Choose Your Own Adventure: The Future of Education

In a world where change is the only constant, educators have started to ponder and share their perspectives on what education might look like in the not-so-distant future. This week, I read Laura McClure’s Ted-Ed blog about the future of education. McClure imagines a place where the traditional classroom structure, with its rows of desks and educator-led lectures, becomes an ancient practice. Instead, she states that education will become a choose-your-own-adventure, where innovation, creativity, and technology intersect and redefine how students gain knowledge and skills. So, what does this look like, and are academic institutions ready for this change?

Well, I am happy to tell you that I have already started to see the journey begin in some post-secondary programs. In a collaborative effort between several departments, program curricula are being rewritten to acknowledge the transformation education is currently undergoing. In McClure’s blog, she states that education will become a makerspace, where students learn through creative projects instead of test-based assessments. This transformation has started, and what used to be multiple-choice, true and false, and matching-based assessment questions have turned into case study, inquiry, and capstone-based projects. In addition, to reaffirm this transition, the older styles of assessing students now hinder articulation agreements and the brokering of programs with other post-secondary institutions. However, I acknowledge that this experience is not universal. As with everything in education, the process is slow, and the responsibility to make change looks different depending on your educational context. To bring some lightheartedness to this conversation, I asked ChatGPT to create an educational joke based on a popular meme.

Why did the education system start using the Spider-Man pointing meme? Because when it comes to taking responsibility for change, they would rather point to someone else and say, “You do it”!

Spiderman pointing at Spiderman pointing at Spiderman Blank Template - Imgflip

So, how do we navigate an ever-changing educational landscape where suggesting change often means taking on the role of a leader and ambassador for that change? Maintaining personal well-being and work-life boundaries are crucial in a profession already plagued with high levels of burnout. However, simultaneously, educators are told to modernize curricula, incorporate technology, and enhance creativity opportunities to meet the evolving needs of students in a rapidly changing world. How do we then strike a balance between driving innovation and preserving our sanity? From personal experience, collaboration with colleagues, leveraging available resources and support systems, and recognizing that change can be a collective effort is crucial. Educators can collectively champion new ideas and curricular enhancements, which distributes the workload and fosters a sense of shared responsibility and accountability. This can look like sharing resources through online collaborative platforms, like SharePoint, engaging in professional development workshops and networks, or creating professional learning communities, curricula committees, or cross-disciplinary teams. Together, educators can navigate the ever-changing educational landscape, driving innovation while safeguarding their well-being and that of our students. 

I encourage you to consider the same questions that I have pondered while writing this blog, discuss how the choose-your-own-adventure in education theory impacts your practice, and generate your own educational jokes through ChatGPT.

Navigating Sharenting in Education

This week in EC&I 821, we looked at media literacy and how digital citizenship should be taught to all ages, so people can effectively navigate the digital world responsibly. Although this week we focused on younger students currently in classrooms, I could not stop thinking back to when the internet and social media first became accessible to millennials and the amount of content that we posted. Through daily Facebook and Twitter status updates, millennials left a large digital footprint that was, unlike our Instagram posts, unfiltered. old facebook posts - meme

Thinking back to how I used social media and the internet in the 2000s and early 2010s, I attributed a lot of my missteps to a lack of understanding and guidance. My parents and teachers did not use social media, so they had no context of the platforms and I was left to navigate the digital wild west on my own. Therefore, growing up, I thought that being a responsible digital citizen was forwarding email chains to my friends so that I did not experience seven years of bad luck. Unfortunately, this lack of digital citizenship and media literacy training within my generation still has implications that affect children today. 

A couple of years ago, an elementary school I worked in had an incident that occurred due to a parent’s misuse of their child’s digital identity. A parent created an Instagram for their child at a very young age without much moderation. By the time the child was in grade two, they were already an Instagram influencer. This became problematic when the parent posted a back-to-school picture, which included their grade, teacher, and city location. By the second day of school, the administrators at the school started receiving phone calls from random people inquiring about the child’s school schedule and inappropriate gifts were sent to the school for the child. It became a significant security and safety threat for the school and the child. 

This practice of parents sharing information and images of their children on social media has been coined as sharenting. It is just one of the by-products of a generation that did not learn about responsible digital citizenship and media literacies. Although schools are now starting to teach students about responsible digital citizenship and media literacies, a gap of knowledge exists in older generations that still impacts schools.

