Warren barrlt conf2011
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  • See handout for details. RADICAL change. Unthinkable and unpalatable to many colleagues. Demonstrates how far flexible learning has come that felt able to attempt it. Issues with very difficult subject, where people would have felt more hands on work needed through face-to-face delivery.
  • See handout for sample online drop-in session and sample generic feedback.
  • See handout re: Module Timetable
  • Suggest needs to be communicated better – proof cannot please everyone all of the time and some issues that can dealt with in delivery.

Warren barrlt conf2011 Warren barrlt conf2011 Presentation Transcript

  • ‘You Can’t Do THAT!'Replacing Small Group Teaching With Formative Essays: A Case Study
    Mr Warren Barr
    Senior Lecturer , SLSJ
    Law Teacher of the Year 2006
  • Overview
    Promoting Independence and E-Learning: ‘Teach Smart’ Initiative
    Module Design: Land (LAW042)
    Supporting self-learning
    Embedding skills
    Embedding e-learning
    Student Reaction
    Concluding Remarks
  • Background:
    Teaching Delivery:
    Engaging Students As Independent Learners
  • Traditional ‘Law’ Delivery
    Professional Subject
    Mandatory Modules – 7 subjects (225 credits)
    250+ students per required module
    100+ for optional modules
    Traditional Delivery & Assessment
    24 Lectures + 5 Small Group Teaching Tutorials/Seminars (12 per group)
    Traditional Assessment Methods
    High volume of repeat teaching
    Lack of student engagement (preparation, participation)
    Feedback Issue
  • ‘Teach Smart’ Initiative
    Improve Student Experience
    Students Engaged as Independent Learners
    Increased Transferable Skills
    Staff Engaged with High Quality Learning Experience and a Supportive Learning Environment
    Free up research time for teaching staff
    Hours of Repeat Teaching Reduced
    Other Time Savings In Delivery Methods
  • ‘Teach Smart’ Initiative
    Rethinking Delivery
    Structured and more engaging learning:
    E-support and e-tasks
    Emphasis on collaborative work (e.g. group work)
    Emphasis on student engagement
    Structured learning – pre- and post- delivery engagement
    Improved feedback
  • Module Design:
    Land (LAW042)
  • Example 2: Land Law (Optional – Mandatory)
    15 credit module (‘short, thin’)
    24 lectures + 5 tutorials for 250+ students
    Repeat Teaching
    Groups of 10 students = 25 tutorial groups
    Delivery Hours: 125 per Semester
    Standard, Didactic Lectures
    Tutorial Preparation:
    Students Conduct Individual Preparation and Participate In Interaction With The Tutor
    Feedback: One Piece of Formative Written Work
    Assessment: 100% unseen examination (3 questions in 2hrs 15 mins)
  • Example 2: Land Law (Optional – Mandatory)
    15 credit module (‘short, thin’)
    24 lectures for 250+ students
    10 x 50 min ‘drop in’ sessions
    Replace tutorials/seminars
    Voluntary – structured Q&A round topics (6)
    Feedback Q&A sessions (4) on formative essays
    4 formative essays per student
    On major substantive issues – mixture of essay and problem questions
    Individual and Collective Feedback on Each Formative Essay
    Online Skills exercise feedback
    MCQ feedback
    Assessment: 95% unseen examination (2 questions in 1hr 30 mins) + 2 MCQ tests (each worth 2.5% each)
  • Supporting self-learning
    Drop-In Sessions (Substantive)
    Not compulsory – students attend if feel they will benefit
    Set question around which to consider issues
    Allows for taking material communicated in lectures, and supported by independent study, and apply it to problem solving scenarios
    Carefully timed to follow conclusion of lectures on topic and before formative essays
    Formative Essays
    Attempt ex-exam questions as part of learning
    Individual and collective feedback
    Tutors and students have better understanding of individual performance and how to improve
    Supported by drop-in sessions to explain feedback
  • Embedding skills
    Formative Essays
    Designed to capture different skills sets – two problem solving questions, two essay style questions
    Matched carefully to learning outcomes of modules
    Embedding subject skills through ‘doing’
    Online Skills Test
    Students self assess and, depending on score achieved, are given feedback through the exercise on how to improve basis skills
    Transferable skills
    Written communication, access to e-learning
    Self-directed learners
    Supported by clear evidence of how time should be spent each week
  • Embedding e-learning
    Online Tests
    Online Skills Test – reflective practice
    Online Assignments – MCQ questions with detailed feedback for individual answers
    Podcasts of Lectures
    Available after lecture
    Support learning – easy access through Blackboard
    No appreciable impact on lecture attendance
  • Student Reaction
  • Student Surveys
    Most students very happy with all aspects of module e.g.
    The lecture podcasts have been an invaluable tool for revising and also
    listening to after the lectures which have enabled me to make better
    notes that I would normally, and in turn, allowed me to get to grips with
    the subject better.
    I found the online tests very helpful as they tested your knowledge at
    points throughout the semester which encouraged students to
    thoroughly understand the topic rather than just around the exam
    The compulsary essays were a great idean and the feedback drop in
    sessions were very helpful because the staff made amazing effort to
    identify our mistakes and help address problems they found. They…
    allowed us to gauge our progress and understanding of the module and
    gave us enough time to correct our mistakes… before assessment.
  • Student Surveys
    Some criticism:
    Individual Feedback Varied In Quality
    Some students failed to understand nature of feedback and purpose of drop-in sessions on feedback
    Some concerns over high workload in preparing formative essays
    Some students stated they missed seminars (no reasons given)
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Conclusions
    Potentials seems to outweigh pitfalls
    High workload
    Student Attainment
    No detrimental effect detected
    Student Satisfaction
    Excellent for a module they find difficult and unattractive
    View: Clear Success
    More engaged students; better learners