Reflective commentary

In the past, this section included a reflective commentary of my thoughts on teaching ideas, strategies and methodologies. I was usually prompted to write here when I read something that I think had some bearing on my teaching practice, and was more often than not a simple summary of the main ideas around what I read. I've since decided to move all reflective commentary to my main blog at /usr/physio.

Bloom's Cognitive Domain

I put this short review together so that I could have a reference for when I'm creating assignments and assessments. Too often I find myself falling into the trap of “just getting it done”, and not spending enough time on the design part of it. Hopefully, with this on my desk, it'll be easier to apply.

1. Knowledge

  • Exhibit memory of previously-learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers
  • Knowledge of specifics - terminology, specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics - conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field - principles and generalizations, theories and structures

Example: What are the 6 material principles of justice in resource allocation?
Verbs: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state

2. Comprehension
Demonstrative understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating main ideas:

  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Extrapolation

Example: Compare the underlying principles of Rights ethics vs. Duty ethics
Verbs: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate

3. Application Using new knowledge. Solve problems to new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way
Example: Based on your understanding of the SA Constitution and the Bill of Rights, discuss the following situation.
Verbs: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write

4. Analysis Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations:

  • Analysis of elements
  • Analysis of relationships
  • Analysis of organizational principles

Example: Examine the following excerpt from the TRC hearings
Verbs: analyse, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test

5. Synthesis Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions:

  • Production of a unique communication
  • Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
  • Derivation of a set of abstract relations

Example: Rewrite all sections of the Bill of rights that relate to health, in a way that you believe would be more beneficial to the population, justifying the changes you made with suitable references
Verbs: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write

6. Evaluation Present and defend opinions by making judgements about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria:

  • Judgements in terms of internal evidence
  • Judgements in terms of external criteria

Example: Do you believe that abortion should be an option for pregnant, teenage mothers? Motivate your answer by explaining both points of view
Verbs: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate

Michael Rowe 2010/01/28 08:26

Review of 2009

This post is a quick reflection on some of the main teaching activities I experimented with during 2009, some were successful, others not so much.


Paeds wiki assignment: groups of students were required to write a collaborative article on a common paediatric condition, using a wiki Lessons learned:

  1. Groupwork was a bigger problem than the technology, students didn't have a good understanding of group dynamics, or how to work together to achieve a shared objective, even though they were given clear objectives and expected learning outcomes (this had implications for how I thought about providing students with content…they had all the content they needed, but it wasn't enough…content alone does little to improve students' understanding)
  2. Students moved traditional groupwork methodologies into an online environment
  3. Little real engagement with the features of the wiki that would facilitate collaborative work
  4. Great feedback around peer review
  5. Generally negative feedback around the use of wikis
  6. Didn't do a workshop prior to assignment, which would've helped many students get a better understanding of how a wiki could be used to work well together
  7. I conducted a survey following the assignment in an effort to understand how they had experienced it. The data will be used to write a peer-reviewed article

Ethics blogging assignment (4th years): students were required to write 2 reflective blog posts after reading relevant articles dealing with issues around human rights in healthcare Lessons learned:

  1. Much more effective use of technology i.e. links, comments (maybe the structured blogging environment - Wordpress - was more familiar to students that trying to learn wiki syntax?)
  2. Blog lent itself more closely to the reflective component of the assignment
  3. Interaction with each other worked well (it was however, a required component)
  4. Generally excellent feedback from students, who reported that they'd like to see more of it in the course
  5. 4th year research project: survey of students after the blog, the data will be used for a peer-reviewed article

Neuro “learning object” assignment: students were required to create a learning object that satisfied a short set of criteria Lessons learned:

  1. Some students did well to explore a more creative side of themselves, others tried to use their existing frameworks to force the assignment into
  2. On reflection, I realised that I was expecting students to make use of ideas that I was only beginning to understand, without having first spent several workshops explaining these concepts to them
  3. This assignment will need lots of work if I re-visit it

Ethics portfolio assignment (3rd years): students were required to collect a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their exploration of any idea that came within the themes of; South African, Human Rights, and Healthcare Lessons learned:

  1. Again, providing students with content around what a portfolio is, has little bearing on their understanding of…again, evidence that content is not equal to understanding
  2. Even though most students missed the point of what a portfolio is, most had fun with the assignment e.g. a wonderful poem on HIV/AIDS, a series of blog posts on the doctors strike, and a faux newspaper special edition dealing with the Caster Semenye story.

