In 2015 my focus was to redesign 3MED as a student-centred course. This was a tangible, measurable goal that was closely connected to my wider focus around my teaching as being learning focused, not assessment driven.
A student-voice post from last year captured many aspect of the class – as does many planning documents including a slightly cringe worthy attempt at capturing the course in a letter I wrote and emailed to all students at the beginning of the year. The measurable outcomes suggest I was successful. All students recorded an improvement in their self-motivation and self-management skills. Personally I averaged less than 5 minutes at the front of the class for the entire year. And results wise were comparable to previous years.
However, the class culture was more favoured by students than the learning outcomes. They noted that they enjoyed the class but didn’t feel like they learnt a lot from it. This might reflect that the skills they were developing are part of the hidden curriculum and therefore less accessible for their own reflection. However, I agree that the learning wasn’t as strong as it could have been. The tutorial structure didn’t work as well as I hoped and the collaboration that I envisioned never really manifested.
The next steps are bringing the momentum that I have begun in this class to the multi level combined 2MED/3MED classes I have this year. Some of the strategies I have begun to explore to address what happened last year:
- Formalised tutorial plan co-constructed with the students – every class has a teacher-directed offering that the students have control over what it is.
- Collaborative critical quartets – assigned groups that check in once a week for reflective conversations about what is going on.
- Four set deadlines throughout the year – however, student choice enables the to decide what they submit for each of these checkpoints.
Stay tuned for more reflection on the progress!