In order to reflect on the improvement that I have made so far in higher education it is necessary to give some background with respect to what I was like before I started out. Prior to commencing the Teaching Toolkit and Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education I was not a particularly loud or assertive person and sometimes questioned whether I was suited to teaching/lecturing, despite my love of coaching. Furthermore, at the commencement of the Coaching Toolkit and Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in ADVANCED SCHOOLING, I was uncertain and apprehensive about what to expect from the course and what would be needed of me for the training and what areas of teaching that I'd be interested in the most. The purpose of this assignment is to represent and detail what I've gained from the course and how is has benefited me not just in conditions of teaching however in terms of my educational job as well. In addition, this essay will also focus on how my learning and teaching meets the bigger Education Academy's' (HEA) and Personnel and Education Development Connection (SEDA) criteria for learning and educating and how I intend to continue my professional development in the foreseeable future.
Personal Development to date
I would say that the most important thing that I have gained from the teaching toolkit/Post Graduate license is confidence in my own capability as a teacher. As previously mentioned I have previously questioned my ability as a educator. However having completed the teaching toolkit this dished up to improve my confidence in my own teaching when i was slightly apprehensive prior to the commencement as this was my first observation and I was worried about what others considered my teaching. Personally i think that the procedure of peer observation helped me to indicate upon my coaching. The procedure has helped me to check out the different areas of my teaching, such as ways of delivery, level, college student management, also to reflect how I plan and deal with these issues. This is something I had not previously done, definitely not in a focussed, organised way at least. One example of this was during one of the peer observations the observer noted that through the session I had developed to cope with a difficult college student who after arriving 20 minutes late proceeded to do next to nothing throughout the session. I described to the observer that we was pressured to consult with him at the end of the session about his behavior. The observer mentioned that perhaps I should have spoken to him faster (i. e. through the session itself) concerning address the problem immediately. Though I used to be justified in my own actions, the reflective process trained me to take into account the situation and was my activities the best way of controlling it and whether there were better methods I possibly could have used. Because of this session Personally i think that I will be more confident and assertive in future consultations.
In addition to this I am not a particularly noisy person and my tone is rather tender. Therefore the program offered on the Coaching Toolkit course entitled projecting and safeguarding your voice, I feel was invaluable while i teach larger teams and I have to maximize my voice. Whilst this will not fit in firmly with any HEA or SEDA guidelines, it was founded by Nilson (2010) that a clearer more audible tone of voice commands greater classroom attention and facilitates learning which does indeed match the HEA professional requirements framework regarding teaching and promoting scholar learning.
As an associate lecturer/demonstrator I often had little affect on curriculum design and course management. However, having completed the Coaching Toolkit and from what I have learned so far on the PG Cert LTHE I've involved more with this technique and also have thus requested/been asked to create practical procedure for students up to and including MSC level. Because of this course I've added significantly to the look and amendment of several areas of the XS1100, XS3100, XS3101 and XS4101 modules. I feel that without the Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE I would not have had the power or the confidence to get this done. From the knowledge I have found on this course I could identify and amend potential weaknesses in the analysis design in some of the Biomechanics modules, (for the reason that they focussed too much on written work and inadequate on the functional skills associated with sports Biomechanics). As such students are actually primarily evaluated in terms of their practical/real world skills instead of tasks (for example for the XS3100 Applied Biomechanics component students are required to provide 3-D gait analysis to an elite footballer, and they are assessed in their competency and ability). I feel that if I hadn't completed the Coaching Toolkit or commenced with the PG Cert LTHE course I would not have picked up on these potential limitations. Regarding national standards participation in program design and analysis is one of the SEDA and HEA values for coaching and learning accreditation.
