What did I learn today? About PFA – Programme Focussed Assessment, here http://www.pass.brad.ac.uk/short-guide.pdf
How was it useful? It talks about assessing “across” a programme and not keeping all modules completely separate, in other words, show the students the rationale behind the modules that are being taught to them.
What thoughts came up ? I like the idea and on our courses we always try to do cross-modular assessment but I think we should do more as it would help the students and help us.
What did I learn? Despite our best efforts to co-ordinate assesments during semester there is always a rush at the end, the worst time really as it is coming up to exam time also.
What will I do with the information i.e. what next? raise it at the next programme board meeting and see if we can agree some CMA’s for the coming academic year.
What did I learn today? Read an article today that resonated with me here https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/educators-as-lead-learners/ How was it useful? It reminded me that we need to craft the experiences for our learners to suit them, not us. But also, we need to reflect on and record the steps we take when we learn something for the first time, especially if we will be teaching. It’s good to capture the thought processes we usedto help our undertanding and build it into our teaching. What thoughts came up ? We don’t often have to learn a new technology ourselve (for teaching) but when we do we should document and reflect on the process. What will I do with the information i.e. what next? Try it out with some new peice of software I am thinking of using in the class, see how I approach the learning and try to think through explaining or sharing that thought process with others.
What did I learn today? That I have to be careful with the words I use in multiple choice questions. I ran an online quiz for first year students but many of them struggled with some words which were not on lecture slides
How was it useful? My focus was on the questions, it should have been on the person giving the answer
What thoughts came up ? I need to check my questions for terminology, maybe use the concept of a persona when testing the quiz
What did I learn? It all comes back to the student and keeping them at the centre of each experience.
What will I do with the information i.e. what next? Include it in my list of checks for assessments, and do it when verifying other’s assessments.
What did I reflect on today? That assessing groups, especially large groups of groups needs to be “straegically” managed. I was reading a blog post by Fiona Saunders here http://fionasaunders.co.uk/reflections-on-large-class-teaching/ and it got me thinking about the assessments I currently use for students
How was it useful? I liked her mantra of “meaningful”, “equitable”, and “manageable”, I think from now on I will put those three words at the top of every assessment I am writing to help me compose something that is appropriate to the course I am teaching (meaningful), fair to the students (equitable), and does not overload me with work to correct and feedback quickly (manageable)
Any other thoughts? The same mantra could be applied to other aspects of my teaching such as lecture preparation, but I am going to start with assessments first and then possibly expand its use.
What did you learn? That lots of Lecturers face the same challenges as me, and the “Equitable” aspect is something I feel is important, after all, it’s about the students not the teacher.
What will you do with the information i.e. what next? I have amended the template that I use for all assignment instructions to include the Three Little Words, as I write each one going forward I’ll take a few minutes to consider if I have met my own criteria, I’ll keep refining assessments as I know perfection will never be achieved which is good because where’s the fun in that??
What was covered in the session today? I was teaching about the differences between different equipment types and I asked students to do some research and put it in their own words.
How was it useful? My goal was to get them to start learning about the differences in different pieces of network equipment so they would understand how each device worked and how it handled traffic. I also asked them how they would explain it to a non-technical user, but I found a lot of their explanations were still quite technical and I could’t tell if they understood or were just parroting back what they had found on the web.
What thoughts came up during the session? I was trying to figure how to confirm that they were understanding what they were reading and trying to get them to use non-computing analogies, in other words draw from their existing knowledge and relate it to this new knowledge.
What did you learn? Having debated the question with quite a few groups I came up with a “third person” who they had to use for their explanation – their Mothers!, this is also probably drawing on the idea of pesonas which we used in instructional design.
What will you do with the information i.e. what next? I might use the Mother/persona idea again to help them construct their knowledge from existing models, it was a very useful exercise and did “force” them to think a lot more about what they were reading..
What was covered in the session today? Introduced students to physical equipment which they will be working with over the coming semester. I gave them very little information and asked them to research and document the pieces of equipment they got.
How was it useful? It should help me get an idea of the level they are at to start with. Also, as I will be using a simulation package with them I wanted them to have actual devices to relate to. I also encouraged them to post their work in the online forums for others to see.
What thoughts came up during the session? Students were getting more information than I expected and most them were able to find the purpose of each device quite easily. I was impressed with their research skills.
What did you learn? That group work definitely increases the output, i.e. the output of a group of four is greater than the sum of four individuals. There is a big difference between their abilities at the start of semester one and semester two which will help me with material preparation going forward. It also confirmed that people prefer to see the equipment as early as possible and it should make my references to the devices in lectures easier to relate to.
What will you do with the information i.e. what next? Continue to use the equipment for reference and make sure that they get to do at least one lab where they connect all the devices to each other and troubleshoot the networks.