Tests and exams

I still don't put enough effort into selecting my questions for the appropriate level of the students. I had a few exams returned from moderators with suggestions for the difficulty of a few questions to be raised so that they would be more challenging. After some thought, I realised that I should actually be basing my assessment on an established theoretical framework, and the most obvious one would be the Cognitive domain of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. I'm now trying to make sure that all of my assessment tasks have at least some component of an underlying framework on which I can justify the question / task.

Conferences and presentations

I presented at 2 conferences in 2009 ("blogging" at SAAHE and "wikis" at HELTASA), and while I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities, it struck me just how much work is involved in putting together a presentation. I made a decision that in 2010, I would attend 2 conferences, but not present. Instead, I'm going to use the time I would normally spend on a presentation, on a publication.

Michael Rowe 2010/01/24 12:17

Creating a culture of learning in an institution / department

It can be difficult to expect teachers and other staff to naturally accept a scholarship of teaching and learning, which makes it necessary to actively develop a culture in which learning activities can take place. A place where “…learners of all ages are not just memeorizing facts and mastering skills — but working with new knowledge, constructing new knowledge, and impacting others through their work.”

I've included some of the points that I thought were relevant to my own teaching practice, below:

  • Open meetings with a statement about something that I've learned recently, not necessarily work-related
  • Regularly mention my learning network and tools e.g. Twitter and RSS feeds I read, and comments that my blog posts have received
  • Share links to talks by smart, interesting people, e.g. TED videos. Ask for reactions when meeting up with those I've shared the links with
  • Ask students what they've learned recently that's interesting, again, not necessarily course-related
  • Encourage colleagues to share learning experiences through public forums

From: 10 ways to promote learning lifestyle in your school

Michael Rowe 2010/01/23 11:24

Reasons behind criticising academic performace

Another post from the Tomorrow's Professor blog got me thinking about grading and feedback and what an essential, but often neglected component of my own teaching practice it is. The author highlights what we know to be true, that accurate and timely (this one is hard) feedback is a powerful teaching tool. A new idea for me though, was that documenting the feedback given could also provide a rich resource for curriculum development. I guess this would be most useful if it were collected over time and analysed across each module.

It's also important to remember that feedback should flow in both directions. Students' assessment of their teachers can be incredibly useful indicators of how the practice of teaching can be improved. In our department we're required to gather student feedback after every module we teach, in the hope that it would inform our practice. “Hope” is the keyword because, in my experience, it was something that I hardly ever did, as I never had the time to capture the data, let alone analyse it. I realised that doing the evaluation was pointless unless I could capture the data and review the results. I discussed it with others in the department and found similar reasons for not completing the evaluations. Or rather, for completing the evaluations (because they're required for performance appraisals) but never looking at them again. After thinking about possible solutions, I decided to create a draft evaluation template in collaboration with the department, using the Form component of Google Docs. The template is shared with all lecturers in the department, who make their own changes according to their preference, and who then save it using the module name and code. The link to the online questionnaire is then emailed to every student who has completed that module, and all responses are automatically captured in the spreadsheet. But the best part of it is that Docs performs basic analysis of the results, allowing us to very quickly see where we can improve our teaching, as well as the module. Hopefully, with a template containing most of the questions we want, and eliminating the need to capture and analyse the data, I'll actually get something useful from the course evaluations.

After that side note and getting back to the post, the author suggests a quick survey following surprising student feedback. It's important to get an understanding of why students feel the way they do about feedback that they often take personally. The following questions might be useful: “Did you get a grade you felt was fair? Why or why not? Did you get enough feedback? Was the feedback helpful? Did I effectively explain the reasons for any criticism or low grade on your work? How could my responses have been more helpful to your learning? How could you, yourself, do better next time?”

How can you give genuinely helpful responses, while still keeping your workload within reasonable limits? Suggestions include:

  • Giving only the tests and assignments you feel you can give good feedback on
  • Supply a set of grading criteria / marking rubric prior to handing out the assignment
  • Give guidance early and often during a project (useful approach in 4th year research project)
  • Explain the role of peer-response / peer-review if using this approach
  • Explain how you will grade each iteration of an assignment e.g. this first draft is about structure, not grammar
  • Make it clear that feedback is about learning, not about criticism
  • Ask students how they feel that their work can be improved

Ultimately, feedback serves 2 purposes; keeping students informed and helping them to highlight areas that they can improve on, as well as alerting the teacher to areas where they can improve.

