The focus of the session today was on ‘Planning to Teach’. The buzz term throughout was ‘Constructive Alignment’. The students (again, as is the philosophy of the whole approach within this course) went through the triad of : ‘this is what you are going to do; now do it; this is why you did it’.
I came away from this session today reflecting even more on my thoughts from last week – this Spring course is such a different experience from the Autumn course. I suggested some reasons last week and I’ll summarise them again here, with some additions and embellishments:
- In response to the feedback from the Autumn cohort, the course has been substantially modified – both in content and delivery. And, most importantly, in its design. The more specifically STEM orientation (recall, it is a STEM cohort of participants) is much appreciated. Excitingly, the opportunity to do this will feed directly into the quality of the OER to be made available.
- There is not any of the negativity that emanated from the Autumn cohort. I posited last week that this was in part (a big part) because of the adjustments that have been made to the course. But also, I think it is because the participants are further along in their own journey. Many of them are new to Exeter, new, even, to the UK. They are now getting into their stride.
- We have changed our strategy to obtain verbal feedback. Rather than the approach used in the Autumn, when we had a ‘formal – informal’ focus group, which came with a free lunch but was recorded, we now conclude the session with an informal time over coffee and (rather boring) biscuits. We talk about the weather (inevitably) and much other trivia but surreptitiously steered conversations to our agenda. The exchanges are more genuine and authentic. In one such conversation it transpired that an Astronomy PhD student was in the process of creating some YouTube resources and releasing them under a CC licence!
Posted under Focus Group
This post was written by Tom Browne on February 11, 2011