I have several handicaps after a heart failure followed by anoxic brain injury 12 years ago, one of them being that I am unable to filter background sounds from those sounds I want to hear. Therefore it is really fatiguing for me to be in a classroom-setting, so I have developed other ways of teaching.
Presently, I have interactive lectures produced in Adobe Captivate. The students are asked to prepare for class by going through a lecture. They then come to class and work in groups on specified problem sets. In class they have access to more senior students who can help structure the work, discuss solutions to the problems and answer questions about the course material. The new students can ask me questions through our LMS, anonymously if they wish, and I publish the answer to everyone in the course. They also have discussion threads in the LMS, where they can discuss different aspects of the course.
The problem is that the students mostly show up unprepared for class, and they don’t stay to work on the problems, but rather just take them and go. When it is exam-time, they start listening to the lectures and give the problems a shot, but all to late, so many of them fail, and then they complain that they don’t have a real teacher.
They obviously miss ”Teacher presence” so I will arrange more webinar-type sessions during the course. I will also think about how to shorten the lectures as they now take about an hour each.
Last year, I introduced Socrative in class for tests that yielded points towards the final exam. That is something I definitely will continue with.
I really like the idea of producing knowledge to learn, so I will introduce an activity where the students produce a page about an organic molecule on Wikipedia (inspired by Pia Palm in this course), maybe in a collaborative manner.
This autumn, I met a student who really likes to learn things. He expresses his desire to be at the University just to be able to learn stuff, but finds school activities ”getting in the way of his learning”, which I find very interesting, and also can identify with to some part during this course. So many interesting things to try out, but I have to contribute to a presentation or write a blog post…