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So, what really makes a good GEES lecturer?

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1 So, what really makes a good GEES lecturer?
Paul Wright Southampton Solent University

2 What our students say about us
Paul Wright Southampton Solent University

3 Never ask the GEES office a question!
Paul Wright Southampton Solent University

4 Teaching Excellence Lubin and Prosser (1994):
‘…does not imply that good teaching always results in high quality student learning but that it is designed to do so and that it is practised in a way likely to lead to high quality .’ NTFS criteria (from Gibbs and Habeshaw, 2003): ‘….an ongoing engagement with the scholarship of learning and teaching, an understanding of how students learn, a promotion of interactivity, and all round enhancement of student learning.’

5 Things that I know! Students’ perceptions of the learning context predicates their approaches to learning ‘Good’ learning outcomes are achieved by active engagement with the learning process Learning is promoted through engagement with the real world

6 Responses and methodology
The question changed! Emphasis on what makes a good lecturer, rather than a good ‘learning experience’. Does not seem to make any differences as other Subject Centres reported similar themes. Mix of students: 19 responses, both pre and post 1992 universities taking part. 6 essays from Level 1, 4 from level 2, 8 from Level 3, and one MSc student. Thirteen responses came from female students. 5 geology students, 8 geographers, 3 environmental scientists, and 3 combined majors contributed. Process: Essays were made anonymous, and then mixed at random and coded. There were over 200 or so codings all identifying some aspect of teaching, or the teacher, that the students perceived as ‘good’. Thematic analysis


8 Interpretive Framework
Teachers’ conception of teaching (Biggs,1999) Students’ conception of teaching (This study) What the student is What the teacher is What the teacher does What the student does What the teacher gets us to do

9 Type I: Focus on what a good teacher is
80 responses from 205 codings ‘Character traits’ of a good lecturer. Students were all basically equal, and the efficacy of the teacher was based upon the person they were, rather than the things they did. Students ready to be taught. Teacher as ‘edutainer’.

10 Type I: Focus on what a good teacher is
Most important: Accessible, enthusiastic, passionate, humorous. Clear sense that we need to be inspiring. “The idea of a stage performance is important; they’re not called lecture theatres for nothing!” “Being a human, not just a lecturer also makes a good lecturer; it is important that lecturers do not become rigid automatons.” “A good lecturer is not something which can be produced, trained or practiced…..You can hear it in their voice; you cannot read it from a handout”

11 Type II: Focus on what a good teacher does
Over half the responses included, but no predominant themes Implication of what happens ‘out front’. Three of the more important issues: Relates theory to real life experiences using, for example, anecdote Good delivery, diction, and pacing, with appropriate handouts, visuals, and web support Has an open door policy in order to deal with us individually

12 Type II: Focus on what a good teacher does
“There were photos of snow-capped Annapurnas in Nepal and orogenesis seemed to take on a new light” “If at any point….any of us experience problems, the department offer an open door policy….Believe me, this makes all the difference…” The delivery issues were about communication in class, materials for revision, and support for work outside of class.

13 Type III: Focus on what a good teacher gets us to do
25 responses only! Issues of: Debate and testing one’s assumptions Dialogue and conversation Fieldwork and experiential learning Acknowledgement that better learning is stimulated by: Students thinking and speaking for themselves Building frameworks by which they can do so Teachers caring about the answers Nothing to do with oration or Powerpoint!

14 Type III: Focus on what a good teacher gets us to do
“Student input and discussion are fruitful. Dictatorial lecturers who impose their views without the opportunity for rapport cause resentment” “A third year module that finished at Christmas changed everything I knew about not only geography, but learning as a process……Without doubt, it’s the single most beneficial academic experience I will take away with me into the big wide world.” “Attaching information to an experience we’ve had is an unbeatable teaching tool” “The social side of lecturers is brought out on field excursions… still cannot help but learn more about your discipline”

15 Implications – Type I Can I inspire anyone when teaching ‘Research Methods’? I’m grumpy sometimes! How do I develop colleagues? What about the students? How/when do they try and ‘make meaning’? So what is the student view of learning?

16 Implications – Type II Expectations of students and institutions
Opportunities (time) for staff? Focus on ‘more’ An acknowledgement that staff are trying to adapt and help as many as possible? Development is easy – tactics important! What about the students? How/when do they try and ‘make meaning’? What are they doing?

17 Implications – Type III
Environment for constructing meaning and validation Powerful and articulate understanding of how learning works best for them Conceptual change? From ‘ready to be taught’ to ‘wanting to learn’? Responsibility shared Focus on different NOT more (‘Not doing things better, but doing better things’) If this is ‘Excellent Teaching’, why do so few identify it as either happening or useful?

18 The lecturer as ‘human’
Predominant Theme: Type I: Being ‘funny’ and personable Type II: Being concerned and accessible whenever possible Type III: talking to and with us, and being concerned about our answers. Why the concern? Do prior experiences or expectations stop them seeing us this way? Do we not act this way, so create barriers to them seeing us this way? Do we hold ‘power’ over them that stops them seeing us this way?

19 Conclusions We say know what good teaching is all about
Students define this in a large number of ways: Lots describe the way the teacher is Most describe what the teacher does A few describe how teachers get students to actively engage with the curriculum We might argue that the last of these is truly ‘excellent’ If so, then the challenge is clear

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