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Working in an international classroom: some things I’ve learned from students Dr Gayle Pringle Barnes College of Social Sciences

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1 Working in an international classroom: some things I’ve learned from students Dr Gayle Pringle Barnes College of Social Sciences

2 Academic culture A set of assumptions underpinning learning and teaching activities Requirements of successful study What is ‘valued’ – and what is not Academic cultures Various Variable Often assumed rather than articulated explicitly

3 Key questions How can we make explicit the academic culture we expect our students to succeed within? How can we utilise the variety of skills and experiences our students bring?

4 One student’s view of lectures “Before the course, I thought all I had to do was attend class armed with a pen and pad and ready to take down notes on a particular subject. I was so used to this method of lectures that I got a bit of a surprise when I had to read in advance of lectures to get a background view of the lecture.” (MSc student – University of Glasgow, 2011)

5 In the classroom Preparation Participation Explaining culturally-specific content Communication with teaching staff

6 Independent study An example: Reading independently to prepare assessed work involves: Finding suitable source materials Reading to identify relevant points Synthesising material from a range of sources Presenting source material appropriately and effectively Using sources to support a logical argument …and more!

7 Student solutions “Because many opinions from different authors may easily make you confused, you need to find a method to organize those ideas […] I always draw a map before I write each essay. This map tells you the relationship of the articles I read with my topic. Usually, the topic is in the centre of the map, and many branches extend which represent different studies and opinions on this topic. From this map, I can get a clear idea of the structure of my essay”. (MSc student – University of Glasgow, 2011)

8 Assessment Writing assignments and exams Assessment process Feedback

9 Exploring expectations of teaching and learning Discussion –Case studies –Sample assignments –Ongoing process Sharing effective study practices

10 Resources The Higher Education Academy (2012) International Student Lifecycle Resources Bank. Available at: [Accessed 1 March 2012]. University of Glasgow (2011) Preparing for Study: Student and Staff Views. Available at: ternational/preparingforstudy/ [Accessed 1 March 2012]. ternational/preparingforstudy/


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