among my innovative colleagues. Innovative thinking in research comes easily to me, I often have to think again to bring this into my teaching. It is becoming increasingly intuitive as I see understand the connections better between my research/clinical and pedagogical practices.
When designing an in-class experience it is best to start in ways that have the least impact on student grades then scale up based on feedback about what works. In that way, experimentation is safe for students.
Innovation requires experimentation, which means it is destined to fail at some point(s). Failure is fantastic when I learn from it. In order to learn about what works and what does not work, I collect as much data from students as possible. In the beginning, much of the data is anecdotal or observational. Validated measures are used both in quality assurance measures and formal research studies.
Pivoting is what happens when we change our direction. Knowing when to pivot is essential to effective innovation.
Wish list for innovation
My expertise in these areas is evolving as I experiment with their use.
- Virtual online simulation development
- Negotiated grading
- Syndicated student blogs
- Open education
- H5P interactive video
- Collaborative in-class essay writing using Google Docs
- Video production and use
- Liberating Structures
- Virtual reality
- Flipped classrooms (used since 2010)