Words words words wordswordswordswords.... One of the challenges of a literature review is gaining enough distance to see the wood for the trees. Especially for students whose disciplines don't generally involve writing words about words, a literature review can be more bewildering than orienting. We see this in literature reviews which become a catalogue of … Continue reading Mapping the Literature
A couple of people have recently asked about a tool I developed to teach critical reading, so I thought I'd blog about it to add a bit of context to what is basically a workshop handout. Working in a one to one context as a Learning Developer with students on assignments like literature reviews has … Continue reading The Three Domains of Critical Reading
The question of how to pitch a piece of academic writing for assessment is a tricky one. Who exactly is the audience, how much knowledge or interest can be assumed, what needs to be clarified, in order for an essay or report to be easily understood by the reader? Getting this wrong can result in … Continue reading Advising on audience
"Running a workshop is a stressful form of teaching as it does not allow the levels of control most teachers are used to; nor does it allow a facilitator the authority derived from being the 'master' of the workshop's content. " (Peelo 1994, p.113) I came across this quotation again a few months ago while … Continue reading Losing Control: Student-led sessions
"Get into pairs and discuss with the person next to you..." It's the go-to model for workshop activities. One to ones are by definition dialogues, and we also try to capitalise on the social constructivist nature of learning in our group sessions. The whole of my PGCE beautifully modelled social constructivist principles in the way … Continue reading Teaching Introverts
I wrote recently about using questions to think about writing as a dialogue rather than a monologue and make the reader more present in the writer's mind. We're getting towards the summer now, and therefore dissertations, and I've been coming back to the use of questions in my teaching to help students get a handle … Continue reading Dissertations: What *are* you doing?!
I think the point when I started to become a learning developer rather than a subject teacher was when I realised that I didn't have to have the answers, only the questions. It was very liberating! Since then, I've used questions a lot in my work, but one of the most useful ways is in … Continue reading Introductions: What’s this all about then?