the importance of working .. in groups   Leave a comment

The topic of today’s optional module was designing and leading seminars to promote learning.  Apart from missing the beginning of it because I misread the reminder, it was very enlightening to attend the lecture, to work in groups with other colleagues and to share with them my few dramatic experiences in the field of “delivering” seminars.  Initially we interacted in two large groups.  In each group one was playing the part of the tutor and another was working as the observer.  The tutor of the group I belonged to played a nice name game to get to know each member of the group.

Then, the importance of the seating arrangement of the students and the tutor was also discussed thanks to the help of a couple of videos. From the videos we were able to appreciate the importance of creating groups of students to stimulate not only the learning experience but also to help the development of social skills and other skills as well.

Other equally important aspects of the design of a seminar were also introduced by the lecturers: the adequate use of questions (not supposed to intimidate the students), the understanding of different levels of engagement (the silent engagement of students can be tolerated because they are listening and learning that way) and the importance of mixing groups of different nationalities.  Then, we were also provided with do’s and don’ts, such as avoiding some types of questions, and with some practical advices, such as preparing the seminar beforehand and knowing the number of students.

Anyway, it was very interesting for me to see how effective it can be a seminar in which groups of students, starting from smaller (just 2 students) to larger sizes, interact with each other and the tutor. The tutor is acting like a catalyst and he is supposed to speed up the learning process.  If I get to design a seminar in the future what I have learned today will be very helpful.

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Posted November 11, 2014 by andrecatte in career

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