H800 (Terri's Group) Paul's PTLL Micro Teach

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Paul Dixon
27 March 2014

Narrator

Approximately five years ago I completed the Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) award. The course was 10 weeks long, with a final course assessment consisting of a 30 minute micro teach. The aim of the micro teach was to demonstrate your ability to teach a topic of your choice to five of the course students. My role in this was to come up with the topic and to design and deliver the micro teach successfully, so that I could pass the course. At the end of the micro teach the students fed back on the session. ‘Micro teach’ and ‘teach’ were the terms used in the course and by the lecturer – they are not mine and ones I would choose.

Situation

The course and micro teach took place at the City of Bristol College’s Soundwell site. We were located in a new building, on the second floor, in the Education and Training centre. The second floor comprised of 10 + classrooms equipped with new desktop PCs and Interactive Whiteboards. There were also two computer classrooms with 12 + desktop PCs. We had booked our classrooms and equipment in advance. The key actors were the lecturer and the course students. We were split into four groups of six students, with the micro teaches running concurrently. The micro teach took place at the end of the ten week course so we had all got to know each other over the 10 weeks. People were quite nervous, not only did they have to deliver the micro teach – something many of the participants had never done before, they would also be assessed by the lecturer and by their group peers. Everybody wanted to complete the micro teach successfully so that they could complete the course.

Task

The aim of my micro teach was to enable the participants to be able to use a wiki and to understand how it could be used by a group of students to collaboratively develop and document their knowledge and understanding regarding a topic.

Actions

Preparation:

  1. I developed the session plan, which included timings, resources etc
  2. I chose five fruit that would be the research topic for each of the participants, I printed pictures and put them in a black cloth bag
  3. I prepared for the micro teach by setting up an empty wiki within a Blackboard course that I had created for the purpose of the micro teach, I created five temporary course accounts and assigned them to the course

Session:

  1. Introduced the micro teach and demonstrated an example of a wiki and its use by students within a Further Education College
  2. Introduced the hands on activity by asking the participants to put their hand in the bag and take out an object. Effect: the participants were surprised and initially reluctant to choose an object, the task got them interested, excited and motivated
  3. Participants logged onto the course and began the first task, researching their chosen fruit using Wikipedia. Each participant created a page and using four heading I specified, summarised their findings in the wiki. Obstacle: two of the participants were not very it literate and therefore needed quite a bit of support, I had included links to the Wikipedia articles in the course site so this helped speed up the process of accessing the appropriate page.
  4. After ten minutes, I asked them to swap their chosen piece of fruit with someone else and to continue to research and document using other sources of their choice, with the aim of finding and adding additional interesting facts about the fruit. Effect: Participants were keen to read what had already been documented and to continue researching and documenting
  5. After a further five minutes, I asked them to swap again and to continue to find and add additional interesting facts about the next piece of fruit.
  6. Summarised the session, demonstrated the end result and the history function. I asked participants to feedback on the activity, how they felt about using the wiki and if/where they would use a wiki in their own practice.

Results

The micro teach duration of 30 minutes was very a limited time in which to get the concept of a wiki and how it could be used across to the participants. The session over ran by five minutes. All the participants created a page, and contributed to the knowledge of more than one piece of fruit. During the plenary at least one participant described how they would use a wiki within their teaching and learning practice.

Reflections

I delivered the micro teach over five years ago so its difficult to remember everything, however I do remember that it was challenging to carry out such an activity within such a tight timescale and that the participants enjoyed the collaborative hands on aspect of the session.

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