This is very true, I can deliver a lesson one day and get the learner to fabricate a lobster back bend in box section however when I then ask them to reproduce it again but in pipe they can get totally confused even though the principles are identical and then you get and I quote "I can't do this It's too hard" and become de-motivated but once pointed out that it's the same just a different section they then tend to understand and become motivated again, praise is given but the ultimate accolade is when they have actually made the final product they can see it themselves.
I always get the learner to self evaluate their work, the main comment that I say to the learner at the end of any job they do is “Would you buy this product and be happy with it?” as they could be going into a manufacturing and supply environment, If the reply is NO then the next statement would be “Then why would you expect someone else to buy it “this actually gets the learner thinking about their own personal standards and can …. Not always motivate the learner to improve by being self critical
I try to make a point of praising effort and also progress that a learner has made towards their own target - my learners all have different levels of ability and are working towards the same exam - for some learners, I break tasks into small steps, in a logical progression and hope they get all the ground covered! (writing tasks) They can then see their progress and congratulate themselves! I hope this approach allows them to feel that each individual effort is valued equally. Last night, I drew attention to effort=progress - the point wasn't lost on them.
I found this an interesting point. I am guilty of praising too much (as I have recently discussed when watching back my recorded sessions), however interestingly enough it was to those learners who had achieved something, whatever their ability and intelligence. I had made a point of identifying their accomplishment and sharing this observation with them in the form of praise. From personal experience I think it helps to know that you have achieved something, some element of a task as I think this helps develop confidence your own abilities.
Regarding praise - I was horrified when I viewed my recording of my own session!! I had literally praised the lower ability learners far more often and more enthusiastically than i had the more able learners who were largely just left to 'get on with it' - then when they had completed their work [and at a higher standard than the other learners] I merely said things like 'oh that's good -well done' without the enthusiasm I showed the others!!
I'm still analysing it and still feeling awful about it!! I'm going to try and integrate the higher and lower learners more now - as they have become comfortable in their own little groups - inadvertently I have permitted the creatio a two-tiered class!! One group I tend to and nurture and reward with my enthusiastic praising! The other group - I expect more from them but just set them the task to do then leave them to do it - largely only going over to them to assist when they ask me to.
The communication assignment has certainly thrown up some revelations (I am sure that you should not be horrified with your own session!) Interestingly I noticed that I was certainly leaning in the other direction, praising the more confident learners. The reason for this is that in performance feedback and praise is given by the tutor through gesture and body language and when looking at the choir more confident singers always look up and are positive and engaged in their own body language which in turn encourages me. It is quite a simple thing, but I do try to solve this by asking myself at the end of each piece - have I had eye contact with every singer at some point. It is evident in my recorded session that I need to continue to work on this.
I know we should praise everyone for what they HAVE done, but don't feel guilty for offering more praise to the learners who are doing well (praise where praise is due), because you're not NOT praising the lower performers. Besides - if learners see that 'doing well' earns more praise than just 'doing', then more effort from them will result in more praise, surely?
I wouldn't be horrified if I was you. I think it serves a purpose to overpraise students that are less confident / participate less. I think that learners that are less confident about their skills either had a negative learning experience, possibly some sort of difficulty in learning, don't believe in themselves and their ability to learn. Whatever the reason they find it extra difficult to express their opinion and therefore they make double the effort when they participate/achieve/successfully complete an exercise and so on. For this reason it's good that you praise them enthusiastically.
Let's not forget that students that have strong abilities, are confident and participate and achieve, have had a history in doing so already. They know they are good and they feel good about themselves and their learning. Also they are further rewarded by getting much higher grades. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be praised, but don't feel bad about boosting the rest of the learners' confidence, they need it!
I have a similar situation lately. A student of mine hasn't been in for a good while and after persistent efforts from me and the course leader he finally joined the group again last Thursday. I was quite upset to loose the student, because although a student 'at risk' from the beginning, he did well during the academic year in the photography pathway. He produced interesting photographic work, attended workshops and participated in group discussions. His submissions for formal assessment were weak (in research and reflection mainly) but we were working on them and he was making slow progress on those areas too. So I guess I thought he wasn't 'at risk' anymore and I didn't see his 'almost dropping out' coming... I am now at loss as to how to ensure he catches up, as he has lost valuable time and he really is at risk of being referred. Also how would I help him get back on track, without spending too much time with him, to ensure I give other students the time they need and deserve? It can be unfair sometimes that students who try less end up having more tutorial time, than students who are more conscientious. It's a difficult balance.
Another way that E and D is delivered is through group sessions where the learners have to fill in and answer questions from an ERR book, ERR stands for Employment, Rules and Responsibilities and is set by an awarding body called SEMTA, in these books they contain information on how to talk and treat others at work and in the community how to read a pay slip understanding tax and deductions so they have a good understanding on how systems work as well as health and safety policies, this basically prepares learners for their future role into employment.
That sounds like a good idea - I could link that to the students' Employability qual and their Personal Finance course too. We cover a lot of the college policies on E & D at Induction - we've simplified it and put it into words/language that hopefully means more to them - but they also know where the actual policies are and that we work from them as tutors. But, what you've mentioned sounds like it could be a good addition to the induction process or at the very least, as part of their introduction to the Employability course. Are the books readily available? [Free??!!!]
I would be interested to know if anyone uses forum based discussions to discuss the embedding of equality and diversity within forum based discussion?
A very interesting question Simon...using a forum to discuss the merits of a forum, oh the irony!