Developmental Teaching/Learning

I’ve just finished teaching (and am still marking) a course called Oral Rhetoric. In it students start by telling a 5 minute story from their own experiences to the class. They also are part of a team that presents, in a business-style, the information they need to know how to complete the course assignments, (to make it as ‘real’ as possible). Then they have a series of small assignments that culminate in them recording their story with added music, sound effects, and interview clips and posting it on their online blogs. This year I decided to find out what they thought about various aspects of the course using the form aspect of Google Docs.

Google Docs- FormI’ve had 21 responses, and I now know what most have as their favorite assignment –

Favorite assignments I also know which of their classmates’ assignments they most enjoyed experiencing –

Favorite assignments of classmatesThere are some other things I learned, but the most important feedback for me is that they now hear differently; their perception of recorded materials has become more conscious.

Hearing differentlyWhat I believe that response means is that they will continue to learn about speaking and being recorded after they’ve finished the course. Their learning will continue to develop.

And that’s my ambition as a teacher – to create long term, independent learners.

2 thoughts on “Developmental Teaching/Learning

  1. Thanks for sharing the findings. Interesting to notice, as you point out, most of the students enjoyed telling stories to an audience, and that they preferred the f2f aspect of the experience. Could it be that they’re not yet comfortable with the newness of the recording aspect? It would be interesting to hear how the students will react to/reacted to the findings when you share(d) with them.

  2. Getting students to think about what and how they learn is both a challenge and a necessary part of the teaching/learning process. It is how they become conscious (and more able to control) the process. It doesn’t surprise me that most students enjoyed the face-to-face part of the experience. This fits with my own biased take on learning/teaching that it is a social experience first (gotta love Vygotsky!) before the cognitive changes/development will occur. The face-to-face also uses more senses–vision, sound, smell together that you have to somehow re-interpret in a recording. Changing modes requires more than just talking into a microphone and that is the part I think you are trying to help students realize and learn.

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