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Do you think you are the right kind of person for that course?


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Simon Grant of CETIS and the CRA discusses some issues around student retention

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Do you think you are the right kind of person for that course?

  1. 1. Do you think you are the right kind of person for that course? Simon Grant Joint SIG meeting, Strathclyde 2008-05-22
  2. 2. Predictions about yourself <ul><li>How have you known (or failed to know) in advance that you were right for that course (or job)? </li></ul><ul><li>Discount &quot;did well at previous stage&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Pair up with a neighbour, and share your views on how you might know </li></ul><ul><li>In 5 minutes, let's have three ways someone might know in advance about their own suitability </li></ul>
  3. 3. Go institutional <ul><li>What are the problems with institutional assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how does it fail to capture the kinds of things we know from our own experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what could be done to make it better? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Self-assessment of suitability <ul><li>How could this happen more reliably? </li></ul><ul><li>How can it fail to happen, or go wrong? </li></ul><ul><li>Form groups of 3 or 4 </li></ul><ul><li>take up to 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>answer any part or aspect of the questions </li></ul><ul><li>write down agreed paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>allow each other to be creative </li></ul>
  5. 5. Different personalities <ul><li>People have different personalities in several different contexts, e.g. at or with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>club </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different expectations of dress, behaviour, speech </li></ul><ul><li>Become internalised – not conscious </li></ul><ul><li>Educational institutions may only engage one </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions, performance, values all tied in </li></ul><ul><li>“ a coherent and characteristic way of seeing, thinking, feeling and behaving” - Rita Carter, Multiplicity, 2008 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Transfer? <ul><li>Being assessed in one context is not a reliable guide to performance in a different context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we know that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>idea of different personalities helps thinking through </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Even filling in application form may cue a personality </li></ul><ul><li>Do questions on the application form help you to tell about your personality in the course/job context? </li></ul><ul><li>What would help you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to recognise your personality in that context? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to present that? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Different jobs or courses <ul><li>Different courses / jobs may require different qualities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may engage different personalities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helen and I presented in Newcastle recently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher was suspended after pupils discovered “raunchy internet video” in which she acted, prior to her teaching career </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different standards appropriate to different situations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prevailing values differ between jobs and courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you know what they are, official and unofficial? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have personalities that can cope with them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What happens when values conflict? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Coping with conflicting values <ul><li>Good to be aware of one's own values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but these are not always consistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>often they vary with personality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may not be conscious, as personality becomes internalized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good to be aware of the values at course or job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but these are not always consistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>official line v participants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>different participants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what is important is what works for you and situation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vital dimension to “being right for a course” beyond “abilities” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ways forward <ul><li>Enhanced PDP processes </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced assessment processes </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced selection and admission process </li></ul><ul><li>All supporting personality and values awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>include education about the &quot;social portfolio&quot; and its consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consider also the positive power of the social network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help learners relate their personalities and their abilities, qualities & values to the choice of courses and jobs </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Realistic contingencies <ul><li>We do need to help people be realistic about their suitability with respect to a course or job </li></ul><ul><li>We have to check they are self-assessing effectively, and if not, take remedial action </li></ul><ul><li>Surely this kind of education should part of the role of HE and FE, if not earlier? </li></ul>
  11. 11. More issues <ul><li>What about when &quot;they&quot; go poking around in your social networking profiles? </li></ul><ul><li>Your consent is vital before others access information about you, but is by itself far from perfect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>standard package of information may be expected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>using non-standard info may mean opting out of an opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>real freedom in a course or job market implies choice of profile with different selections of information in each, relevant to different personalities or identities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freedom to present true information about just one of your personalities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if you can evidence the ability to live up to it in context </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Finally <ul><li>Thanks for your attention </li></ul><ul><li>Time for questions and discussion </li></ul>