I am a little late but think I am ready to start. Delivered my first teaching session of the new semester on Friday 3rd February. It is a beginners class in 3D modeling using Solidworks software. Thinking reflectively I feel there are both positive and negative aspects to my preparation and delivery. My delivery is cyclical with the academic year therefore you may deliver a topic for 3 months then not touch on it again for the next 9 months. This can cause problems, I often assume that my skills in the software are up to scratch until that first session, then I deliver to find myself ‘stumped’ in certain situations, I guess I have an armoury of witty and quick ways to navigate around the brick wall, such as ‘there is more ways than one to skin a cat’. I need to ensure that I have a ‘play’ with the software for a few hours to wipe away the cobwebs which usually does the trick. Someone has just mentioned the Gibbs Reflective cycle to me. I think the most important thing that is not mentioned in the cycle is having the confidence to confront your own practice (reflection). Videoing my practice has helped me to confront many of my fears.
I have another thought, when the previous year you have focused and planned well with regards to the delivery then how is it possible to ‘re-cap’ to take influence from the previous year’s delivery? Last year I videoed my sessions, great you may think! Good practice encapsulated on hours and hours of video footage. But the problem lies in the fact that when preparing the following year I just don’t have the hours needed to review my good practice from the previous year. What could be the answer to this, good old fashioned notes maybe?. To help the students ease into the session I set some pen and paper IQ style puzzles to begin them thinking about transforming visual data from 2 Dimensions to 3 Dimensions and vice versa. This worked well in challenging and gauging their abilities. I think this is a good way of ‘pegging back’ the tutor to help them understand the stance from which the students are beginning their journey. Next with active and invigorated minds I set to the task of delving into the software. I feel I have given them a ‘quick fix’ to their desire to learn the software (do young people of today expect a quicker fix?) and delivered a 3d model instantly (a cyclinder) I have explained to them that in the process of construction we have conducted some bad practice but in the next session I wish to dissect the journey and analyse the process in more depth. I think this helps them to stay alert and gives them rewards. What rewards can I give them next week? My plan now is to use this passage to begin to ask questions and search for some of the answers through text and peer discussion and hopefully I will revisit some of the above topics and issues at a later date. I hope this is classed as the beginning of my reflective journey. CD