Unfortunately I was unable to make it to this weeks session, to catch up I thought I’d do some reading on the links Lindsay provided on different types of teaching. Below are quotes and sections from the articles.
DISCLAIMER: I feel like I have to say, this ‘dumping’ method is a work round for my dyslexia. Although I’ve read the content I know its going to take longer for it to really settle in, so I put all my findings in here and then I come back to them when writing essays! I might even come back and bulk out the posts themselves. This makes me think of how my students may use their blogs, we ask them to post regularly but I understand it can be a lengthy process – it would be interesting to speak to them about their blogging methodologies and see how they find them the most useful.
Effective Questions for Leading Discussions:
“The 50 Minute lecture is a problematic beast: The awkward child born of administrative convenience and academic habit. It’s a convenient way to transmit large amounts of information to large numbers of students, although not necessarily a more effective one (Bligh 1998). Moreover, the lecture is often a poor method to inspire students or help them engage with the substance of the subject”
“More emphasis needs placing on encouraging students to engage with their notes and act upon the information provided, either individually or in small groups”
“I would strongly recommend discussing with them what you expect them to do in a lecture”
“The introduction serves an important function for the listener; it helps them to orientate themselves to the subject matter from the beginning”
“Students generally view the lecture positively (machemer and Crawford 2007), they tend to like the fact that they get the lecturers expertise mainlined directly into them. This does not necessarily mean that students do very much with lecture notes and often take the quite naive view that simple attending the lecture is going to be enough for learning”
“The need for a greater degree of interaction within lectures”
The summery of ‘Critiquing the Crit’ by Bernadette Blair Director of Academic Development and Quality Assurance at Kingston University:
The learning benefits of a good crit should allow students to:
- reflect on their own learning in relation to their peers
- learn from their peers
- clarify ideas
- practise presentation skills
- develop their critical awareness through evaluation and reflection
- receive feedback from their tutors and peers
- test ideas in a supportive environment without the pressures of the ‘real world’
In the list below we offer tried and tested approaches to crit pedagogy. These ideas have been shared with us by the many respondents and interviewees that have been involved in this project.
- Ensure that students take away from the crit a written record of the dialogue about their work. This appears to work most effectively when students are invited to scribe for each other.
- Students’ evaluatory responses can be developed via a range of carefully organised introductory exercises. For example, set up crit pairings so students discuss and crit work in pairs before the larger group crit. Alternatively, give all the students post-it notes; ask them to write a comment on each piece of student work, or ask them to indicate whose work is most successful against a range of criteria (for example whose work has the most imaginative/communicative documentation). Students should be given a copy of all the feedback at the end of the crit.
- Use a range of written prompts to stimulate students’ written response to each other’s work. In the early stages of the programme of study these prompts will ask very simple questions about the student work. Later on in the course the questions should reflect a growing level of sophistication and the use of an extended vocabulary.
- Ask students to evaluate their own work in writing before and after the crit. They can then identify how the feedback has informed their view.
Managing the Crit space
- Students’ capacity for engagement can be enhanced by effective crit management. For example, engagement can be enhanced by something as simple as making sure that all students can see the artwork clearly. Equally, engagement can be enhanced by setting up the crit space so that students face each other (and not the studio wall), the resultant increased eye contact can promote dialogue and debate.
- Have the crit ‘audience’ seated in a half circle around the presenting student and their work. This is a less confrontational scenario for students. Also if each student presents in the same space then there is less disruption with the group moving around the room. If work is wall mounted then having smaller groups moving around (see peer crits) and students being given time before the crit to view all the work would engage the whole group.
- Discourse is central to the crit. Students find it helpful when lecturers explicitly model the types of feedback and dialogue that they hope to inculcate in the students.
- Ensure that the language and terminology used is understood by the student group.
Maintaining student engagement
- It is useful to make sure that the work is responded to thematically. Thus a student may get his or her own feedback but their work may be referred to in relation to other student work over the course of the crit. This means that the crit is not simply experienced as a waiting game until it is each student’s turn, after which they can ‘switch off’. Thus the lecturer draws out comparisons and contrast between students’ work as a means to promote sustained student engagement.
- If all students’ work is to be critiqued individually, manage the timing of crit so that the work presented and discussed near the end is not rushed or left out.
- To vary crit routine it can be useful to ask students to present work which is not their own. The experience of ‘pitching’ someone else’s work can open up a new experience of evaluative feedback. This approach can be useful to help to disentangle the person from the work.
- Ask students to write an anonymous reflection on their work and how it has progressed. Put these in a hat. A student is asked to pull out a piece of paper from the hat and the group have to decide whose work is being referred to. This student then takes the next piece of paper out of the hat. This encourages students to reflect and evaluate on how they articulate their work and ensures all students are continually engaged in the process.
- Students can also be divided into small groups of 4-5 and look at the work of each individual in their group. They discuss the work in relation to the criteria given by the tutor and then feedback to the main group as a whole.
- Ask a student to chair the crit. In this case they take it in turns to become fully responsible for timing and pace.
- Link crit attendance to the learning requirements to ensure good attendance.
- Seek out opportunities for interdisciplinary crits which offer students opportunities to present their work to audiences outside of their discipline.
- Make sure the centrality of the crit is signaled at induction. Explain the purpose of the crit to new students especially those who may not have experienced anything similar due to cultural differences.
- Allow for silence. This can offer important time for reflection.