All entries for June 2022

June 27, 2022

Promoting Metacognition Through Student Self–Assessment – Emily Atkinson

Please see this blog post by CTE alumni Emily Atkinson on Promoting Metacognition Through Student Self-Assessment:

https://researchschool.org.uk/billesley/news/promoting-metacognition-through-student-self-assessment

There is also an EEF report called Moving forwards, making a difference: A planning guide for schools 2022–23 that Emily features in (page nine).


June 20, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Lauren Slawson

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?

In 2005 - the same year that I graduated - Stephen Fry was awarded an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. At our awards ceremony, he gave a speech, much of which I cannot remember except for one piece of advice that I have carried with me until this day (non-verbatim): No matter how much money you make, or how successful you become the only thing you will be remembered for by anyone is how you made them feel.

It is indeed the teachers who made me feel supported, who were warm and approachable, who encouraged me and showed patience, sincerity and consistency, who I remember the most. So much so that without one particular teacher’s influence I am not even sure I would have applied for university, let alone completed a degree. With this, I also remember the teachers that did not make me feel so valued. And like many of us do, I left school with an understanding of who I was and what I could do based on what I was shown by the adults around me.

I achieved a D for GCSE maths and I am not very good at it. Is that a truth or is it a message instilled in me from school when I was told this by a teacher? Cowley argues that “The relationship with the learners you teach effects the quality of differentiation that takes place in your lesson” (Cowley 2018, p.62). With this in mind, had said teacher taken the time to find out more about why I was struggling might the outcome have been different? Would my beliefs about my numerical capability still be the same? Conversely, one of the highlights of my career before teaching was supporting high level civil engineers with the development of professional qualifications. Engineers need to be very good at maths and I needed to have an understanding of mathematical concepts in order to support them. Why was I able to do this successfully despite a D grade? Because a colleague (and a mentor) recognised my strengths, looked beyond what I thought I couldn’t do and focused on what I could.

Just recently I was listening to a podcast called Off Menu. On this particular episode award winning actor and writer Asim Chaudhry talks about a negative experience he had with a teacher. Despite huge success Chaudhry explains that this one experience still affects him now and for many years he didn’t think he was good enough (Acaster, J. & Gamble, E. 2021). As Dweck explains “Every word and action can send a message. It tells children – or students, or athletes – how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: you have permanent traits and I’m judging them. Or it can be a growth-mindset message that says: you are a developing person and I am interested in your development.” (Dweck 2012, p.266)

The language we use as teachers is powerful and it sticks. It is therefore my philosophy that successful pedagogy cannot exist without a genuine demonstration of belief in student capability, and to celebrate successes equally, whether that be an A* for one student or a long and laborious struggle from a D grade to a C for another. For if I am able to do this as a teacher then it is my hope that students will leave school with a strong sense of self-belief, motivation and an acknowledgement that they are defined by much more than what they believe they can or cannot do.

References

Acaster, J. & Gamble, E. (2021) Off Menu [podcast] Ep 113: Asim Chaudhry 20:00-20:55 / 01:06:28 Available at: https://play.acast.com/s/offmenu/ep113-asimchaudhry Accessed on 4th October 2021.

Cowley, S 2018, The Ultimate Guide to Differentiation: Achieving Excellence for All, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [9 October 2021].

Dweck, C 2012, Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, Constable & Robinson, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [9 October 2021].


June 13, 2022

Instructional Innovation

Including Esports in the curriculum to prepare for the Metaverse(s)

By Dr Isabel Fischer, Reader in Information Systems, WBS

Following the launch of our Warwick Esports centre, in collaboration with the Esports team Jack Fenton and Elenore Jiawen Li, we included Esports in four WBS modules (Digital Transformation, Design Thinking for Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing Technology and Management, and Developing Consulting Expertise). This allowed management students to experiment with and to reflect on digital innovations and to find solutions to problems. Specifically, we wanted to encourage students to develop tangible ideas for the future metaverse ecosystem.

