Q: Did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?
A: IDC ICT is not your traditional course. With few structured lessons and no tests it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the lack of direction. But what this course lacks in final exams and notes to study it makes up for with a variety of ways to express yourself in some very open ended assignments. Our placements were no exception to this. Really our only instructions with the assignments were to meet with our placement teacher an help them complete and implement their desired projects. I was fortunate enough to work with Ms. Law a teacher I am comfortable with and have experience as to what she expects in the work we produce. This made having the longest placement in the class a much easier and immersive experience. I really enjoyed the individuality and the sense of responsibility that came with our respective placements. Every class after our initial placement assignment was a work period where we were not constantly reminded to finish our teacher’s projects but just the idea of setting deadlines and meeting them and pushing along kept me interested. Though I could work at my own pace I would have to be mindful of the expectations set by Ms. Law on the quality of work I must produce as well as the time frame I had for each project.
Q: What went well with your placement?
A: I feel that communication between my team and Ms. Law went very well. Her prep conveniently lined up with our IDC class making it that much easier to set up any necessary meetings to discuss project information and progress. Ms. Law was always quick to reply to emails and remind messages which kept the entire group up to date with feedback and follow up material. Her quick response time and availability would also make acquiring the necessary materials (bio probes) and information (website domain names) much easier which stopped that from being a reason to stall our progress on the “various science-related activities” as she liked to call it.
Q: What difficulties did you have with your placement?
A: One difficulty would have to be communication within the group. Though we set up groups chats on Facebook and remind the two were rarely touched. At one point responsibilities had been mixed up, assumption had been made and in the end we would have to refer back to the original placement plan project to clarify and disputes. Another difficulty that really wasn’t under anyone’s control and was very specific to our placement was contacting OttawaU and Expedia in search of accommodations for a possible MSC trip to Ottawa. When contacting the two in hopes of acquiring a general quote we experienced long wait times, confused customer services reps and information that was inconveniently relayed. All in all adding up to a very frustrating experience that elongated the project unnecessarily.
Q: Do you consider your placement a success?
A: I would consider the placement a success as we were able to complete mos of the projects given to us by our supervising teacher. The final product was checked over multiple times by ourselves and our teacher ensuring they were completed to the best of our abilities and to her standards. Any project that we could not initially complete we went back to talk to Ms. Law about to discuss and difficulties we were having. In doing so we were able to make a more revised plan and still create a final product that although may not have been the original intent of our teacher was still a result that not only got the approval of Ms. Law but our entire team.
Q: Do you think the project is useful/has value for IDC students/teachers/students of placement teachers?
A: I do feel that this project to everyone involved in it. For the IDC students it gives them a sense of responsibility and independence as they are told to complete the projects of their respective teachers by a certain deadline. It gave students a sense of working in an “employee” and “superior” environment where they had to report to their teachers and get work done to the best of their abilities. The placement also benefits the supervising teacher and their class. With the projects completed in the placements students will be able to enjoy a more immersive learning experience for years to come with the new technology and materials we helped their teacher organize and incorporate.
Q: How could the project be improved for future IDC classes?
A: One thing I would change about this project for future IDC classes is to restrict the number of project a teacher would like to assign to one placement team. This is probably coming purely from the fact that I was assigned the longest placement in the class and at times it seemed a bit much. But when requesting certain projects to be done teachers need to take in to account the time and effort that goes in to producing good quality work. This would be done simply to ensure that the average time it takes to complete a placement is readily uniform through out the class and nothing to ambitious is placed on the students.