Bob Bailey

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Opportunities and Challenges and Strategies – the learning environment

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A ‘Paper Chase’ Activity of different types of teaching. The opportunities and challenges they may have and the strategies that could be taken to resolve the challenges. Below are images and my notes I took down as we were discussing in our group.

ONE TO ONE:

Opportunities:

  • Hyper specific engagement
  • Opportunity for something new
  • Value for Money
  • Privacy (allows students space/opportunity – holistic) it’s a safe space
  • Mental health issue can be raised – openness to discuss worries / concerns in more depth

Challenges:

  • Time-management – keeping it on track (what is the tutorial for?)
  • Brain fry; too many students to sit with, too quickly (I have 65 students in my class)
  • Fear of repetition
  • Resource heavy
  • Too intense for some students – shyness?
  • Students wait to be given a tutorial (told what to do)
  • Attainment gap / micro aggressions / micro affirmations
  • Lack of mental health / pastoral training to address any issues that are mentioned
  • Being professional and consistent

 

 

 

 

CRITS:

Opportunities:

  • Students to critically reflect on own work
  • Helps students with different skills – who are not confident in their work but are confident to speak will be able to succeed
  • Student to develop their own voice
  • Student to engage in discussing / expressing their work – transferable skills to personal professional development
  • Peer learning and building on each other’s knowledge –
  • Flexible – lots of different models and alternative learning types
  • Flexible – shows range of interpretations from one brief

Challenges:

  • Group size (also time keeping)
  • Engage in vulnerability – anxiety / failure  vs engaging hyper critically with students who have gone much further than others
  • Time limit for each student with presentation and feedback
  • Format of sharing various media
  • Opinionated people might dominate / narrow perspectives
  • Struggle to always being constructive – communication
  • Difficulty of holding your role as facilitator
  • Managing defensiveness
  • Lack of participation also upsetting for those who get no feedback

 

 

LECTURES:

Opportunities:

  • Everyone same place same time
  • Efficient way of giving information
  • Diversity of opinions
  • Platform for industry for experts
  • Engaging
  • Focused
  • Efficient and direct
  • Information delivery
  • Debate
  • Possibilities
  • Portrait of opinion

Challenges:

  • Depth of knowledge shared
  • Large number of students – impersonal, lack of interraction
  • Intimidating for some students to contribute
  • Attendance
  • Students learning in second language – hard and scared to ask questions
  • Time keeping / engagement – some students go to sleep after lunch! Difficult to monitor every engagement
  • Information overload

Strategies:

  • Plan smaller groups (not always possible)
  • Encourage discussions amongst students
  • Short time (maybe 40mins max)
  • Add activities
  • Add pauses / moments of discussion – maybe object to refer to adding excitement and make lecture more engaging / YouTube
  • Lecture capture – upload on social media eg. Youtube/moodle could help with the overload and attendance (for absent students) though this makes it easier for lazy students to not bother to attend.
  • Clear bibliography, up to date sources by adding links to bottom of slides
  • Delivering lectures outside of a normal setting (new place relevant to the lecture)
  • Allowing students to send questions after or while lecture on an online platform eg, google doc – students could type questions anonymously and tutor would answer at the end of the lecture or at the start of the next lecture or could respond on the online document for students to go back and read. This will assure students that their questions will be answered even if they are shy and can’t speak up or approach tutors.

 

 

 

SMALL GROUPS:

Opportunities:

  • Participatory
  • Peer criticism / learning / teaching
  • Collaboration / collaborative
  • Rhizomatic learning can work in small groups
  • Make friends with people / peers not in usual group
  • Encourages students autonomy (independence)
  • Can offer confidence, some students are more confident in small groups
  • Safe space – less intimidating
  • Easy to adapt to content
  • Prepare for professional involvement
  • Highlights individual strengths

Challenges:

  • getting students to participate (lecturer needs to be a good facilitator) – and to engage equally with respect to each other
  • Designing a brief that enables everyone to collaborate
  • Getting students to see that group work is applicable in ‘Real World’ practice
  • try to stop students being individually grade focused
  • how to develop your own voice
  • reaching a group consensus
  • unengaged student
  • Lots of different types of small groups – group work, discussion groups, workshop and ideas
  • Giving group privacy – sometimes students can be very intrigued to what other groups are doing. If another group seems more vibrant, students in different groups can feel like they’ve missed out

Strategies:

  • Clearly define achievable goals at the start of the session – clear rationale defining benefits
  • Have a conversation with groups and explain that this is their mutual space to get along and share ideas
  • Encourage equal opportunity within groups – timing each student or giving students information before the session to prepare themselves so each student has something to say. However this can be a problem for really shy students, as they won’t attend.

 

 

I was struck by how much work and engagement this session had; it was a great way of getting loads of information down very quickly and, due to the quick turnarounds, it meant that we were looking at new contents/observations which focused us to work straight through for 30 minutes. Though the engagement of people within the group can be unequal.

A roaring success for me as it helps define how I might need to amend my teaching practice.

 

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