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Right okay, no this is good. Right, stop the cameras aren’t here, okay? There’s lots of things I enjoy about teaching on this course but I have to say the thing that I enjoy most is, our students. I just love our students. Why? Lots of reasons, first and foremost they’re so diverse. In terms of geographically, cultural backgrounds, experience we’ve got everything from sort of people being very new to teaching in Higher Education. For others who have been sort of practicing in industry for 10 or 20 years and they’re bringing that wealth of experience with them.
Others are sort of more research oriented and it’s just it’s that kind of diverse background and those diverse experiences that they bring to the course that makes it what it is and it adds value not just to each other but to us as educators, as well. Yeah, absolutely.
I think that’s the real privilege of being involved in this course, we do get to learn from those wide range of experiences and kind of giving students the opportunity to connect with each other and despite that diversity there’s often quite a lot of common themes, things that people can compare and contrast and try and think about what’s relevant to their own practice and how they can advance based on those interactions that they have with others so I think that sense of community is really important isn’t it? It is, what I also love it’s a different aspect of it, is the way they challenge us and make us think about and reflect on our role as educators.
I can’t remember the last time in fact I don’t think it’s happened where I’ve not been part of a cohort where I have been prompted to think about myself as an educator. Is this going well, or what am I taking away from this and I really had to think about my own approaches and but that is the very nature of teaching, isn’t it Annie?
Teaching and learning you know it’s about that openness, that willingness to constantly think about your practice, reflect on it wherever the evaluation data or the feedback is coming from, so whether it’s our students who are challenging us to be better or elsewhere but they they definitely prompt me to think about is this the best way to do things Brinder? Could it be done a different way you know or give me spark me you know give me ideas to go and try in my own practice. So, that kind of two-way process of the nature of courses like this is, you know, probably one of the things I really enjoy.
Yeah me too, it’s kind of constantly surprising isn’t it, it can be quite unpredictable and I guess that’s the experience for lots of students on the course as well as they’re having their preconceptions challenged, find out about new ways of doing things, take inspiration from other people but that’s very much the journey that we’re going on as educators during the course. We do talk a lot about more formal theories of learning in the course don’t we and sort of formal frameworks and models around assessment and feedback as well which is all very important when teaching in higher education and that’s important for a number of reasons.
One, it’s great to know what’s out there but because everybody is coming from different experiences so they would have had different pathways coming into higher education. We often find you know this is by by no means you know the only examples but we often teach the way we were taught sometimes or we teach in the way that we prefer to learn. Sometimes if we’re new to higher education, we teach instinctively or intuitively so kind of having the more formal content around theories and frameworks does two things, one it helps us to understand what else is out there but two, if we have done things more intuitively it helps to build and understand the ‘why’ question.
Why am I teaching this way, have I always done it this way, why have I always done it this way, what is the motivation, what’s the rationale? And although the theories are what they are, they can provide that underpinning and so we hopefully can see a shift in our students from doing things potentially unwittingly, although things might work well, to now having this kind of expanded understanding about why we’re doing things the way we are with our students and to use them more consciously, you know, using the frameworks, using the theories, now that doesn’t mean you need to use them in the way that they’re written, you can tweak you can adapt you can take the bits that you like like a pick and mix in a sweet shop or something and adapt them for your own practice so I would like to think that the course offers a balance in that.
Yeah I like what you say about that kind of conscious aspect, you know sometimes people are doing things in their practice but maybe they haven’t reflected on as you say the why, the rationale, what’s leading them to do it in that way and we would hope that this course kind of challenges people, invites people to start to give that some consideration. There’s a lot that students can hopefully take forward with them following the completion of course itself, so we would hope that things like the networking, that sense of community, as well as being able to experiment with, give further consideration to and hopefully apply some of the theories, the techniques, the practices, that they’ve encountered in the short course.
Students won’t finish the two weeks and think, now what? What am I supposed to do with this? I’ve looked at the content, I’ve read this, I’ve listened to that, I’ve explored this, you know, now what do I do? So, there is lots of room within the course to align theory and practice and to contextualise it from themselves. So it’s not something they need to do when they leave, it’s stuff that they have that they can go away, experiment, try out and kind of talk to their colleagues about and in addition you know they’ve got the network from the course which can live beyond the two weeks.
Who says that you can’t talk to these individuals again or communicate or engage and share practice once the course is over? But what’s, what I also value is, you know, you’re leaving with ideas but there are tangible things that you can go away and do immediately beyond the course but also once you’re participating in the course. We have authentic examples, authentic ideas, not just from the participants within the course but beyond institutions from different parts of the world across HE which is incredibly valuable. So the impact is going to long live, you know, beyond the life of the course which is one of the things that makes me very excited about this course.

Watch the video of educators, Annie and Brinder, discussing what they value and enjoy about designing and facilitating courses such as this one.

They both have been involved in teaching and supporting the development of Higher Education teachers, across different formats, for many years. Drawing on their experiences, they want to share some of their thinking that underpins the design of this course, and to let you know what inspires and motivates them to be here with you.

Please note: as this is an open short course, there will be minimal facilitation from the educators.

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Exploring Teaching and Assessment for Higher Education

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