Michael Rowe 2010/01/22 21:44

Reflective writing

As part of their clinical placements, our students are required to complete some reflective components and submit them along with their clinical files at the end of the block. These reflections are usually in the form of SWOT analyses, SPAR stories, reflective journals or critical reflections of journal articles. The writing exercises are meant to encourage students to reflect on meaningful experiences during the placement, but which actually end up being “busy work”, a meaningless requirement to pass the block.

This lack of reflection (or rather, the lack of understanding around the process and benefits of reflection) seems to be a common problem in education. This article from Tomorrow's Professor highlights the issue and offers some insight that I think is quite useful.

  • Writing is thinking, whereas students think that thinking is what happens after writing
  • Students need to have a variety of activities to write about i.e. we shouldn't necessarily be telling them what topics to write on
  • Practicing “freewriting” (different to stream of consciousness) may be a way for students to discover things they hadn't realised they thought or felt (grammar / spelling / structure isn't important here)
  • Encourage students' unique voices to come through. (I've experienced how powerful this can be during an ethics assignment I gave my third year class. See my post: Giving students a voice in physiotherapy ethics).
  • Begin the class with a 10 minute writing exercise. Don't give a theme or topic, let students write about whatever is on their mind. Later on in class, ask them to freewrite about the topic you've just covered. The first session is a warm-up for the second, and the output is often better as a result.
  • A journal is a safe place to explore personal creativity
  • Writing tasks must be associated with feedback (not necessarily grades in order to be meaningful
  • Ask students to select 2 pieces of their writing from the course and to write a reflection on why those 2 pieces were chosen (i.e. a meta-reflection), submitting all 3 for grading (this is hard to grade)
  • Model the behaviour you expect from the students, so when they're freewriting, so am I
  • Writing / journaling should be integrated with the course, not a separate activity

Michael Rowe 2010/01/13 10:33

Reflection and breathing

I recently had a conversation with a good friend who teaches Life Orientation at the LEAP Science and Maths school. We were talking about one of the strategies they use in class to help students focus on being in the moment…breathing. They start every class with a few minutes of breathing, including a quiet reflection period.

We all know that reflection is a vital component of both professional and personal development, but how often is an explicit space made for it in the curriculum? Yes, we ask students for short, reflective pieces as part of assignments / homework, but we never teach them how to reflect, or when to reflect, or what to reflect on.

I'm wondering about what it would be like if I asked my students to do 5 minutes of relaxed breathing before class starts? We could use that time to put aside the excitement of whatever they were talking about before class, or to focus on what we're about to do, or what we discussed last week. I think most of the students would probably roll their eyes, and yet I can't help wondering….

Michael Rowe 2010/01/10 09:13

Plagiarism, Blended learning & Teaching as a career

I just had a look through these 3 posts from the Teaching Professor blog, by Maryellen Weimer:

  • Blending instructional formats - Course redesign (including assessment tasks) to promote higher order learning makes use of a blended approach; large group lectures for up to 35% of the course; media-rich, interactive, online environment, up to 60%; and small-group experiential learning for up to 50%. The post also breaks down what each of these types of learning is most useful for. This article would be useful for the module design component (Objective 3) of my PhD. Here is another post about the course redesign programme.
  • A teaching life - “The teaching life is the life of the explorer, the creator, constructing the classroom for free exploration. It is about engagement. It takes courage. It is about ruthlessly excising what is flawed, what no longer fits, no matter how difficult it was to achieve. It is about recognizing teaching as a medium that can do some things exquisitely but cannot do everything…When I am doing it well, I feel energized. I feel free. I want to experiment, to take ideas and actions where they lead me. But I am often tired because it consumes energy rapaciously. It is an uphill journey; sometimes I fall down”.

Michael Rowe 2009/12/21 13:38

Succeeding in academia, Structured reflection & Tolerance

I've been reading through some more posts from Tomorrow's Professor, and came across a few interesting sections.

