The context, generally
The course is “Teaching in Higher Education,” which enrolls graduate students and postdocs who are planning for future faculty careers; the participants are from multiple disciplines/fields, are wonderfully diverse – ability, age, class, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation and other personal, social and cultural identities. I’ll be teaching the Fall13 course with a graduate student intern – the student is a friend, mentee/mentor, and was enrolled in a section of the course when I taught it during Fall11. Based on feedback from students – including my upcoming co-teacher – we’re incorporating short digital bits within the weekly “Preparing for Class…” memos to provide links, transitions, connections between sessions. The digital bit might be a vodcast one week, a single slide another, a set of directions for a short quiz or response-required followup; whatever we chose/model, the link/OER will be embedded in the weekly “Preparing for Class…” memo.
As outcomes for this sample, which would be part of the memo between Classes 1 & 2, we’d have two in mind:
- to engage students in a “two-eyed” reflective moment as they move, as Myles Horton notes, from where they are (after Class 1) to where they want to be (as they are engaged in preparing for Class 2)
- to animate and illustrate key concepts that will help students make the transition from one session of ideas to a next
One thing I know from these class sessions is that students need a couple of types of closure / wrapping up: one in the minute, and one as they prepare to re-engage for a next week. I’m hoping that providing a digital bit of some sort within the memo will be a way we can make use of our own two-eyed view to mix synthesis and transition together.
Context for this digital bit
Session One would have focused on (1) “What is learning?” based on pre-work including reading excerpts from folks like Frank Coffield, Stephen Brookfield, Diane Halpren, Septima Clark; (2) “What is pedagogy?” and how / why we make these; and (3) “What will we do this semester as learners and teachers?”
This segment is a lecture-presentation to be embedded in the “Preparing for Class 2” memo that goes live the day following Class 1. These memos provide a narrative overview of “to do” and “due” items listed on the Course Calendar, and always feature at the end a description of the ARA – Active Reading (or Responding) Assignment – due ahead of the next class.
For Class 2, the readings will include something like the following:
- Articles for a jigsaw / gallery walk activity:
- Two articles on learning theory – to be determined (swapping out two recent for two new),
- one article by James Zull on workings of the learning brain, and
- one article by Karl Smith on how/why/when of learning in high performing teams.
- Three short videos – likely one on art-science of learning (neuroscientist delivers the presentation); one on creativity with Ken Robinson; one on course design we’ve developed.
The ARA will likely focus on two things:
- synthesizing summary addressing essential messages/analysis of the one article each student reads to prepare for the jigsaw, and
- devising three discussion points/core questions drawn from review of video presentations/lectures.