So, looking forward, how does the education system approach sharenting, considering both the benefits and risks it poses to students? Is it the responsibility of educational initiatives or programs to raise awareness of the implications of sharenting? If so, how do schools address parents’ differing attitudes and behaviours across various social and cultural contexts? These are just a couple of questions I am left to ponder as I continue learning about digital citizenship and media literacies.

Course Prototype Overview

Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) 225 – Course Overview

As fast as it began, the Winter 2023 semester is now almost over! For EC&I 834, I created an online course prototype for Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) outbound mobility program. As I previously mentioned, the program has two courses, GWED 215 and GWED 225; however, I chose to build GWED 225 for my online course prototype. My course profile can be viewed on my EC&I blog page or by clicking on the previously embedded link. 

Creation Process

Throughout my education career, I have created various online courses for high school or higher education students. However, this course prototype was special because I was provided with the opportunity to push myself outside of my comfort zone, use new tools and features, and think more deeply about considerations for common concerns. I found that through this process, I was able to tailor my course prototype to a variety of learners that will come through the program. One of my favourite additions to the course is the ability for students to self-enroll within groups to complete the capstone project assignment as a group. This feature was previously disabled on Brightspace and I had to contact SIIT’s Brightspace administrator to enable the tool. Once I set it up and provided students with information on how to use and access the tool, it provided a great space for student-student interactions. Previously, in order to share files among themselves, students had to send files through Microsoft Outlook. However, Microsoft Outlook emails have size constraints on files, so some students were not able to share their larger files and had to upload them into Sharepoint. This eliminated the problem and provided students with an organized space to collaborate and work. It also helped to eliminate spacial barriers between students that are studying at various campuses throughout Saskatchewan. 

In education time is not necessarily on your side, so it was great to have the ability to slow down, think about the choices that I am making, and apply new concepts to a program that will help enhance each student’s experience. Below, you will find a link to my walkthrough video of GWED 225, highlighting the various tools used within the course prototype, module one, and module two. If you have any feedback or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out or comment on this blog post below! 

Link: Course Prototype Overview


This week, I was tasked with taking a deeper look at my current interactions within my course prototype on Brightspace. Are they meaningful and authentic? Do they facilitate discussion and collaboration? Hoping that my course would be engaging (I can only hope) I have included various forms of student-student and student-instructor interactions within my course prototype. However, there is always room to grow, learn, and add new variations that are tailored to my students!

Before online learning begins, within each program, in the first semester, students are provided with online learning guidelines and best practices. At the beginning of each course, I ensure that I reiterate those guidelines to students and I monitor student-student interactions throughout the course. I also engage the students in an online learning discussion where we discuss the guidelines and debate further best practices that are tailored to the students in the cohort. For example, my previous cohort preferred for discussions to be more organized and we implemented a respectful guideline that each student should virtually, or physically, raise their hand when they want to talk next. This helped eliminate the confusion of students talking over one another and students not talking because they did not want to interrupt. 

Below is a comprehensive list of what interactions I currently have implemented and my justification.

