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Nicki Berry's design narrative: Teaching to teach

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Nicki Berry
24 March 2017

Narrator

I am the line manager of a new ECDL tutor. This is her first teaching post and she has only completed the level 3 PTLLS qualification, though she has just enrolled on the level 4 CTLLS. As a passionate teacher of many years, I want to see an improvement in our ICT teaching and I took the opportunity with this new tutor to be her mentor, do a little team teaching and to teach her to be a good teacher.

Situation

ECDL is taught for 3 hours per week on an evening, in the ICT suite of the adult learning centre which is my work base. The centre is newly renovated and the ICT room has 15 computers and an ActivBoard. I also have access to a set of ActivExpressions.

The new tutor has worked in ICT for many years but is new to teaching. She is acutely aware of her lack of experience and is very keen to learn. She has been very appreciative of my support in getting her started in the classroom.

The tutor believes that she has the potential to become a good tutor and potentially wants to leave her current job and make a career in teaching.

Task

I was trying to prevent the new tutor from copying our existing ICT tutors, who predominantly run workshop-style classes with learners working independently on self-study for the full session, only asking the tutor if they get stuck. What I want to see is more whole class and group teaching, a better group dynamic and ultimately, faster and higher pass rates.

Actions

  1. I thought through how I would teach ECDL, if I were the main tutor.
  2. I offered to team teach alternate sessions with the new tutor, with a view to demonstrating some teaching techniques that she might find interesting and might want to adopt.
  3. We planned a scheme of work together and the first session plan. Initially, I completed the planning document, thinking out loud, so she could see how I planned. Then I asked questions to prompt her to plan. Now, the tutor is responsible for all planning, delegating sections of the session to me as she chooses.
  4. The tutor tends to delegate sections that she needs ideas for, or sections that she thinks I will approach in an interactive, fun way. I plan for these sections, using the ActivBoard, ActivExpressions and a variety of interactive activities.
  5. During the lesson, we alternate teaching. She enjoys watching me teach, as it gives her ideas, helps her to develop her communication style and gives her a break from the intensity of teaching.
  6. When there is an exam session, the intention is that I will attend and take the exam, as I have no ICT qualifications and this will help me. My knowledge has been helped by her specialist knowledge and by planning teaching sections.
  7. We have extensive data that shows how quickly and how successfully ‘workshop’ learners have taken their exams. We will then compare this with the taught group. If it is successful, I hope to repeat this team teaching with some of the existing tutors.
  8. Alongside the ‘in class’ mentoring, I also meet with the tutor monthly to deliver other forms of training. She has already had an initial tutor induction, ActivBoard training and is booked onto training for Safeguarding and Prevent.

Results

I will know more in terms of learner results in a couple of weeks’ time. My main interest though, is the tutor’s ability to teach – to manage whole class/group sessions. At the moment, it is very early days but these are the differences I saw between week 1 and week 3:

  • In week 1, the tutor was imparting information, lecture style and there was very little learner participation. In week 3, the tutor talked less and set tasks so learners could practise their skills.
  • In week 1, the tutor used a PowerPoint to present information. In week 3, she used a smaller PowerPoint and a range of other Word documents to demonstrate skills.
  • In week 1, the tutor’s communication style was quite cold. She wasn’t attempting to build relationships with the learners. By week 3, she was beginning to use humour, chat with learners and there was a more relaxed atmosphere.

Update (30/03/2017) - the class took their first exam this week and everybody passed. All the results were above 85% and several were in the 90s. This is after only 4 taught sessions. In other classes, it has taken up to 12 weeks to get everyone through the first exam. So I am tentatively thinking of this as a success.

Reflections

It is probably too early to reflect meaningfully, so I will update this as the weeks go by.

 

Extra content

Learning Outcomes for the unit - :
1- Deliver taught sessions using interactive activities.- Bloom type: Application
2- Plan an effective scheme of work.- Bloom type: Synthesis



Activities Set 1

Mon Mar 20 - Mon Mar 20  
Estimated completion time for this activities-set is 30 minutes

The activities-set addresses the following Learning Outcomes (defined for this unit):
  • Plan an effective scheme of work.
 

1


  • Teacher introduces the importance of focusing on interactive teaching techniques, as one of the general principles of classroom teaching for students to focus on in their data collection task (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 30 minutes)
  Discuss icon





Activities Set 2

Mon Mar 27 - Mon Mar 27  
Estimated completion time for this activities-set is 165 minutes

The activities-set addresses the following Learning Outcomes (defined for this unit):
  • Deliver taught sessions using interactive activities.
 

1


  • The data collection is conducted with one or more members of the team conducting lesson observations to collect data about interactive teaching techniques in classroom teaching (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 45 minutes)
  read, watch or listen



2


  • The data collection is conducted with one or more members of the team conducting lesson observations to collect data about interactive teaching techniques in classroom teaching (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 120 minutes)
 

Practice icon






Activities Set 3

   
Estimated completion time for this activities-set is 45 minutes

The activities-set addresses the following Learning Outcomes (defined for this unit):
  • Deliver taught sessions using interactive activities.
 

1


  • The teams select the best examples of evidence in the recorded data and share them with the rest of the group, providing an explanatory summary for each piece of evidence (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 15 minutes)
  collaboration icon



2


  • All class members explore the collected materials (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 30 minutes)
  collaboration icon





Activities Set 4

Mon Apr 3 - Mon Apr 3  
Estimated completion time for this activities-set is 45 minutes

The activities-set addresses the following Learning Outcomes (defined for this unit):
  • Deliver taught sessions using interactive activities.
 

1


  • The teacher uses the collected materials as stimuli to facilitate a discussion amongst the whole group about the links between students' own classroom teaching and the general principles of classroom teaching (Discuss - 45 minutes) (work asynchronously with your peers for approximately 45 minutes)
  Discuss icon



Nicki Berry
18:16 on 31 March 2017

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