How to Succeed in the Academy. “Quality teaching, scholarship, and service are important, but there are other commonsense rules that are sometimes overlooked…”

  • Know yourself - Where do I fit in? Who do I most identify with? Where can I make the biggest difference?
  • Know What Is Expected of You and Deliver It - Make sure I can adapt to the changing needs of the post
  • Further Your Institutional and Departmental Mission - What can I do to bring my department / institution closer to achieving their stated goals?
  • Never lie - Once you lose people's (colleagues, students) trust, you will struggle to regain it
  • Respect everyone and the work they do - I wouldn't be able to do my job if everyone else did not do theirs
  • Pick your battles - And always address the problem, not the person
  • Own your mistakes - And learn from the experience, don't try to hide it

Learning through structured reflection (quotes from the text)

  • Reflection plays a pivotal role in helping students understand and navigate the world of possibility, conflict, and uncertainty
  • It requires students to step back from their immediate experience to make sense of it in new ways. Connecting with any number of other thing: concepts, issues, or experiences arising from other course components; one's past academic learning or personal history, one's values, assumptions, and convictions; theoretical or other conceptual or analytic lenses, and the like
  • In the process, students observe, analyze, examine, and consider their experiences from multiple points of view
  • The choice of frames helps determine the character of the meaning derived from reflection
  • A widespread misconception about structured reflection is that it entails simply sharing feelings or voicing opinions. In contrast, well-conceived reflective activities, emotional responses and initial opinions may serve as starting points but not as ends
  • High-quality reflection calls for well-developed intellectual skill and perceptiveness richly grounded in knowledge and expertise
  • Well-conceived and well-structured assignments can help students develop greater expertise in the intellectual processes of reflection, analysis, and interpretation as they work toward greater subject matter expertise
  • Engaging regularly in structured reflection leads students to deeper understanding and better application of subject matter knowledge and increased knowledge of social agencies, increased complexity of problem and solution analysis, and greater use of subject matter knowledge in analyzing problems (Eyler and Giles, 1999)
  • Reflective practices in the classroom have also been shown to help learners connect earlier experiences to new content in order to achieve better understanding of the new material (Lee and Sabatino, 1998)

Lee, D., and Sabatino, K. “Evaluating Guided Reflections: A U.S. Case Study.” International Journal of Training and Development 1998, 2(3), 162-170

Eyleer, J., and Giles, D.E. Where's the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999

When should intolerance replace tolerance? A reflection on conflict resolution when absolutism rules. The outcome of this type of conversation should always rest on the merits of the views expressed, which means:

  • Stop blaming and start affirming
  • Do more listening and less telling
  • Engage, don't enrage
  • Feel deeply and be passionate, but don't vent
  • Explain, don't complain
  • Let go, don't hold on
  • Request, don't command
  • Turn down the volume and turn up the sensitivity
  • Be curious, not furious
  • Inquire, don't require
  • Appreciate the process as much as the product
  • Remember that in the moral conversation less is sometimes more
  • Let generosity trump animosity

Michael Rowe 2009/11/21 16:03

Types of learning

Just going through my email now and came across this short section from the “Tomorrow's Professor” newsletter I subscribe to:

“Miller & Seller (1990) define three types of learning according to the role of the learner. The first is transmissive, sometimes called assimilative learning, which assumes knowledge is content, a transferable commodity to be gained by demonstration, telling, and modelling. Transmissive learning is the hallmark of the instructional paradigm. The second type, transactional learning, assumes knowledge is constructed by learners and is characterized by experiential activities, student-to-student collaboration, and acts of discovery through active learning and team-based projects. In this learner-centered approach, the educator is designer, one who facilitates learning. The third type, transformative learning (Wikipedia article), asks the learner to assess new knowledge in relation to existing knowledge, requiring considerable reflection upon the assumptions and biases that the learner has accepted as part of his or her existing knowledge”. See also Transformative learning (J. Mezirow).

It goes on to say that while the three types of learning clearly can't be integrated, as they're fundamentally opposed, it is possible to incorporate all three in a continuum, shifting between whichever is most appropriate for any given objective.