  1. Bongo
    • Brightspace’s virtual classroom, Bongo, is used for interactions between students and the instructor. It is very similar to Zoom and includes the same tools, like the whiteboard feature, collaboration functions, break out rooms, polls, and more. My course contains students from various campus locations (Yorkton, Prince Albert, and Regina) and a virtual classroom is definitely needed. Although Bongo is a great online space for discussion it has a sign-on feature that sometimes does not foster an engaging virtual classroom space. When students sign on, they have the option of joining only with audio or with video and audio. I find that at the start of the semester, students were very nervous choosing the video option and often chose the audio only option as the easy non-social option.
  2. Capstone project & groups
    • Students are given the option to complete their multimedia digital storytelling capstone project independently or in a group of two. If students chose to work as a group, I have enabled groups with Brightspace and students can self-enrol within groups that are connected to their capstone project. Within the groups, students are able to communicate amongst each other and use their group locker, which stores and shares files between group members. As well, they can hand in their project as a group within the assignment submission section. It is a really interesting space that instructors can monitor and it keeps everything centralized and organized for the students collaborating together.
  3. Travel Club
    • The Go Where Eagles Dare program includes a Travel Club, which is essentially a cohort name that the students chose in one of our synchronous meetings. I created a specific email for the Travel Club that they have access to through Microsoft Outlook. Besides the email, students actually meet as a Travel Club several times throughout the program and are able to participate in discussions, cultural events and activities, fundraising, storytelling, and assist with the next academic year recruitment. For example, although they are spread out amongst the province, students fundraised for some of their travel expenses through a Sarcan bottle drive. Anyone, no matter of their location, could donate to Sarcan and provide them with the specific code for our fundraising. As well, I found that by the students choosing a name and creating a space for them, they were more engaged with one another and the content. I even heard students say “what happens in Travel Club stays in Travel Club”, so it has definitely helped to build a sense of community even though they are spread out amongst the province. 
  4. Surveys 
    • Throughout each module are formative assessment surveys that students are required to complete. For example, one of the surveys is related to activities and excursions that interest them when in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Students are able to complete some research, suggest some activities and excursions, and provide me with any associated links. I am able to use this information to tailor the trip and experience towards student’s interests. This information is invaluable and the surveys are user friendly, organized, and an accessible way for students to inform me of their ideas and perspectives on a variety of topics. I always enjoy reading the surveys because it lets me know what is, or is not, working. 

If you have any suggestions for further student-student or student-teacher interactions please comment on my blog post below!

Go Where Feedback Dares!

After completing module one for my course, Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) 225, I was provided with feedback from my peers about the course shell, content, and overall course profile. Overall, the feedback was very positive and highlighted the layout and ease of use of my course. It’s always a wonderful feeling to receive great constructive feedback! 

During class last week, we were asked about the feedback process and one of my peers stated that it made them wish that they could talk to the creator to clarify their choices and build a deeper understanding. After reading my feedback, I definitely agree because I often design courses for non-traditional post-Secondary curriculum and I could tell that my reviewers struggled to fully grasp and situate my course. Therefore, I want to highlight a couple categories of feedback and further explain my course to help scaffold their learning, so they are well prepared for my final prototype and course walkthrough. 


Students within the Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) program at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) are required to be within their second-year of studies in their post-Secondary program. Therefore, students have already taken foundational courses in writing, communication, presenting, and several courses related to Indigenous peoples within Canada. Depending on their program of study, students may have taken Indigenous Care Practices, Indigenous Models of Healing and Practice, Indigenous Leadership, Indigenous Foundations, Indigenous Business I and II, Indigenomics, and more!

When students are accepted into the course, they bring a wealth of knowledge that is built upon through two courses. The pre-requisite course for GWED 225 is GWED 215, which is called International Work Study Prep. This course is an introductory course and includes four modules that cover travel documents, including obtaining all required travel documents with assistance from SIIT staff, health and safety while travelling, intercultural competencies, and preparing to travel by air. GWED 215 was created strategically to help remove barriers that Indigenous students may face when travelling domestically and internationally. Therefore, SIIT staff works with each student to fill out travel document applications, pays for all associated travel document fees, and submits applications on behalf or with students. As well, one of my reviewers inquired about intercultural competencies and the ability for students to learn about the Navajo and Pueblo peoples within New Mexico, as their culture, way of life, traditions, and language are very different from Indigenous peoples within Saskatchewan. This is thoroughly covered within the intercultural competencies module within GWED 215. This course is also kept open and accessible for students while they are completing GWED 225, in case they need to reference the materials. 


The feedback I received and our discussion last week about accessibility in an online course provided a great opportunity for me to further debate my choices within my course. My largest challenge by far related to accessibility is the actual learning management system (LMS), Brightspace. A lot of the links that are within my course open on a new webpage, which is not great for users on smartphones or students with low bandwidth. Although Brightspace has the capability to incorporate videos, documents, presentations, built in Brightspace tools, and has extensions options, when you create a link there is a warning that pops up (pictured below). The warning asks for confirmation to make the change, as even Brightspace knows that it might not work well. I have previously clicked yes to this warning and attempted to have links open within the same window, but when I viewed it from a learner perspective the links were often unfocused, took long to load, and slowed down my computer. I am really hoping that this issue is something that Brightspace designers are working on fixing! 

Confirmation regarding opening links within Brightspace.

