Friday, July 30, 2010

ED6114 wrap-up

One final* post on the ED6114 - Using ICT in a Tertiary Setting course for which this blog was originally hand-stitched. (After this week, I will continue to post, but will broaden my scope from university teaching issues to all sorts of things that interest me. Which does include university teaching issues, though, I'm afraid.) I found the whole course fascinating, largely because there was a strong current of discussion throughout it about social & educational consequences of new technologies. Rather than just talking about how to use technologies beyond the blackboard, we considered what that use might signify.

Plus, I was lucky enough to do the course with a bunch of people from different backgrounds to me. Different courses lead to different needs from/uses of technology, just as surely as they require different teaching strategies. Who knew, for instance, that medicine students have to carry around several bricks' worth of notes for the entire length of their course? Aline touches on some matters for her students in that post that would never have occured to me regarding my own students, and that's one thing I was able to get out of ED6114.

Similarly, Ben scored almost the exact opposite of me on the VARK questionnaire (which may go some way to explaining why he's a proper doctor, and I'm only a fake one...). As he points out, though, not only do we need to avoid adopting a one-size-fits-all style of teaching, assuming that all our students learn in the same way (as I noted the other day), we also need to avoid the assumption that students will learn in the same way that we do.

One of my teaching evaluations from semester one told me that I "bored [one ungrateful student] to tears". So perhaps I need to remember that not everyone finds my teaching style as interesting as I do...

The final piece of assessment in ED6114 was to develop a course that would draw heavily on ICT. I made a course called 'Politics & the Media' more or less from scratch (a subject of that name does exist at Notre Dame, although I have no idea what it includes, and I also did tutor in Ian Ward's course on the topic at UQ for a few semesters - but this course was entirely of my own invention). I'm actually quite proud of it - I think it would be an interesting course to teach or study. That said, I do wonder if the ICT components were a bit tacked-on. They could work well, I think, but parts of them could work just as well in more traditional subject-delivery modes. (I'm being a little vague here, I know, but that's in case I ever do spend more time on this plan - don't want other people to pinch my brilliant ideas**.)

Anyway, it was all very interesting. And now that I have myself an Ipad, I've been trying desperately to think of ways of including such devices in my teaching. Because, well, it's pretty much the coolest thing ever...

* for now
** yes, I realise that the readership of this blog, such as it is, isn't terribly likely to suddenly start teaching university-level Politics & the Media.

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