One of the main element aspects of the PG Cert LTHE was to complete a learning arrangement, describing key things that we wished to achieve during the course of this program. Amongst other activities (also detailed throughout the course of this assignment) I explained that I wanted to gain a better understanding of electric learning materials such as e-learn and include them better and to a larger extent into my own teaching. As Ramsden (1999) shows that it is invaluable in advanced schooling and will increasingly permeate academics activities in higher education. An important aspect of teaching that I've discovered much from is E-learning strategies. Prior to the commencement of the PG Cert LTHE I hadn't utilised any form of electronic learning materials (other than standard PowerPoint) to aid my coaching and aid university student learning. Having been students and then progresses to educating in the institution of Sport and Exercise Personally i think that we are only really starting to incorporate E-learning into my coaching, having used it relatively little during my undergraduate studies. E-learning is an area of interest not just if you ask me but also with the countrywide platform as HEFCE in conjunction with the HEA introduced in 2005 a 10 time plan to embed e-learning into higher education. However, following completion of the training agreement, I began to learn the E-Learn basic load up provided by the LDU which was very useful. Following this I began to work with E-Learn more in my own teaching, with respect to the Harmon et al (1999) 5 stage model I am mostly within periods 1-2 but aim to use this method more in the future (See future development section).
Furthermore, I stated that I wanted to obtain a better understanding of the examination and responses process and also to find means of improving my evaluation methods and marking. Analysis and opinions are closely associated and the kind of assessment can often be the driver for the sort of reviews given. These aspects of teaching and learning are key values proposed by both SEDA and the HEA. Through the PGCertHE workshops and participation in departmental training days, I have gained a larger awareness of the different types of assessments that can be used and the types of reviews. Additionally, I've learned that one of the most important aspects of evaluation and responses is the timing than it. The timing of assessments is essential to the learning process. An examination given rigtht after or relatively immediately after the final outcome of a topic area will have significantly higher influence on learning than if it was presented with by the end of the component (Bone, 1999, p. 17).
One of the key reasons that I decided to take on the Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE was to help me when supplying feedback, specifically on written records. The PG Cert LTHE has helped me to realize that without appropriate feedback the grade of teaching and assessment strategy are of little use as students are thus unacquainted with their own achievements and progression. Feedback is something that the school all together generally scores terribly (REF). Therefore, I am at times apprehensive when providing written feedback and as such marking often takes me along time to complete. However, the Coaching Toolkit has trained me that substitute methods of feedback can be appropriate. As a result I have started to use audio feedback alternatively than written marking. Ferris (1997) shows that audio feedback can provide a better alternative to written commentary in conditions of the student's response to responses. In concurrence I feel that this allows me to give far more precise, thorough opinions in the same amount or less time as written feedback and appears to be far more favourable with the students. In addition to this I have also tried out face-face responses, whereby students receive limited responses and their mark on their projects, then given a scheduled appointment where they are provided with more specific feedback through the meeting. Although I have only attempted this approach with a tiny volume of students Personally i think that face-face reviews may be considered a very effective approach to feedback.
Another key thing that the Coaching Toolkit trained me is the importance of professional development. Therefore, following completion of the Teaching Toolkit week I decided to undertake a Strength and Conditioning qualification to complement my understanding of Sport and Exercise Knowledge (that i felt was without this area). This links in well with the HEA knowledge and understanding guideline with respect to 'subject materials'. Personally i think that has benefitted me not simply in conditions of knowledge but also in terms of the number of modules that I am in a position to coach on. Furthermore, with respect to national reputation the certification also gives me accreditation as a Certified Strength and Fitness Specialist by the National Strength and Fitness Association. This certification also corresponds well with the HEA resource guide regarding Athletics Biomechanics (my teaching area), as though targets similar goals in terms of 'technique improvement for performance' and 'approach modification to improve damage' (HEA Biomechanics 2011).
Prior to the commencement of the Teaching Toolkit and the PG Cert LTHE I feel that I did not consider the importance of reflection regarding teaching methodology. I feel that I did so not consider the needs of the students sufficiently regarding their learning environment/experience. Having completed the coaching toolkit and commenced with the PG Cert LTHE Personally i think that I am able to focus my consultations much more with regards to the students own learning experience somewhat than my very own. Personally i think that the Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE have educated me (particularly in practical periods) that there are different types of learners and this I must cater to a range of student capabilities. Students learn in different ways and as such differentiation in coaching styles is important to be able to ensure that students are included evenly the training process (Felder and Silverman 1988). Le Fever (1995) shows that when lecturers understand students learning styles and can adjust their coaching to these styles students will learn. For example, in order to help learners that benefit from auditory stimuli I love to use graphs and videos in my sessions. For individuals who respond better to active stimuli I try to minimize category time and concentrate more on the hands on practical aspects of the module (which in sports science there's a great deal of). For analytical learners I always try to include relevant facts and figures in my own lectures. This links back to you well with the HEA construction with respect to understanding how students learn.
