fruitful

sweet and juicy
Conversation last night with MoRe pilots. We are in week 6 now, 2 more and the MoRe pilot is coming to an end. Will there be more More? This seemed to be the question in our online skype meeting last night.

Wow! One of the students said that the MoRe pilot has become a good part of his teaching life and the other one agreed. I smiled and was really happy to hear that it is working and that there is a need for more of it.

It was really great to hear that both students feel so positive about their involvement in this pilot and that they will miss it when it won’t be there anymore… in a few weeks time. Can there be a continuation? How would or could it look like? I have started thinking about the ‘after’ and have suggested to discuss it at the end of the pilot. I agree, that it would be a shame if the closure of this pilot would mean the end of what students have built so far. It doesn’t have to be the end. However, which model could be adopted so that it is sustainable and evolves dynamically? Can a 100% peer support model work? I am wondering if I should place an open invitation to people who visit the MoRe space asking them if anybody would be interested to get involved… I could also find out if there are other students teachers who would like to participate and get a taste of MoRe. Not sure. My biggested question is, can it work if there is no community, no glue, so to speak, that would hold peoeple together. But is this really a problem, or can the glue come a bit later?

The report writing is going well. Also working on the presentation. Still a lot work to do but I am happy with some of the sections already. Some trimming will be necessary but that is fine. Still materials to study and data and evaluations to feed into the report. Last night’s conversation made me think a bit more about inclusive teaching and learning, reasonable adjustments and the DDA (1995).

I am going to do some more thinking on the above. In the background of my mind, I am also using a CPD event I am organising at the moment as a possible stepping stone to link a bit of MoRe. This might lead somewhere… we will see.

I think the MoRe end should be a new beginning.

well…

boat

the journey


… yes, we finally managed to have a skype chat, all 3 of us and it went well ;o) I feel more positive now about my latest changes (the skeleton etc.) and talking it through helped to clarify the new approach. I now start feeling that I did the right thing by introducting the skeleton and more structured approach because the first evidence suggest that it does help students keep more focused. There was a misunderstanding about keeping audio reflections short. Maybe I wasn’t clear about it but it is now resolved and I have encouraged participating students to talk as much or as little as they want to.

Participating students had the opportunity for the very first time (we are in week 3 of the MoRe pilot) to talk to each other directly and the conversation was fascinating. I wish I had recorded it. After the initial getting to know each other part, the discussion moved to art and the exchange of ideas and thoughts became richer and richer. Really good stuff! I just wish we had the opportunity to do that earlier and face-to-face but I can’t change the past, I can’t turn the clock back… what will happen though next week is that participating students will meet face-to-face and that is a very positive development because I can sense that there is mutual interest in a professional dialogue.

Back to our skype meeting. Participating students stated that they enjoy the MoRe pilot so far and find the audio reflections a natural way of expressing themselves and learning from their experiences. Below you will find some of the comments they made.

“I get it off my chest.”

“I response better, really enjoy it. It is a tool I can use all the time. It is a natural way and I learn from it.”

“This approach is a natural way, I can listen back and have another chance to filter, what I can take away from the learning process.”

One of the students has currently a problem with listening to the mp3s and this needs to be resolved as quickly as possible (technology again!!!). It is important that we will all be able to listen to each other’s audio reflections and comment and respond. I wouldn’t like to see personal audio reflections as a monologue but have encouraged participating students to turn them into a dialogue and a starting point for further explorations. It was good that one of the students supported this approach strongly and felt that this should be the next step. We are humans and humans are social beings and we do love social learning too. Learning with and from each other. Getting some feedback on what we do and giving feedback to others, recognising own and each other’s strengths and being constructive and positive and encourage further learning.

What also came out of the conversation was that audio reflections, the way we are doing them, recording without editing the mp3 files, capture raw thinking, messy and unstructured and unpolished. It would be really interesting to investigate if there are similarities and differences in the ‘messy-ness’ in reflective writing and reflective talking. Is reflective writing a more polished approach in which reflective thoughts are blended into each other, melted together, and overwritten by consecutive thinking that can alter/do alter the content and context of reflection that occured in a very specific moment in time? Is reflective writing closer to the definition of a product (even if it is not an end-product) and reflective talking really raw and un-edited thinking. And if that is the case, does it make a difference that these reflective talks are actually shared with a wider or even global community and that there is an audience out there which we don’t really know?

What I also find fascinating is that both students have started using blogs in their own teaching. This demonstrates that modelling the use of an approach or tool to educators in a student context really can work.

I am really happy with the conversation and what we have achieved so far. All three of us are committed to this little project.

We talked about 1 hour but it didn’t feel that long.