learning teaching workshop

CHEC short course: teaching and learning (day 2)

Yesterday was the second day of the CHEC short course for Teaching and Learning. Here are my notes:

Teaching teaching and understanding understanding (Google video, I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be available on that service)

How do you create an environment in which students are engaged? What does it mean for students to be “engaged”?

If / when students are disengaged, how do we “bring them back in”?

Many students practice “ritual engagement” or “passive compliance”, few students “rebel” (is it because of unequal power relationships and the fear of “punishment”?)

South African Survey of Student Engagement” (SASSE)

  1. Students need higher levels of challenge
  2. Active and collaborative learning (is this the same as groupwork?)
  3. Student – staff interaction
  4. Enriching educational experiences
  5. Supportive campus environment

Points 1-3 are often resisted by many students

How do we create “memorable teaching / learning moments” in the classroom?

If you don’t know your students (and they don’t know you) then your attempts at facilitating active learning may appear forced and awkward

Matching student activity to teaching intention is hard

Can skills (research, critical thinking, problem-solving, techniques, etc.) be taught or do they have to be practised?

I don’t think that good teaching is about manipulating student activity so that they cannot but do what you want them to do. Isn’t it about the student actually wanting to do it? It’s not about training the student how to move through the system.

We need to design learning activities in which the benefit of engaging in the activity is greater than the risk of not engaging. Missing a lecture isn’t a big deal if I can get the content anywhere and the assessment is based on content. However, if the “lecture” is about learning how to solve a problem, and the assessment is based on problem-solving, the risk of not attending is greater than the benefit of not attending.

“Speed dating” for concepts e.g. you are a muscle, move around the room and find the muscle with the closest function / position / share innervation / insertion / etc. Can be used to find / explore relationships between concepts.

Don’t make the assumption that what you have to say is of any real interest / relevance to anyone else in the room. You are not entitled to anyone’s attention just because you’re standing in the front of the class. You need to work for their attention and then work to hold it by being interesting and relevant.

By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.