Student Feedback 

For reflection journals, students have the capability to write their journal directly into Brightspace and view the rubric, with outlined learning outcomes attached, while typing to align their response to expectations. One of my reviewers inquired about the feedback process, as they could only view the course from a learner perspective. My favourite part of the feedback process is the ability to provide student’s feedback on various different levels. While marking students, I can provide feedback directly into the rubric category and overall feedback regarding the assignment. In the overall feedback section, I can compare their reflection to the rest of the class, upload media, attach links, and even provide the feedback using audio or video instead of text! I have used the video feature before to share my screen with students and walk through their work to provide further detail and examples. 

Feedback within rubric categories.

Overall feedback options.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading my feedback from my peers, especially when they come from a very different education and work background. It allows me to critically think about my specific choices, the impacts I have, and also reiterates how cool my job is! I am very lucky to work in an institution that culturally understands and supports their staff and students and actively works towards breaking down industry and historic barriers. I also get to travel domestically and internationally frequently, which is always a fun bonus! The projects that I am currently working on for my institution are exciting and quite revolutionary in design, so I am thrilled that I am able to share a glimpse into one of my projects with all of you. 

Flip or Flop?

Flip: The Video Discussion Application

Flip, previously Flipgrid, is Microsoft’s free video discussion application that allows students and educators to connect in small groups using videos to build a safe learning environment. Essentially, Flip is Microsoft’s educational version of the video viewing and messaging applications Snapchat and TikTok. However, unlike TikTok and Snapchat, Flip focuses on educators, organizations, and community builders. Flip seeks to provide its users with a platform to share their voice and creativity with confidence while connecting with their peers, build a secure online community for your club or organization to strengthen communication, plan events, share milestones, and share your story. Flip is available as a web-based application or downloadable on the App Store or Google Play.

So…What Is Flip?

Flip is a video discussion tool that allows teachers to post videos with text as topics, which is then shared with students who are prompted to respond. Responses are recorded using the software’s camera to create dynamic videos that can be recorded an unlimited amount of times and users can add text, emojis, stickers, drawers, or custom stickers. Flip is designed to engage students in group discussions, without some of the social pressures students face within classroom settings. Therefore, the application is great for use when teaching blended, hybrid, or asynchronous courses. 

Alright, But How Does It Work?

Surprisingly, the process for Flip is pretty straightforward, especially if you have experience using Snapchat, TikTok, and other Microsoft Office 365 applications. Educators can sign up for a Flip account for free using a Microsoft, Google, or Apple account. Upon your first login, it will automatically prompt you to create your first group and provides you with lots of group categories, such as classrooms, clubs, friends and family, events, gaming, hobbies, professional development, and more! For my Flip investigation, I chose the classroom group and I was prompted to select the level of learners that would be using the application. I could choose from all levels ranging from Elementary to University learners and after my selection, I was prompted to name the group and select a featured background image for the group. Afterwards, the application created an invitation link and QR code and I was given the option of allowing access to anyone who had the link or just the people that I approve. Once I had completed the setup, I was now able to create topics to start discussions with students and chose the time limit for videos and add photos, stickers, or links. After I made my selections, I was given another link to share with students or post on a Learning Management System (LMS). Students can click the link, watch the video, and post a video response, which can be commented on by other students. “Flip currently offers more than 25,000 lessons and activities, and more than 35,000 topics, helping you to create new Topics or use existing ones quickly and easily”(Edwards, 2022).

Flip or Flop?

Flip was created to do one thing, facilitate online video discussions; therefore, similar to any application, there are benefits, limitations, and drawbacks associated.


    • Removes social pressures that students may feel when discussing topics in person.
    • Allows discussions to occur between students in asynchronous, hybrid, or blended learning models.
    • User-friendly and easy to understand, especially if you have experience with Snapchat or TikTok.
    • Guest mode:
        • Educators can integrate topic guests into discussions through Guest Mode. This feature can be utilized to bring in specialized speakers and various opinions outside of the immediate community.
    • Flip shorts:
    • Video moderation:
        • Educators can control the content submitted by students by turning on video moderation and only allowing approved videos to be posted.
    • Age-specific ideas for remote learning with flip.
    • Free live professional development events.
    • On-demand training.
    • Opportunity to become a Flip Certified Educator.
    • Available step-by-step guide for educators.
    • PowerPoint presentation, Google Slides presentation, Keynote presentation, and Smubble templates available.
    • Stop-motion capability.
    • Microsoft-owned application.


