Thursday, 25 February 2016

Putting it into action

The increase in responsibility with the senior lecturer is surely taking up my time!
I'm currently finding it difficult to juggle everything, plus I'm still winding down my film activities in the background which is also time consuming. Factor in having a 7 month old baby and I can't recall the last time I had any time to myself!

The good news is that the Active Learning Session has really invigorated my teaching.  its like the shackles are off. I feel confident in my teaching again, but armed with a more balanced approach and a new found enthusiasm to try new things and new stimulus in lectures and tutorials that can help promote energy and fun in the class and thus promote deep learning.

The whole experience has actually prompted me to try more techniques and also to link the stimulus with some quantifiable goals.

One of my projects going into the next academic year is to increase cine-literacy.
I have noted a trend for first year students to have a pronounced lack of diversity in their film experience.  In a survey of students, I found a massive gap in viewing habits - namely the accepted classics of cinema were not being watched, and in some cases actively avoided.

Its essential in film and filmmaking, that key works should be analysed and contextualised with the filmmakers practice in order to gain a greater understanding of the process and areas such as subtext in sound, image and text.

On Tuesday I will be delivering a lecture to all three years of the film students.
In the lecture I'm going to address the issue but in a "call to arms" style.
It could easily devolve into a "nagging session" but instead I want to address the issue in a fun and provocative way.
To this end I am piloting a live poll during the session, where students can vote their answers using their phones/iPads and then the results will appear on the screen.
Its introducing a level of interaction on a large scale that Ive never attempted before, but is very exciting.

I will monitor the lecture carefully, and then see how attendance of the suggested film screening goes in the evening.  That will be the acid test!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Back on board

Its been quite a while since my last confession!

The Active Learning presentation went really well, and I'm pleased I did so much research and prepared so thoroughly.  A great feeling of accomplishment.

But also, in all honesty, my initial reticence about academia seems to be fading and I am genuinely feeling like the theories are making sense to me and adding to my teaching skills.

Its now incumbent on me to keep up with the research now, but more importantly, start to incorporate the theories into my teaching going forward.
I think this whole experience is going to influence how I plan lectures next academic year.  I will be paying close attention to structuring lectures and bringing the pluralistic approach to my future lectures, with more content and also more variety and breaks etc.

I will upload the full video of my engagement exercise to vimeo and look to up on my next update.

NB more updates.