I am about to embark on a new venture. I will be teaching NCFE level 2 with a group of teaching assistants for a few hours a week. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. It’s an opportunity to put into practice all my constructivist ideals and my commitment to web 2.0 but it’s going to be a challenge. I’m putting all my teaching materials online in the Teaching Assistants area of usefulwiki and I hope to attract other UK based TA trainers and students to get involved.
Like the web head I am 🙂 the first thing I did was ask round in the TA forums for people’s impressions and experiences of the course. I got lots of helpful advice and encouragement and a great book list! However one of the main thing that they agreed on was that sometimes the tutors ‘waffle on’ about things that don’t seem very relevant to the evidence based assessment criteria. This instantly rang bells for me. I could be wrong but this may be a case of surface versus deep learning. The TAs want their ‘bit of paper’ and as stressed, busy people, they want to achieve it by doing ‘just enough’ work to get them through. The tutors though have other objectives, they want to produce rounded, competent TAs who are reflective about their work, apply theory to their practice etc. Is this starting to sound familiar to any one? Especially people at Ultraversity?
I have no idea how to resolve this at the moment but I think the key is in carefully structured assessment assignments that encourage a reflective attitude without overburdening the students. Oh, and finding a variety of ways of providing evidence for meeting the assessment criteria. Time to put the money where the mouth is! Watch out for a batch of blogging TAs!