Firstly I travel back to my original goals I set out in my action plan at the beginning of the LTHE module. Below are the goals and my current opinions on whether I have achieved these.
1. Develop a system of lesson planning that helps to organise and inform my delivery. Also devise a system where I can capture good and bad practice to inform me in the following academic year.
Have I achieved this? When the module began I envisaged that this would be some sort of ‘prescribed’, ‘dry’ word document prepared before a session. I am glad to say it has not turned into that. In my quest to improve efficiencies in my annually repeating teaching delivery I have begun to record my session delivery in a number of ways, voice (mp3), video, and screencasting using Adobe Captivate. This has enabled me to construct a body of recorded data which has a number of benefits, it can inform me of my previous practice the following year, can be used by students to develop, and has proved a valuable tool of self-reflection. The downside is that the recording are too long for the information to be truly useable. In the future I am thinking of capturing shorter summary information that could be collected as voice (mp3) which will be far more accessible from year to year. I also still wish to capture more of my delivery with full recordings for personal reflective practice.
2. Develop deeper subject knowledge in several identified areas. I aim to challenge and develop my confidence in presentation scenarios in particular to other staff members and adults.
I can safely say that over the last twelve weeks I have not developed my subject knowledge which is due to the added work of the teaching qualification which at this point in my life is very important so therefore am not too concerned by this, it is my intention though to identify areas and develop these. I hope that the next module from September 2012 can be used to develop a combination of both teaching practice and subject knowledge. The PGCAP is helping me to increase my confidence when speaking and presenting to staff members which has been achieved through ‘stepping forward’ more into challenging scenarios and testing myself this is evidenced at several points, acting as chair person for PGCAP group session, consciously being more vocal in group scenarios, taking more opportunities as they arise such as accepting an impromptu invitation to help present on screencasting at the University of Derby the following day at the MELSIG conference, something that I would have previously declined due to confidence. My success is due to through the PGCAP I have realised that we are not to be expected to be the fonts of all knowledge and more about being facilitators of a learning journey.
3. To increase my interest and use in learning technologies and further explore developing ideas to inform my own practice and from this develop possible research areas.
Increased involvement with learning technologies has been the most enjoyable part of my journey so far and hope this will form a strong part of my next PGCAP module.These are summarised below:
- A fuller understanding of the potential of E-portfolios as a networked learning tool has prompted me to promote this amongst students even though this will be done with the next cohort in September for the best impact and this will be used as a reflective learning tool as part of the Professional Framework module.
- An increasing appreciation of the power of still and moving image as a learning medium to increase the moveability of learning materials to computers, mobile devices etc. This is achieved through video, photographing and capturing screen movies.
4. To reach-out further to fully accommodate the wide range of students capabilities and help all to devise meaningful, fulfilling and achievable learning strategies to help them truly understand the meaning of life-long and life-wide learning.
This statement should actually be two. 1. Managing students differing capabilities and 2. helping them to appreciate the power of life-long and life-wide learning. And so I have not fully addressed this as I feel it will take many incremental steps to my working practices though I have loosely began to discuss to the students some of the topics and issues around learning theory to help them to understand that they are ‘organisers of their life course’ (Alheit in Illeris, 2009, 123).
With regard to 1. Managing students differing capabilities: One incremental step I did experiment with was to use short movie screen captures to help regulate class sessions. Students that were struggling with a particular part of the task were led to a short movie to describe how to step through the task whilst the high achievers could also led to a more demanding task to further their understanding. This enabled me to pay attention to specific parts of the session to help its flow. It did seem to work very well with students using and commenting ‘Can you do more of these types of movies’.
Milestones in my journey
Realisation of what it is like to be a student again.
The power of on-line networking to aid learning through the use of e-portfolios (blogs), social media to extend the classroom.
The power of self-relection, sharing reflections and peer to peer and peer to tutor conversations to help learning. (personal learning network)
Increase experimentation with learning technologies.
Increased confidence in presenting and working with my peers.
How effective observations can be.
Student opinion through feedback
Probing deeper with my own thoughts and the questions I ask to students to explore deeper learning.
Do-not need to be the font of all knowledge but need to facilitiate an engaging learning experience.
Illeris, K. (ed.) (2009) Contemporary Theories of Learning, Oxon:Routledge