    • Privacy:
        • The largest drawback by far is the privacy aspect of the application. Once students have created a video, it is shared amongst all participants in the group, which allows other students to view videos that may contain sensitive information. Students currently cannot send just their teacher or educator a video directly. As well, in Guest Mode, all videos that are created can be seen by anyone that uses the Flip application. It notes on the website that data, including personal information, may be shared with third parties, but you can request that data be deleted. This concern is echoed in the reviews of the application on the Google Play store.
    • Data usage:
        • The second largest drawback is the amount of data the application uses. Once again, the reviews bomb the application due to the amount of battery and data that is required. One user complained that one video drained their entire battery, took 5 minutes to upload, and caused the application to crash 4 times. If you have any students who have limited access to fast and secure internet, this application is not meant for you or your class.
    • Bugs:
        • The application seems crash sometimes when users are creating, editing, and uploading videos.
    • No save or draft feature:
        • There is no save or draft feature in the application. Therefore, if students want to film a video, edit it, and upload it, it must all be done in one sitting and without closing the application or having it crash on them. Furthermore, if someone wants to reshoot a particular part of the video they have to start from scratch.
    • Tech requirements:
        • Although this application is available through a website and downloadable on most major phone application stores, it requires students to have a couple of expensive pieces of technology that may not be realistic depending on your student demographic. 
    • Better options available:
        • There are better applications and tools already built within Learning Management Systems that can do the same discussion task.

Overall Thoughts: Flop

When I first saw the application, I was excited because it was owned by Microsoft and my work relies on Microsoft Office 365 applications. I did not understand why I have never heard of the application before. However, I now understand why it is not well-known. Although the application can provide users with a different way of doing discussions, it is riddled with drawbacks and user reviews that cannot be ignored. Flip can be great if you have students who prefer online discussions and are creative. It can also be a great place for students to participate in safe online discussions with other specialists around the world. Teachers and educators can also access Flip’s step-by-step guides, already built topics, and partake in professional development opportunities online. Unfortunately, this application will not work for the demographic of students I work with, but it could be great for you!


Course Profile – Go Where Eagles Dare!


Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) 225

Outbound Mobility & Capstone Project

Course Profile

Course Overview

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) outbound mobility program, Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED), is a pilot program funded by the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), Global Skills Opportunities (GSO), and the Oyateki Partnership. The GWED program provides full-time post-Secondary SIIT students with the opportunity to participate in international travel in their second year of studies.

GWED 225 is the second course within SIIT’s GWED program for outbound mobility. Upon successful completion of GWED 215, International Work Study Prep, in the first term of the student’s second year of studies, students will participate in GWED 225, Outbound Mobility and Capstone Project, in the second term of their second year of studies. In GWED 225, students will apply the knowledge learned throughout the program and outbound mobility experience to three reflection journals and a multimedia digital storytelling capstone project. The formative and summative assessments in GWED 225 will allow students to use critical thinking, communication, collaboration, organization, accountability, networking and relationship building, system thinking, and leadership skills. Therefore, students will apply cross-curricular knowledge to real-world situations that will apply to their future education, business, and/or employment opportunities.

Target Student Population 

The Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) program is targeted toward full-time post-Secondary students currently attending Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). Recruitment of eligible students occurs within their first-year and second term of studies with admission to the program opening in their second year and the first term of studies at SIIT.


Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) is an Indigenous institution governed by First Nation leaders with a learning community made up of more than 90% Indigenous students and 70% Indigenous staff. All students within the Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) program have self-identified as Indigenous peoples. The age range of students within the program is 21 to 46 years old with gender-conforming and LGBTQ2S+ students. Students within the GWED program are located in Prince Albert, Yorkton, and Regina.

Course Format

GWED 225 is delivered to students using a hybrid model of learning. The course materials and assessments are delivered using an asynchronous model through the Learning Management System (LMS), Brightspace by D2L. However, students within the course meet several times using Brightspace’s virtual classroom streaming platform, Bongo, to discuss fundraising, potential activities and excursions, and to present their capstone projects to their peers and instructor. For the outbound mobility portion of the program, students and SIIT staff will be in-person with technology-enhanced learning.

