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