@pgcap #cohort2 two in one

Good luck everybody for this and next Thursday

Good luck everybody for this and next Thursday

Well, we had our second online weekly seminar recently. Only a few participated online during the week, despite the fact that the task was directly linked to one of the assessment components. This is something we changed as a result of cohort 1 feedback. But it didn’t seem to work at all! Really strange… Are people too busy? We need to rethink our approaches linked to learning collaboratively online and I am already putting some ideas for change together for cohort3. Some, it appears feel that if we are not in class we don’t have to do any work. Blended learning doesn’t mean participate in class and then forget about everything else until we meet again in class, whenever that will be. Learning is not something that we can give to somebody, it is an act and a process that requires our participation! We need to do something. And this something can happen in the classroom and outside of it. Most of learning actually happens outside the classroom. It would be interesting to ask our participants if they study for the module on a weekly basis and how this study time looks like. I guess, I could ask them here directly. If you are in cohort2 and are reading these thoughts, please share with me your current study practice for this module.

The webinar with Prof. Huw Morris was well attended and I was really pleased that participation was active throughout. We have tried to make these webinars as interactive as possible and I think it works really well. An idea I had afterwards was that we could, next time, add photographs of our participants on a separate slide and refer to this during discussion so that we can see each other face at least and not just a text message or a voice but link these to a real person. It is hard to engage in a conversation with somebody you don’t see, you don’t hear. How can you make sure that people are engaging? Through asking questions and inviting them to contribute in a variety of ways and this is what we are trying to do.

We did notice generally that there was an issue with attendance with cohort 2. A few disappeared… this is not good and it makes me wonder why this has happened? Is it the module? What we do? How we do things? Do these individuals feel that they are not getting anything out of it? Or are they just too busy and took too much on and now can’t manage? I just wish we knew. It would help.

Week 9 also passed quicky and we are now getting ready for the action learning set presentations. Where did the time go? Last week was a good session, I would say. We had two guest speakers who also participated actively in the session. Prof. Huw Morris and Dr. Peter Gossman were with us and I was really please with how the session went and I think the 6-Thinking Hats activity linked to the Learning and Teaching Strategy review currently under way led by Prof. Huw Morris enabled our participants to contribute their ideas and thoughts about the strategy in a constructive and meaningful way.

I am really looking forward to this week’s Thursday presentations. Just a few more days and the core module is coming to an(other) end ;o(

@pgcap #cohort2 powerful session

together in harmony

together in harmony

The ThinkLab session (week 7 experiencing and motivating) was, I think a really rich session. It probably was one of my favourites this time round. I am so glad we had real students from Salford with us who shared with us their stories and experiences of studying at Salford. It just made it real!

Students and our academics and other professionals who support learning at the university seemed to value the platform for dialogue that was provided and used it actively throughout the session. It was really fascinating to experience both sides coming together, trying to understand each other and working together in partnership. I think more of this needs to happen if we want to make our institutions a better and more meaningful place for learning.

Experiencing this session helped me to re-visit an idea I had some time ago and I am now more convinced and determinded to explore it and make it happen with our next cohort. The idea was about engaging a large number of students during our session on delivering which have so far done in almost empty lecture theatres. Yes, we were in the environment were large class teaching usually happens (when done face-to-face) however, our lecture theatre didn’t have masses of students… I have, unfortunately been in lectures for 100-150 students with just 10-20 present. It makes me wonder why? And it would be interesting to hear what our participants think about this.

Anyway, I think it would be really useful to deliver a session on large-group teaching to a proper large audience and the best way of doing it (this is what I am thinking at the moment) would be to bring in loads of students to actively participate in the session. I think it is worth experimenting with this idea and I can already imagine how it would be… will think a bit more about this and how this could actually happen, or better, how we can make it happen. Feeling really excited about this already!

Feel free to add your comments if you were part of this session.