Creation of module It was becoming very clear that undergraduate students in Music had incredibly variable skill sets w.r.t. study skills on entry to the programme. In 2007-08 I welcomed the University’s Information Literacy Strategy; the then subject librarian and I delivered 5 sessions to implement the strategy But I didn’t feel like it went far enough to address the variability of student skills in Music Our students mostly come in with A-levels in Arts and Humanities subjects, but because of our admissions requirements, some offer Science A-levels (which require different kinds of skills than the more essay-oriented Humanities subjects) And a good proportion of them come from practice-oriented BTEC backgrounds The mix of students’ backgrounds is not so unusual, but it does mark it out from some subjects where more discipline-specific qualifications are required, or where A-levels may predominate more. Moreover, many Music students come to the subject because of a practical interest; that is, they identify as musicians, performers. And this is different from other Humanities subjects, because we are asking many of our students to take a greater academic interest in something to which they have a primarily practical and creative relationship. So, in 2008-09 I created Study Skills as a new module. Initially envisaged as a year-long module involving one-hour weekly lecture sessions; assignments were a feasibility study and a reflective essay (reflecting on the process of writing an essay for another compulsory module). Various reasons meant it was ultimately delivered that year as one-hour fortnightly sessions, which was unsatisfactory for a number of reasons Low attendance Image of module as “not important” The reflective essay in particular didn’t really work as a mode of assessment Issues with assessing reflective practice [ref article from nursing journal] Timing in conjunction with other module was difficult The other module’s essay format was changed late in the day so my assessment was less doable and less useful as a result Students ultimately didn’t see the point (based on conversations with them) Creation of wiki task So, I needed to change something about the module, particularly w.r.t. the second assignment and the delivery of content (to make it weekly) Also, and necessity is the mother of invention, I was on research leave in semester two of this year Since “teaching is learning something twice”, I came up with the idea of the wiki task Explain one sentence here Had multiple benefits: Practically speaking, I could deliver all content, weekly, while not on leave Pedagogically, students would benefit from revisiting the information as teachers themselves And from working in a group, pooling understanding of the issues at stake Group work: popular musicians in the department do a great deal of group work in bands, but this task makes everyone partake in an extended period of group work Important employability skill Not done a great deal in the department, apart from in pop performance Multiple members of staff involved, with different kinds of input; students benefit from library knowledge, technical stuff, and in-house support; in particular building up relationship with subject librarian (of ongoing benefit)
12 group wikis on VITAL + practice wikis + queries wiki + one training session Students were quick to pick up wiki tool BUT also Until they engaged with the creation / editing process, they did not really know what features they wanted to use. (ie sooner they engage with tool, the better questions they have.)
Group 1 – all right wiki, did most of sections. Not really using much of the visual opportunities.
Many groups/students regarded wiki as an upload area for Word documents. Hardest part to get through.
Summary of feedback (Group 1) – I would put this wiki in the band of 50-59. Possibly 55ish. Solid site navigation, and structure, they identified pages/sections using numbering and included a ‘where am I’ section/navigation at the top of each page. Some cross-linking between pages were also a good idea. In terms of usability, some pages could have done with breaking up a bit more. What they tackled is good and the writing style is good addressing the audience, not too little, not too much. Adding info / skills on VITAL was also an original addition not covered by lectures before (?am I right?). The major points for improvements are: to include more audio-visual materials in the wiki, possibly more cross-linking, there are no images at all currently.
Think of and engage audience! Text text text. Bullets by death. Lack of use of multimedia (sound?) Some images too big. No acknowledgement of multimedia
Aware general study skills covered in 1st semester and in many books in the library, but few of these look at subject specific aspects so in the main session I led I focussed on these.
Referred them to a few useful texts but largely concentrated on giving them guidance on where and how to look for material for themselves.
The ‘winner’ – tackled content well, imaginative sections/skills see eg designing map of music block for future students.
Good points: Creative content (‘skills’). Considering audience (style of writing). Solid navigation (side + some top/bottom). Appropriate use of multimedia. Consistent formatting / editing. One group used comments tool to collaborate.
The ‘winner’ – Note taking page. Example of use of You Tube.
This video of a presentation is a good example, in which students considered which type of skill they were trying to teach (presentation skills) and created something relevant to ‘teach’ this skill to others, ie via creating a presentation. Many other groups created bullet points for presentation skills.
More emphasis to be placed on the significance of the group process a) Students will be given specific guidance on team building and exercises on team member roles b) Student groups will be assessed on evidence of group work The assignment will have an individual element a) Individuals will be asked to reflect on their contributions to the project b) Potential for peer review element in the future The teaching team will set formal deadlines for certain elements to be completed a) Students must upload some content by mid-point b) Students must provide definitive plan and identify individuals’ roles early on
Teaching & LearningConference
Freya Jarman, Nedim Hassan, Jo Ashley,TündeVarga-Atkins
23rd June 2010
Creation of module
University information literacy strategy;
Subject specific skills sets;
Issues with first attempt;
Creation of wiki task
“Teaching is learning something twice”;
Benefits of group work;
Working outside the department.
Provided guidance on the wiki tool
Advised students on the range of resources that
they could use when gathering information for their
sites, identifying some of the potential difficulties
that they might have encountered
The role of the teaching team was primarily an
Teaching sessions were used to facilitate student
Discuss in groups
Thinking through what these meant
Listening to and analysing music
Place, environment, time, concentration, equipment
Instrumental practice – both individual and
Organisation – time, place, maybe book?
The Liverpool Music scene
Where to look
How to look
Truncation and wildcards
Academic,VITAL expert, Librarian
Demonstrates that we are joined-up
All able to help with general queries in sessions
Could refer to relevant expert when necessary
All contributed to assessment
Engagement with the task and groups members’
approach to teamwork varied
Many had clearly assigned individual members
specific roles and tasks
Some students took on a leadership role –
delegating tasks and motivating their groups
Poor attendance and time management skills
impeded the progress of other groups
Tendency for many groups to focus on planning of
individual sections but not on uploading content to
the actual wiki sites
Purpose of wiki.
Management of group process:
Formative mid-semester deadline.
More regular contact hours.