Teaching context and philosophy
Influenced by a model of the key factors underpinning student learning suggested by Race (2020, p.14), I believe that active learning approaches that engage students with the material and foster them sharing their experiences motivate them in the learning process. Active learning methods also create a two-way process between an educator and learner so that both parties have opportunities to improve themselves.
In my early phase of teaching in the optometry (clinical) discipline, I used to believe that it was the student’s responsibility to pay attention to lectures and to learn the material. That it was my responsibility to concentrate on the course content and my knowledge base rather than consider in much depth how the delivery was perceived by students. After attending the Eye Teach program in 2013 and 2015 and the “Teaching Advantage” workshop at Queensland University of Technology, I realised that students need to engage with the material and the learning resources so that they are convinced of the relevance of what, how and why of the course content. They can then appreciate where the teaching fits within the course objectives and assessment tasks. Since then I have been incorporating constructive alignment of the course content, assessments, and feedback process in my teaching. For example, I conduct a quiz in the middle of the lectures as an active learning task to focus students on the content and to remind them of what they need to learn. I divide the class into subgroups and assign an activity then facilitate the peer feedback process. I am keen to start using GoSoapBox and One-minute paper where students have an opportunity to have their say to improve teaching. I believe that learning is a dynamic process, and it needs to be adaptive to the learners’ needs and the available technology.
Reference: Race, P. (2020). The lecturer's toolkit: a practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching (5th edition. ed.). Abingdon, Oxon; Routledge.