Month: November 2015

Plain is Good..Is Plain Good?

Last week I attended a two day work shop, which was presented by Dr. Bosley -The Plain Language Group. This work shop provided me many useful tools when writing and editing material. At the end of the work shop, it was required for all participants to present a 5-10 minute mini lessons. The purpose of this mini lesson, was to ensure everyone understood “something” from the work shop, and were able to present it to others.

So what is plain language?

Plain language is a simple way to communicate with others. This could be through documents, e-mails, texts, websites, books, talking, blogs, etc.

The work shop provided a 7 step checklist for writing more efficiently and more effectivity.

  1. Planning
  2. Drafting
  3. Revising
  4. Planning and Analyzing
  5. Organizing
  6. Writing with style
  7. Formatting with design

By following this checklist and using these tools, I’m able to transform a document and make it simpler to read. Please compare the two examples below:


BEFORE The reason computerization of this process is being recommended is because it reduces the time required to obtain data and gives more accurate data.

AFTER We recommend computerizing the process to get accurate data more quickly.

The AFTER version is much easier to read. This was done by simply changing the way sentences are wrote.

What else?

When writing we must also consider the following:

  • Use active voices
  • Use positive language
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Minimize wordiness
  • Limit Jargon
  • Use transitions
  • Add visuals

Now what?

Working in the Middle East and teaching technical data to ESL students (English as a Second Language), is a difficult task. Having tools to help simplify learning resources and assessments, will add value for both the student and the instructor.

Currently, my department at CNA-Q is undertaking a redevelopment project. This project consists rewriting all related curriculum documents. Having this new knowledge allows me to teach others the importance of “Plain Language”. Over the next few months, I will complete a Train-To-Trainer session with my peers to ensure they have the skills to simply communicate with others.




Flip It!

I read an article a few months ago, where Eric Mazur an university professor at Harvard was talking about the benefits of using a flipped class with his students. He said that the most valuable tool that can be used in a flipped classroom is a…..”Book”. Having students read or research information before showing up to class is very effective. This professor also believes that technology can create more unique ways to flip a class., but he chooses to stay away from using technology, as the simple “book” concept has effectively worked for the past 20+ years.

Sometimes simple solutions works great, but not necessarily innovative for the students.

Who are you?

Susan Cain presented a 20 minute Ted Talk session explaining the differences between introverts and extroverts. In this video she defined, that introverts are people who learn more efficient when working alone or in small groups. They are generally quiet, but not shy, and tend to think better when doing things themselves. Where extroverts are outgoing, and work better in social situations, as they become more productive when working with others. Extroverts need to be social! Introverts need personal space!….Click Here to continue reading

Excuse me do I know you?

Understanding who your students are will help you succeed in the classroom. We must put ourselves in our students shoes and recognize that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Like us , we have good days and bad days. Sometimes its work related and other times its personal.

As an instructor we must support our students, and motivate them to succeed. Motivation can be expressed in a variety of ways. We can simply encourage them to become leaders. We can tell them why its important to attend class. We can express our interest, and show them that others care. We can help them find reasons to learn and succeed.

Motivation is key in education. Its up us, to help our students maintain it. We must always show up to class expressing a positive attitude, so our students feel welcomed and secure. Just remember, our job as instructors is to educate our students and encourage them to achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances.

Enjoy the Video!!