Course Toolset 

The course will be delivered to students using SIIT’s LMS, Brightspace by D2L. The course will include print materials, visualizations and graphics, and other interactive resources as instructional tools. The content for the course will be set up as modules and can be located under the ‘content’ tab within Brightspace. To assess student learning, formative and summative assessment tools found within Brightspace, such as assignments, checklists, quizzes, rubrics, self-assessments, and surveys, will be utilized. To engage with students, the course will also utilize Brightspace’s communication tools, which include the virtual classroom streaming platform, Bongo, and Brightspace’s built-in instant messaging, emailing, activity feed, and online discussion board.

Course Content & Learning Outcomes

Within the course, students will prepare for outbound mobility through SIIT’s curriculum, which was designed in partnership with SIIT Curriculum Writers, SIIT’s Curriculum and Learning department, and SIIT post-Secondary staff. The designated learning outcomes for GWED 225 are the following:

          1. Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills
          2. Display critical thinking throughout summative assessments
          3. Integrate prior knowledge into real-world applications.
          4. Demonstrate self-reflection, interpersonal, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
          5. Participate in outbound mobility.
          6. Construct a final capstone project that reflects your summation of learning.

Assessment Strategies 

GWED 225 is a pass-or-fail course that will use a variety of formative and summative assessments to properly assess the student’s learning. To assess students formatively, students will complete several polls, surveys, and checklists and engage in discussions that utilize open-ended questions, critical thinking, and reflection and summarization skills. As well, students will complete several summative assessments throughout the course including three reflection journals and a multimedia digital storytelling capstone project. Therefore, students will be assessed using continuous, subjective, and criterion-directed assessments. 

Considerations for Common Concern

    1. Low bandwidth and internet connection
        • Since the course content is delivered using an online asynchronous model of learning, there are always concerns regarding students’ bandwidth and internet connection. At Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), all post-Secondary diploma program students are provided with a laptop, which is included in their tuition fees. However, some students travel to their respective main campus or satellite campus from First Nations and rural communities. If students are experiencing low bandwidth or internet connection problems, they can request to loan a NED Connect device from SIIT, which will provide students with a hotspot internet connection. As well, major components within the course will be available for offline download, so students can still access the materials and assessments without an internet connection. 
    2. Cultural considerations
        • The previous course, GWED 215, prepared students for cultural differences between Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan and New Mexico and travel stresses, such as culture shock. However, since all of the students enrolled in the Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) program self-identified as Indigenous peoples, cultural considerations and protocols must be incorporated in GWED 225 as well. Before outbound mobility occurs, a female and male SIIT Elder in Residence will be given tobacco to discuss pipe ceremony and feast protocols with students, so students can participate in an optional pipe ceremony and feast before departure. During outbound mobility, an SIIT Elder will be available throughout the experience to assist with any questions, travel anxiety, cultural protocols, and just to talk to. As well, smudge with several different medicines, picked locally in Saskatchewan, will be available for students to access each day. During the outbound mobility experience, students will have the opportunity to visit Indigenous communities in New Mexico, such as Taos Pueblo and Acoma (Sky City), and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
    3. Digital citizenship and classroom management
        •  Students are expected to comply with SIIT’s policies and procedures regarding academic and non-academic misconduct, which can be found in SIIT’s Student Handbook. As well, the overview section, found within the content tab in Brightspace, will highlight digital citizenship policies.


I have chosen to use Brightspace by D2L as my Learning Management System (LMS) for this course, as I am quite familiar with the platform, have administration and instructor access, and it is for SIIT, which uses Brightspace as their designated LMS. As well, I want to use this opportunity to utilize more functions and tools found within the LMS that I previously did not integrate into other courses. I needed to create a hybrid course that includes elements of an asynchronous, synchronous, blended, and in-person model of learning. The demographic and location of students that will be in the Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) program will differ each year, but the materials and assessments will continue to be easily accessible regardless of these factors. Through the creation of a functional, engaging, and easily adaptable course I can remove some barriers and challenges that SIIT’s predominantly Indigenous student population may face regarding international travel and learning.

Blended Learning Experiences

What are your experiences and perceptions related to your own use of blended learning and/or technology integration in your professional context? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced?

