Thanks for your feedback, great idea to get the learners to reflect and evidence their learning. they all produce work that is needed for an accredited course however I do not spend enough time getting them to take control of what they are producing as they are currently doing what we as tutors are steering them towards. On their progress sheets they need to write more about what they are going to do and what they have learnt and what they need to do next session. You have pointed out some really good stuff. Time is a real hurdle within the sessions at the moment, but I need to focus on learner centred evidence more :)
I'm glad that these ideas have been of some use to you, they have worked quite well for me and another bonus is that it gets them thinking about what they have done during the session. This is really important for my learners, they have a reflective journal which they are supposed to record their thoughts in - it is something they struggle with - so the flickr account is a more instant way for them to record their thoughts.
I always get learners to check their work with a partner -takes the focus off me as the primary "care giver", gives them the reassurance they need, and the stronger learners seem to enjoy sharing and supporting. The learners are all used to this routine now - they work independently, then check with each other, then feedback to the group .They don't feel quite as vulnerable and have learnt that their peer group is a source of support. It has made the shy learners more confident and ,therefore, more keen to participate.
Your reply has made me reflect and think about how I could do things differently. I going to get the learners to mark their own work where approriate and feed back to me on how they think they have done.
This could happen on a one to one basis, as they are independent learners with different ILP's, but I will try your suggestion when I am teaching the next group of learners by using pairs and then giving feedback from that.
I just saw your posts in relation to reflection and posting final outcomes on a flickr account. I have done this with another group of students that I teach in London (group of adults, less pressure for reflective practices in terms of the course guidelines) and was really successful, as the work that they had produced was really stunning and they were really proud of it. Has it being useful for you with the Foundation students, though? Has this been helpful in terms of assisting with developing reflection practices?
There is a hesitation amongst my group (Photography) to share images (even on group crits they are somewhat shy, although slowly improving at that) and obviously to reflect, they still find it challenging (which is understandable). I am considering I will actively encourage them to share images on an online platform for next years' foundation group. Would be interested to hear your views on it.
This is a process that I have used with the Diploma learners and not have not yet tried it out with the Foundation group. I have found that with Diploma, it has been really successful in terms of assisting with developing their reflective practices. At first they were a little reluctant to leave feedback about each others work, but they soon go into the swing of it. This is now used as standard practice on Moodle - at the end of each session I ask learners to upload examples of the work that they have completed in session. This is particularly great if learners have all participated in the same workshop brief (rather than own project), so that we can see each learners own interpretation and visual outcome.
I think they are surprised at how useful this is for them and it also gives them the chance to see everyone's work from both teaching groups. This process does work, but I would say that it needs to be introduced at the beginning of the year as it takes a while for them to get used to this practice. I think it would be perfect for your Foundation learners.
Wow, this is exciting and it makes me think that this could be a powerful motivation tool! Very often I think of ways to motivate students to talk about their work. They definitely enjoy the group crits at this stage of the course and although they hesitate at first, they participate. It could be also peer teaching as they are using a platform to share their work and experiences.
I totally agree that it needs to be started in the beginning of the course and it would be expected that the students will start using it more during the second term, when they have more work and they prepare their portfolios. The aim being that around this time they develop their analytical and reflection skills further and they are confident to share online.
The challenge for me is to find the right online platform that would be easy for the students (and me) to use. Mind you, my students probably know more about photo-sharing websites now than me...
Thanks for sharing this Heather, you gave me a lot of ideas!
I like the idea of using a Flickr account. I could use that with my Skills to Succeed learners as it would add another dimension to their work as well as being a log or record of what they have been working on.
Certainly for those strongly visual learners, some dyslexic students and/or those with memory problems - the photos could also act as memory joggers and revision tools.
P.S. The learners often use their mobile phones to record whole group brainstorms from the white board and so forth - so they could then add them as photos on to Flickr and keep even more of a record!
I'm liking this idea!!
That’s interesting Tina as in the engineering section mobile phones are actually banned and they are not allowed to use them in any lessons unless they are using the calculator function of the tutor has allowed them to use them, however we do catch quite a few with them out and it has arisen that all phones are collected at the beginning of the session and returned at the end.
With Skills 2 Succeed - learners are requested not to use their mobiles during the session unless they want to record from the whiteboard - or if they've taken part in a group activity and they each want to have a record of the end product [e.g. building towers/building bubble couches/egg rockets etc as team building is a big part of building up their personal and social skills]. They usually wait until I ask if anyone would like to take a photo for a record/evidence for their portfolios.
I look at it that not only do they need to know when to use different texts for different purposes [such as reading and writing informally or formally depending upon the need] they also need to know when they can use the technologies they are familar with - and when not to. So a formal part of the session when maybe they need to be listening very carefully - I would not expect them to be tapping away on their mobiles on facebook - but they learn when is an appropriate time/moment to be able to use their phones effectively and when is not. It's also part of them being adult about the use of their mobiles and they need to also know this for when they will be in the workplace one day [e.g. health and safety aspects especially important].
If I had a person - or a group that abused this however - then their mobiles would be collected in at the start of the session. I would see it as a privelage being taken away from them as a result of their misbehaviour. In this way I wouldn't want to punish them first - but give them a chance to participate in an adult manner. [I've got to say though that some groups are so much better than others!!]
Sometimes they use the mobiles for a calculator as they prefer using these to our standard calculators. They have even used them to google something as we have been going along, during a debate - but would always ask first. And, the only reason they do that is because the computers we use are so dire and slow - that they can more quickly and effectively gain the info from their own mobiles via the internet than go and log on, wait, and wait etc
What mobiles can also be good for is 'discreet' learning. By that I mean that I have in the past used them with learners when teaching one to one sessions [supporting learners from Bricklaying and Painting & Decorating at Coopers Drive - part of Braintree campus]. The tutors used to give me word lists related to each of those subjects - words that the lads needed to be able to read and to write for their coursees.
We would work through a few words at a time - breaking the words up into different chunks and also using different chunks of colour [always in the same order].
As colours stay in the short term memory for longer - it is also a good way ot help those with spelling difficulties - and/or dyslexia or memory problems.
So that these lads were not seen to be coming out of the session with a 'spelling' list or to save them feeling embarrassed about practising/learning these words - they were able to photograph them onto their mobiles. This enabled them to go away and look at their phones during breaks, or even on the bus to and from college etc without anyone realising what they were doing.
The results were very good - they were learning the words faster than if they had taken just the sheet of work away with them - so the mobile can be a very useful tool. But I think it would always depend upon the group and also health and safety first [might be difficult in a workshop etc].
I use the same approach to mobiles - they are a useful dictionary, and resource for research. I teach young adults and they know there is an expectation that they use their phones in an appropriate way - allowing them access to their phones is demonstrating that I trust them to do so.