#ocTEL Activity 1.1

Hello everybody,

I was reading another blog post around this activity and it inspired an idea for my answer. As I am currently a student the teaching part of this activity is difficult to apply. However, after reading the blog post i mentioned, something rang true with a workshop I ran as part of a marked assignment. Soon that basis, I will attempt to explain the workshop and hopefully try to convey my thoughts clearly.

So as a basis to the activity, we were asked to think about an activity we have ‘taught’ before in terms of the following grid, placing the activity in the relevant quadrant.

Dimensions that affect teaching and learning

The workshop I was reflecting on was to peers on the same course and it was designed to introduce a ‘new’ topic to them using activities and a presentation. The topic I chose was museum visits to support curriculum learning in primary schools, using a Prezi to convey the theory and completing activities that would be done with primary school children. I attempted to use a few technologies throughout the session, to different successes, but the specific activity in question was simply using resources. The activity surrounded ration books and the three steps were as follows.

1) Read the paragraph that describes ration books

2) Look, feel, investigate the real life ration books that are being handed out.

3) Reflect upon which you enjoyed more and which gave you a better idea about the subject.

The activity was designed to be a very basic way of showing the participants that hands on experiences with artefacts stimulated learning more than simply reading around a subject. Personally I would assume that this activity would have fit into the individual and directed quadrant. However, as I was not specific in my instructions, the participants reflected in pairs, adding a social context to the activity. As I like to go with the flow of activities, I then brought everybody together and spoke as a group, making the activity last longer and adding more depth. This then pushed the activity further into the social quadrant.

The thoughts that I have around this subject reside around this concept of crossing multiple quadrants. In my imagination I can only think that most activities will cross more than one of these quadrants, especially if they have different stages, as my example did. So for future practice I would aim to narrow down activities, keeping them to specific learning quadrants. This would be easier in a session where multiple activities are used, as it would be possible to get the cross section by doing an activity that conforms to each quadrant. However, as I said before, I like to go with the flow with activities, and this approach would require me to direct the activities a lot more in order to keep them in the correct quadrants. So I am torn to whether I would want my easy going guided approach and cross many quadrants in one activity or the opposite where I have much more of an influence.

Either way the grid is useful to think about how to plan activities and I look forward to reading other people’s posts, especially from people who have much more teaching experience.

Ricky

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2 comments

  1. Hi Ricky,

    I think you raise some interesting points here, and I enjoyed seeing it from your point of view. It’s not often I hear about teaching activities from students (note to self – maybe I should include some of this in my teaching/learning activities!).

    To be honest, I haven’t used a grid like this explicitly in my teaching, but when I reflect over my teaching style I can see that I also try to use a mix of methods that fall in the different quadrants. If you find it helps you plan your session initially then I’d say go with it, but I’d also encourage you to keep with your style of “go with the flow” depending on the group you’re teaching at the time. In my opinion there’s nothing worse than someone who goes into a session with a completely rigid idea of how they’re going to teach it, which may not always be compatible with the group they end up teaching. One particular school teacher of mine was like this, and it obviously made an impression on me (albeit the wrong one!) as I still remember her *many* years later!

    Keep going with your approach – it sounds like you’re on the right track to me!

    Best wishes,
    Sally

    1. Thankyou for your reply Sally, I’m glad somebody has similar thoughts to me! I am definitely having to think more about what I include in my activity posts being a student.

      I have similarly never used a grid like that, although I have come across them. I think the go with the flow approach does work with normal practical activities, however, with technology, the grid may work slightly better. As it may be easier to use a directed approach for specific technologies, it could be something to consider, or at least trial run. I will probably give it a go sometime!

      Ricky

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