Future Professional Development
As mentioned previously I've become interested in E-learning. In conditions of professional development I am hoping to do more work/learning in this area. Whilst Personally i think that I've made quite a lot of progress in bringing out e-learning/technology into my teaching I still have quite a distance to go. Personally i think that I want additional training with respect to of e-learning solutions and training about how to optimise different multimedia display for different forms. As previously explained this corresponds with the HEFCE and HEA 10 year plan for the execution of technology into coaching.
In addition, Personally i think that I also have to develop my own tutor skills. That is an important and at times underappreciated facet of teaching that I have to develop additional skills in as all lecturers are allocated personal tutees. This corresponds with the SEDA guide with respect to student support on educational and pastoral issues and the HEA platform regarding student support and information.
One key aspect of my professional development that I hope to achieve next 12-18 a few months is the completion of my Ph. D. This links back to the learning contract in which I listed submission of my thesis as one of my desired benefits. Furthermore it also ties in well with the HEA professional practice framework with respect to the 'integration of research and professional activities with teaching and helping learning'. Personally i think that completion of my Ph. D will be important in rewarding this aspect of the HEA platform and think that this is the one of the primary reasons a Ph. D has now become an important pre-requisite for companies wishing to appoint new lecturers.
In addition to the prior statement with respect to the HEA guideline recommending 'the integration of research and professional activities with coaching and helping learning' Personally i think that I also have to develop my research profile. As stated recently I feel that for someone my years I have a comparatively strong publication record, nonetheless I have data for papers which have yet to be submitted and research ideas that still have yet to come to fruition. Furthermore this also matches within the SEDA advice about the 'starting of appropriate development activities'.
In terms of professional development I am also currently working towards accreditation from the Uk Association of Sports Sciences as an exercise specialist and through the course endorsement system. The course endorsement design is designed to ensure appropriateness of the curriculum, resources and teaching strategies that undergraduate courses offer for training sport and exercise scientists. I feel that qualification as well as supporting me in terms of accreditation by a specialist body, will also benefit the institution in terms of attracting consultancy centered income from sport steams and sportsmen and more significantly in obtaining accreditation from the Brutish Relationship of Sport and Exercise Sciences for our Sports Technology degree and M. Sc programs, which has been a major goal for quite a while now.
In addition, in conditions of professional development I hope to help expand my research supervision skills. Having experienced access to excellent supervisors throughout both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies Personally i think that I've learned a whole lot and have much to provide possible research students. Pursuing completion of the PG Cert LTHE I am hoping to start with the PG Cert in Research Scholar Supervision. I feel that this programme offered by the LDU will be enormously good for me in conditions of providing the best research degree environment/experience for the learner. Furthermore, this web links well with respect to the HEFCE (2003) tips for the development of threshold benchmarks and platform of good practice for postgraduate research supervision.
In summary, I feel that I have gained a significant amount of new knowledge from the Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE. Personally i think that the main element outcome for m is the understanding of students needs in conditions of different coaching and assessment ways of cater to different types of learners. Personally i think that my increased knowledge has improved my self-assurance and empowered me to enabled me to be more involved in teaching and with academics issues such as curriculum design, module review and examination boards
Furthermore, having mirrored on the type of tutor I am the Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE have consequently helped me to find out the type of learner I am as well. The Teaching Toolkit and PG Cert LTHE have provided me with a number of key new skills that have helped me develop significantly from a lecturer who sometimes wondered whether he had chosen the right career avenue into a much more confident person.
Ramsden, P. (1992) Learning to Teach in Higher Education. London: Routledge.
Higher Education Academy (2006) The UK Professional Standards Construction for teaching and supporting learning in advanced schooling. Higher Education Academy, York, UK.
Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice Hall, NJ, USA.
Staff and Education Development Association (2005) SEDA-PDF: The SEDA Professional Development Construction. Personnel and Education Development Connection, London, UK.
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