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Warren barrlt conf2011


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Warren barrlt conf2011

  1. 1. ‘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 />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Promoting Independence and E-Learning: ‘Teach Smart’ Initiative<br />Module Design: Land (LAW042)<br />Supporting self-learning<br />Embedding skills<br />Embedding e-learning<br />Student Reaction<br />Concluding Remarks<br />
  3. 3. Background:<br />Teaching Delivery:<br />Engaging Students As Independent Learners<br />
  4. 4. 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 />
  5. 5. ‘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 />
  6. 6. ‘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 />
  7. 7. Module Design:<br />Land (LAW042)<br />
  8. 8. 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 />
  9. 9. 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 />
  10. 10. 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 />
  11. 11. 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 />
  12. 12. 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 />
  13. 13. Student Reaction<br />
  14. 14. 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 />
  15. 15. 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 />
  16. 16. Concluding Remarks<br />
  17. 17. Conclusions<br />Potentials seems to outweigh pitfalls<br />High workload<br />Student Attainment <br />No detrimental effect detected<br />Student Satisfaction<br />Excellent for a module they find difficult and unattractive<br />View: Clear Success<br />More engaged students; better learners<br />