I have a variety of experiences with blended learning in Secondary and Post-Secondary contexts. When working as a Secondary teacher, I used blended learning almost daily in my classrooms. At the time, I was teaching primarily English as an Additional Language (EAL) students. It was critical to use blended learning techniques, as most of the students were at different learning levels. The ability to integrate technology into my daily plans allowed the students the freedom and flexibility to work at their own pace. As well, since the majority of the students were at different places in their learning, it gave me more time to work individually with students, personalize the content, and build a classroom community that thrived on inquiry-based assignments and student-led learning. In order to do this successfully, I utilized the institution’s Learning Management System (LMS), Google Classroom, to create tailored lessons, extra practice assessments, fun surveys and Kahoots, and a discussion board that allowed students, from any level, to ask their peers questions. One of the largest challenges that I experienced teaching EAL with a blended learning model was the time commitment. Since I was not just preparing materials, content, and assessments for one level, but typically two to four, it required more time than was allocated to me during my prep periods. As well, the ability to book and use computers was a challenge since they were in high demand and the school did not have enough for students to use.

Eventually, I transitioned into the Post-Secondary realm and began instructing in the Mental Health & Wellness program at my institution. Unfortunately, I made this transition just as COVID-19 hit. Thankfully, my institution understood the importance of learning in person and adopted a hybrid blended model of learning instead switching to fully online. This allowed me to connect with students in the classroom by holding discussions and debates, but also build content and assessments online using the LMS Brightspace for students to access and work through on their own time. However, as we all know, students get sick. Due to this, I would often have students who could only join our in-person days through Zoom or Microsoft Teams while other students were learning in person. This created a challenge for me since I did not have a microphone, so I was metaphorically tied to the front of the room near my laptop so the students online could hear and see me. Walking throughout the classroom to engage students, hosting fun learning activities like gallery walks, and discussions suddenly became challenging. Students online had difficulties hearing the students in the classroom, information would get misunderstood, and I could see the frustration from the in-person students who would rather be online. Although this particular model of blended learning had its benefits, I found that the challenges outweighed the benefits.

After a year of teaching in Post-Secondary, I was given the opportunity to become a Program Coordinator for Post-Secondary Studies and I oversaw the Mental Health & Wellness and Business Administration programs. As part of my role, I helped assist, educate, and manage the instructors in my programs. Due to this, I was able to witness their challenges and successes with the blended learning model. The majority of the instructors used blended learning in a similar manner as I did when teaching through COVID-19 since we had no other choice. However, once the programs switched to fully in-person again, instructors were able to transition to a blended learning model shown in the video linked here. The instructors were visibly less stressed when the transition happened because they could again focus on student success, instead of being pulled in multiple directions. As well, by this time I had also spent time writing curriculum and assessments for the institution, so I was able to create development course shells on the institution’s LMS, Brightspace, for instructors to export and import into their courses to reduce their prep load. This also helped make the institution’s courses universal amongst their campuses, so students at each campus would be reading the same materials and assessed in a similar way. In addition, the LMS shells strengthened our institution’s articulation and brokerage agreements.

Blended learning can look a variety of different ways and each way has its own benefits and problems associated. Just like how each classroom is different and diverse, there is no set specific way that blended learning must look, which allows instructors to tailor each course for the students that they have.

Blended Learning from


Get To Know Me!

Kwey (hello) and welcome to my introduction blog post for EC&I 834!

My name is Chantal Stenger and I am of mixed descent, part European and part Wolastoqey First Nations from Bilijk (Kingsclear) First Nations. I am a graduate student at the University of Regina taking the Masters of Indigenous Education program. In my professional career, I am the Academic Initiatives Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). I oversee the Go Where Eagles Dare (GWED) outbound mobility program and engage in internal and external initiatives taken by the institution.

In my professional career, I have had the opportunity to create, develop, maintain, and review asynchronous and synchronous online courses and blended learning courses. Previously, when I was a Secondary teacher and Post-Secondary instructor, I created synchronous and blended learning courses for students in my classes. In my current position, I assisted in the revision of the outbound mobility program by creating a new program that included the development of new courses, syllabi, learning outcomes, and assessments with the implementation of the courses on the current Learning Management System (LMS), Brightspace. By taking this course, I hope to further my knowledge about course development and apply new techniques and skills to my current job.

If you are interested in keeping up with me and my professional career, you can connect with me on LinkedIn.


Chantal Stenger