I also learned the difference between:

  • Pedagogy - The art and science of teaching
  • AndrogogyA learner-centered approach characterized by active learning and self-directedness that draws from the principles of contructivism. It assists adults in moving from dependency to self-directedness as it draws from their life experiences in order to help them solve problems and apply new knowledge. From The Constructivist Approach and Online Learning - The art and science of helping others learn

I would think that many of our students fall into a gap between those two levels, where they're little more than grown up children but verging on adulthood. They lack the life experiences and context that we expect from self-directed learners. How will we adapt our teaching practices to alternate between “instruction” and “facilitation”? “…less mature students tend to favor surface learning and memorization”.

The post suggests progressively reducing transmissive learning and increasing the other two types as students move through the curriculum. “In this more holistic approach, curricula are organized according to broad concepts and types of learning opportunities as opposed to a sequence of units of knowledge”.

I need to remember this: “We need to keep in mind that not all students are ready for many learner-centered practices, so learner-centered strategies need to be introduced incrementally so that students are prepared for them”.

Michael Rowe 2009/10/30 14:49

Responding to a student's answer

I came across a blog post earlier today (How to respond to a student's answer, by Maryellen Weimer) and found it quite useful in terms of providing guidance on giving feedback. This post addresses giving feedback in a “live” situation, but I think it is also quite useful when considering written feedback. I especially like the three main categories of response, which I do but which I've never formally identified:

  • Explore - look more deeply at what the student has said
  • Extend - take the student's statement further in order to highlight additional / new aspects
  • Challenge - ask the student to defend / substantiate the statement, citing appropriate sources

Michael Rowe 2009/10/30 08:59

Clinical exams & Student relationships

Two significant things happened to me yesterday. I was doing an exam of two third year students with an external examiner who was (slightly) junior to me, and he highlighted an issue around language that I'd not paid much attention to. It was an important point and one that would have escaped me had he not been there. My point is that it can be easy to forget / gloss over the basics, and it may take a comment from someone with less experience to bring it to your attention. Make sure that you're open to receive that feedback, no matter who it's from.

The other thing was that we had our 4th year farewell ball last night. On the way home I found myself reflecting on the nature of the relationships we have with our students. I'm not always comfortable interacting in a social situation outside of the scope of the curriculum, which really came home to me last night. That got me thinking about communities of practice and how there are all of these social barriers (both explicit and implicit) that may get in the way of building of true, integrated community. How can we identify them and what can we do about them? We need to retain some measure of objectivity, but at the same time, engage as partners in their learning experiences.

Michael Rowe 2009/10/17 10:26

Thoughts on ICT colloquium

Reviewing my notes from the ICT colloquium earlier this year and have a few thoughts:

  • Technology should be used on an ad hoc basis, changing all the time. Why lock students into a structured course that uses old technology. See the Connectivism course for alternatives.
  • Next year the technology will be different, so why build a course around using a particular technology? How can we use new technology in a course when we're relying on a monolithic silo like an LMS?
  • You can't innovate teaching if you're relying on others to innovate first
  • I can't see any other way but to use open tools in an ad hoc way
  • In order to do this, we have to look past the technology to the underlying educational theories. Tools will then just be whatever is most appropriate to achieve the teaching and learning goals of the course
  • See my blog post on why I disagree with the concept of a Learning Management System

Michael Rowe 2009/10/16 12:12

Academic progress

Brief thoughts on the year so far:

  • PhD proposal was accepted with no changes, very excited about that.
  • The SAAHE conference was a bit of a let down, so many academics there who think that e-learning is about putting content into Learning Management Systems. How is that in any way a shift in the fundamentals of teaching? It's not…don't know if I'll be back at SAAHE next year. Anyway, my presentation seemed to be well-received.
  • Published 2 articles in the faculty journal. I can see the value in building a strong foundation of publications, first locally and then moving to international.
  • Got some interesting results with a few of the assignments / projects I ran this year. Already got one conference presentation at SAAHE, will get another one at HELTASA in November.
  • Abstract accepted for presentation at the HELTASA conference: “The use of wikis in collaboratively building knowledge”.

Michael Rowe 2009/09/16 21:08

Thoughts on the HESS conference

I got back from the Higher Education as a Social Space conference last week and it was a brilliant experience. I'm busy writing up my notes but thought I'd mention one of the themes that made an impact on me. The dichotomy between research and teaching is one that so many academics are struggling with. The need to publish and stay relevant in your field can often overshadow your teaching responsibility, which is sometimes seen as a less important aspect of the job. There's an increasingly vocal cadre of academics who are pushing the idea of research-based learning, which not only includes undergraduates as being part of the research and publication process, but also contributes to a shared community of practice, enhanced understanding of the research process (hopefully leading to higher postgraduate enrolment) and evidence-based teaching practice. I heard the phrase “scholarship of teaching and learning” several times and felt a strong affinity towards this approach.

