Louis Baldassano
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How Cohort Learning Helps Concordia Portland Students Work Together to Become Better Teachers

By Louis Baldassano January 17, 2013

Cohort. What a funny way to say classmates, colleagues, friends and professors.

But that’s what we call our groups in Concordia University-Portland’s online Master of Education Program.

Louis BaldassanoAs I progressed through the MEd Program at Concordia Portland, one of the best aspects of the program was the use of cohort learning and collaboration.  There are many reasons why I feel this way and I would like to share some with you.

  • It had been a long time since I was a student and I was very worried about getting back into the student mode and being able to get the assignments completed.  This process of sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences made the transition much easier.
  •  When you struggled with an idea, it was nice to know that you could get honest feedback from your peers and instructors. What’s more, in the online-learning world, that two-way conversation can happen anytime, anywhere.  The give-and-take was very helpful and it let you know that you are not alone in this endeavor.
  • Being part of a collaborative learning environment served as a great learning experience because we were able to observe the different learning/teaching environments that exist. You saw that in many cases the problems or situations you face are faced by others and you also saw that your situation may be a heck of a lot better than you thought.
  •  I learned that what I thought was the “best” method of teaching may not be so.  The many ways my peers in the cohort approached situations made me think about how I was doing things, which lead to me making adjustments necessary for my students.

Every time I think about the experience that I have just completed, I get an unbelievably good feeling. For me, it’s great just to know that I was able to accomplish getting my MEd online and that every course I took made me a better teacher. The feeling is invaluable.

My Concordia Portland online degree experience also introduced me to a number of outstanding people, instructors and peers. They made the experience fly by and helped to create a very enlightening and nurturing educational atmosphere.

Louis Baldassano graduated with a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in science. He teaches at Monsignor Farrell High School on  Staten Island in New York.

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