Last Thursday was the day of our first “teaching” -virtual session, which was interesting – to say the least… 🙂
The teaching was organized to be done in groups, and the session itself was divided into four main topics as per each of the groups. At first, there were few technical issues with virtual rooms, but luckily they didn’t bother after a while. The topics of the teaching sessions were about “Learning, guidance and recognizing different learners” and mostly of how the learning can be guided as a teacher.
The topic itself is wide – quick search, with some general keywords of the topic, resulted in plethora of publications and papers. Therefore it seems that collecting somewhat basic knowledge of the subject matter seems to be a doable task.
The virtual room, that I was participating in, was the room “Rats” and the subtopic was about recognizing different styles of learning as well as concepts and terms. The teaching session was conducted by Maria and she did really good work! I prepared myself with the topic beforehand with the pre-material, but there were few misunderstandings on my behalf, and it made it difficult for me to discuss about the topic. Note to self: Step 1: prepare yourself for the discussion. Step 2: repeat step one until prepared.
Our groups’ teaching topic was about learning theories and most common views of learning. The material linked to the Edulab-Wordpress site helped massively in the beginning. Some relevant and interesting publications of the subtopic were also found by using the Google Scholar. Our team organized our session to be held as a debate -type of discussion, and the preliminary tasks for the participants were to familiarize themselves with the topic by using our spreadsheet-document, as well as submitting their debate arguments to the Google Forms -page, which Eeva did for us.
It seems that by handing out pre-material as well as giving some preliminary task (even little task, which needs at least some concentration) motivates people, and also myself as I was doing the preliminary tasks for other subtopics as well. Also the right usage of web-based tools makes the pre-tasks easy to conduct, as well as effortless to submit.
For reflective purposes some notes that I came up with after the session:
+ Videos are motivating, and they are easy to watch
+ Well-organized session and clear tasks makes it easier to guide
+ Pre-material should be concise, motivating, and easy to comprehend
+ Participants’ respective tasks should also be given well in advance
+ Learning methods vary, and some learners may feel that one method may be better for them than others. Way to good teaching may lie in the successful combination of teaching methods for motivating learners, that favor some method over other.
Of course there are always some technical issues, but altogether I feel that it was a success for the groups. In addition, it was the first online session for me after the summer so it was kind of hard for me to get to the right mindset… Better luck next time.