Michael Rowe 2008/12/10 22:56

Clinical supervision

Just had a chat with a colleague, who was an external examiner at KZN last week. She said that their clinical supervisors will have structured supervision with students on placement. For example, the first week will have a focus on assessment, with students giving feedback to each other, as well as the supervisor. This allows the supervisor to identify which students need more input over the course of the block. The next week will focus on treatment, maybe the final week will look at reasoning, or something else that came up over the course of the block. For me, it's interesting to think about how having that set structure would allow me to first of all, give focused feedback to students in terms of where they need input, as well as encouraging students to give each other feedback and support each other.

Michael Rowe 2008/11/24 11:18

HESS conference

So, I'm reading through the list of Abstracts for the HESS conference in a few weeks time and I noticed that some of the titles are a lot more interesting than others. I think I'd like to make my work come across as being more interesting than just dry research. How can I make it more alive?

Michael Rowe 2008/11/20 15:58

Note: I went to some of the “interesting” presentations, only to find that the authors were far more creative with their titles than their ability to present. While a catchy title might be a drawcard, I need to make sure I deliver on the promise.

Michael Rowe 2008/12/10 23:03

Blogging instructionally

I just read a blog post titled Blogging instructionally that discusses the idea of blogs moving more towards a form of academic publishing. I already link to my blog, Physio 2.0, in the Extra-curricular activity section of this portfolio but I think, after reading this article, that it should be elevated to a more prominent part. I'm thinking more and more that my blog is a platform where I can refine my thoughts on certain aspects of my teaching, and so it really be considered more of a reflective commentary of my teaching, than something I do on the side.

Michael Rowe 2008/11/19 18:08

Marking exams

Just finished marking all the scripts for the November exams. While it was pretty boring, I noticed a few things that will be useful for the next time I set exams:

  • Some of my questions were poorly worded, considering what I was looking for.
  • The scope of the answers I was looking for, was limited in the memo.
  • One of the paper patients wasn't very realistic.
  • Mark allocation wasn't well thought out and could be improved.

While I think that the exams I set were generally appropriate, there is definitely room for improvement.

Michael Rowe 2008/11/19 18:04

Department website

So, I've completed my MSc and realised that there's a lot of useful information that came out of that study, which I'd like to act on in some meaningful way (what's the point of researching if your results aren't used positively?). One very simple finding was that several of the departmental websites of the various physiotherapy departments had outdated contact information. This has prompted me to get involved in the development of the UWC physio dept site in order to upgrade it to an acceptable level, and then to keep it updated and maintained. After a meeting with PR members of the faculty on 10 November, 2008, it seems I might be involved at a faculty level.

Michael Rowe 2008/11/11 12:30

Teacher as facilitator

  • Moving away from didactic learning paradigm and moving towards teacher as facilitator (not sure what this new approach is called)

The lecturers role is less a source of knowledge and more a facilitator of the following:

  • Determining and clarifying the criteria for success
  • Developing strategies to motivate students
  • Establishing the relationship between learning and practicing
  • Determining the methods of evaluation 1

1 Speck, B.W. (2002). Learning-teaching-assessment paradigms and the on-line classroom. New Directions for teaching and learning, 91, 5 – 18


  • What strategies have you recently tried and what was their impact on student learning?
  • What approaches have you taken with students who are struggling/excelling in their studies?
  • What changes have you made in your approach to teaching and learning over time?
  • What is your “philosophy” on teaching?
  • What aspects of teaching and learning inspire you?
  • List some recent examples of team decision making and the repercussions on your thinking?
  • What is your relationship with students and how has it developed?
  • Describe a critical point in your development as a teacher?
  • What is the impact of departmental and institutional factors on your teaching?
  • How have national changes in higher education affected your outlook on teaching?
  • What recent professional development activities have had an impact on your teaching?
  • How has your teaching developed in response to student feedback?
  • What are your future goals?
reflective_commentary.txt · Last modified: 2010/02/08 13:55 by Michael Rowe