While learning about technologies and business models related to Esports and the Metaverse, the topic also allowed students to reflect on the convergence of technology, ethics, science, psychology and digital wellbeing, as well as on the impact on environmental and social sustainability. Teaching delivery was accompanied by authentic assessments, with students able to choose their topic. These novel assessments (vlogs, blogs, board papers) were introduced in the previous year which allowed for comparisons.

We found on the one hand that the quality of submitted assignments improved, with students seemingly much more creative and also technological ‘savvy’, both for their choice of topics and content as well as for the delivery formats. On the other hand, module evaluation showed that the inclusion of the Metaverse and Esports early on in the module ‘hyped’ students and wet their appetite to ‘fully’ understand the potential applications of the Metaverse despite the Metaverse(s) still being conceptualised. While previous students were happy with carton-based headsets using their own mobile phones, some of this year’s students would have appreciated working with sophisticated VR headsets, possibly because our teaching delivery was further hyped up as it coincided with Microsoft’s $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, clearly showing the current potential of the gaming industry.

Finally, here are some testimonials from students new to Esports, provided after the initial seminar on Esports:

  1. I am doing the Design Thinking module where we had a chance to join the esports world. This enables us to think creatively! I love our Warwick Esports Centre.
  2. Thank you for letting us use the Esports Centre - it was really fun and easy to learn.
  3. First time and it was a very enjoyable experience. Very well organized and easy for beginners.
  4. Really enjoyable experience, great equipment.
  5. The game is really fun to play. It’s quite unexpecting and fun which the seminar works. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for the experience.
  6. Thank you for giving students such a good opportunity on campus. It really is a good way to bring people from different backgrounds together.

For further information on this initiative you might want to listen to this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ldcuwarwick/episodes/Blogging--AI-Marking--Online-Learning--Communication--Metaverse--Esports-e1d8efu


June 07, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Tohko Nohara

My Teaching Touchstone

I have always been interested in environmental science and conservation since I was very little. By the end of high school, I enjoyed science, but it was not as strong as I wanted to study biology or chemistry. Instead, I went to a university in the US where I studied sustainable development. A part of my program requirement was to complete an internship. I completed an internship at an environmental education organization called Change is Simple. I was initially drawn to the fact that I can work on projects about environmental science and conservation with a local community. Yet I ended up being placed with the education team where I went into elementary schools in the Greater Boston area to conduct environmental science activities for K-5 students.

I was able to integrate my love of nature with creative activities to spread the importance of conservation to children. I discovered that I really enjoy teaching through this opportunity. However, I was initially hesitant about becoming a teacher. I never excelled in schoolwork partially because I constantly moved around as a child (I have moved about 15 times in my life). Every time I moved, the curriculum changed, and I never felt comfortable as a learner. I wondered about the existence of teachers as to why teachers need to be there when in a digital age, information is obtainable in various methods.

My mindset for teaching slowly started to shift as I continued my studies in Sustainable Development. A few months before graduating from my undergraduate degree, I had an opportunity to study the concept of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in depth. I chose to focus on the number four goal: providing quality education to children all over the world.

I discovered that teaching is such a multi-faceted discipline. I realized that the art of teaching is both science and art. Teaching is more than passing on knowledge; “[t]he development of a powerful lesson plan is desirable, but the quality of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of a deep learning experience” (McGuey, Moore 40). I learned that teaching is such a flexible discipline. Creativity and multi-discipline focus are essential for "no longer is a teacher just a teacher. Today a teacher must wear many hats. A teacher must be a counselor, parents, advocate, mediator, confidant, adviser, and more" (Doucet 6). Teachers have so much potential to be a vibrant part of the community through "...build[ing] relationships to help everyone develop to their full potential.” (Doucet 17).

I felt like I took a detour by coming back to school and student teaching after completing my undergraduate degree. However, I am realizing that all of what I studied and experiences I gained are an important part of who I am as a teacher. I hope to grow as a teacher who not only provides solid subject knowledge, but also emphasizes forming communities and relationships. I want to stimulate their curiosity and learn together the wonders of the world in a safe community.

Works Cited

Doucet, A. (2019). Teaching Life: Our Calling, Our Choices, Our Challenges. New York: Routledge.

Moore, L., McGuey G. (2016). The Inspirational Teacher Second Edition. New York: Routledge.


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