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Barr stokes conf_10

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Barr stokes conf_10

  1. 1. Evaluating the ‘Teach Smarter’ Initiative in Law Mr Warren Barr & Dr Robert Stokes
  2. 2. Overview  Background: The ‘Teach Smarter’ Initiative  Module Design  Two Examples: Equity& Trusts, Commercial Law  Evaluating the Initiative  Internal Processes, CLL Project  Potential and Pitfalls
  3. 3. Background: The ‘Teach Smarter’ Initiative
  4. 4. Traditional ‘Law’ Delivery  Professional Subject  Required 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  Issues  High volume of repeat teaching  Lack of student engagement (preparation, participation)  Feedback Issue
  5. 5. No Single Model Adopted ‘Teach Smarter’ is a change in ethos not a single blue-print for module design or delivery
  6. 6. ‘Teach Smarter’ 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  Staff Workload Benefits: • More research time through less repeat teaching • More engaging delivery
  7. 7. Module Design: Two Examples
  8. 8. Example 1: Equity (Required)  30 credit module (‘long, fat’)  48 lectures + 10 tutorials for 250+ students • Repeat Teaching  Groups of 12 students = 21 tutorial groups  Delivery Hours: 105 per Semester = 210 hours  Directed reading and lecture slides available on VITAL  Tutorial Preparation: • Students Conduct Individual Preparation and Participate In Interaction With The Tutor  Feedback: Informal, and Formal on Assessments  Assessment: 25% coursework (Sem 1); 75% unseen examination
  9. 9. Example 1: Equity (Required)  48 lectures + 6 seminars for 250 + students • Repeat Teaching  Groups of 30 students = 9 Seminar Groups  Delivery Hours: 54 per Semester (2 hr Seminars) – 108 hours  Directed reading, pre- and post- group work (in, podcasts and other e- learning support materials on VITAL • Students Prepare Directed Reading • Split Into Sub-Groups of no more than 6 students • Prepare unseen questions in group • Write up a question as a group after completion of Seminar  Additional Feedback: • Group Essay Feedback + Guideline Answer per Question • MCQ Self Test Feedback  Assessment: 25% coursework (Sem 1); 75% unseen examination
  10. 10. Change in Learning Ethos TTutor T
  11. 11. Example 2: Commercial Law (Optional)  Different Approach: • Comparative Delivery Savings over of 1/3rd  Module Delivery: • No lectures • 10 Hours Seminars replace 5 hours Tutorials  Retains emphasis on group work • Extensive support materials, including Seminar Podcasts and MCQs per topic and follow-up exercises • Feedback: Podcasts (on seminar performance); Group Work Feedback, Marked Formative Essay, Assessed Plans
  12. 12. Evaluating The Initiative: Internal Processes & CLL Project
  13. 13. Internal Processes  Student Surveys 2009-10  Equity & Trusts • Positive reception to new model • Improved engagement • Too much content • Group work problems  Commercial Law • Positive reception to new model • Seminar materials praised • Positive response to feedback • Group work problems • Lectures popular
  14. 14. Evidence – Equity & Trusts  Over 93% of respondents felt that VITAL was well used, particularly in providing sources for seminar study and in supplementing lecture provision “Very useful and found them a lot more helpful than tutorials that occurred for other modules. Learnt a lot more in seminars from discussions with others in the seminar and also in sub group work” “the seminars do work very well - I have found them rewarding, and they have helped to clarify areas I was still hazy on following lectures and reading” “the level of feedback given far surpasses that in any other module, and is helpful”
  15. 15. Evidence – Equity & Trusts  Some criticism:  “There are too much to cover in one seminar with a high speed train rushing through the session. Why cover 3 chapters when one is more than enough”  “If group work is preferred, punishments should be given to those who were not involved. Penalty seems too lenient, many got away by saying they are down with swine flu but I saw my group mate attended the lecture!”
  16. 16. Evidence – Commercial Law  90% felt seminars made a contribution to their learning beyond that of private study  93% felt that the seminar materials were either good or very good  86% were either very or fairly satisfied with the feedback they received.
  17. 17. Evidence – Commercial Law  Some criticism: “However, the seminars were pretty good. If possible, I would just add lectures to the current seminars, then it would be simply great module to study” “The feed back to the only formative assessment essay was extremely poor and I was highly disappointed after putting work into it not getting a detailed personal feedback” “I strongly believe having lectures will help students connect with the module much better” “If there were no lectures, my tuition fee's should have been reduced.”
  18. 18. CLL Review  Methodology  Student Focus Groups: Nominal Group Technique  Online Survey (student)  Online Survey (staff)  Staff Interviews
  19. 19. Preliminary Observations  First Year Feedback  Enablers • Importance of directed reading • Opportunity for engagement • Structured learning  Disablers • Tutorial atmosphere • The free-loader problem • Unrealistic reading lists
  20. 20. Preliminary Observations  Second Year Feedback  More fractious than Year One  Concerns over feedback and communication  Problems with collaborative work  Support for structured learning and new forms of feedback, e.g. podcasts
  21. 21. Concluding Remarks Potential and Pitfalls
  22. 22. Potential  Real Savings In Delivery  Gains not in the first year but in subsequent years  Should definitely be a pay-off in freeing up research time, important for early academics  Better Student engagement  More directed and effective  Increased transferable skills  Staff benefits from learning ethos  Better learning atmosphere – collaborative learning  Better knowledge of students and student performance
  23. 23. Pitfalls  Entrenched attitudes  Front loading  Too easy to underestimate workload involved in preparing materials and rethinking delivery  Role of individual tutor  Feedback, Quality, Approachability  Group Work and Communication  Know What They Have To Do  Better Guidance
  24. 24. Conclusions  Too early to be sure  Potentials seems to outweigh pitfalls  Students not harmed  Final assessment results are on a par or better than in previous year  Student Experience Will Improve As Progresses  Provisional View: Qualified Success

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