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Teaching in teams: lessons from systematic review training NCRM Training the Trainers Event 4th June

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Title: Teaching in teams: lessons from systematic review training NCRM Training the Trainers Event 4th June


1
Teaching in teams lessons from systematic
review training NCRM Training the Trainers
Event 4th June 2007
  • Angela Harden and Karen Bird
  • MRS Node
  • EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit

2
Outline
  • Background and context
  • Our approach to team teaching
  • Critical reflections and lessons learned

3
Systematic reviews
  • Summaries that use rigorous and explicit methods
    to bring together and integrate findings from
    multiple studies.
  • Key part of the evidence-informed policy and
    practice movement.
  • Methods for reviews are still emerging

4
Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and
Co-ordinating (EPPI) Centre
Support for review groups since 2000 Education
(25 groups, 70 reviews), criminology,
speech and language, social care
Conducting reviews since 1993 e.g. in health
promotion, education, social care, employment
Methodological work, e.g. Methods for Research
Synthesis Project ESRC National Centre for
Research Methods
Formal links with Cochrane and Campbell
Collaborations
Short courses and Masters level courses in
research synthesis since 2003 MSc in Evidence for
Public Policy launched in Oct 2006
On-line libraries of research evidence
5
Examples of course learning objectives
  • After successful completion of the MSc students
    should
  • have a critical understanding of different
    methods of accessing and synthesizing research
    evidence relevant to the full range of research,
    policy and practice questions
  • be able to design, plan, conduct and evaluate
    systematic reviews of research for social policy,
    and evaluate methods for the communication,
    interpretation and application of review findings

6
Teaching in teams
  • Traditional teaching models pedagogical
    solitude
  • Contrasts with collaborative character of much
    research
  • Teaching may benefit from collaboration aid to
    critique, reflection and development and testing
    of new ideas
  • Collaborative practice can foster development of
    scholarly teaching practice
  • Teamwork co-operation v collaboration

Based on Benjamin (2000) The scholarship of
teaching in teams. Higher Education Research and
Development 19 191-204.
7
Our team teaching model the team
  • 15 tutors (including 3 module leaders)
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Teaching experience ranging from 2-20 years
  • Teaching experience of different sectors, levels
    and age groups
  • Varying levels of specialist research methods
    knowledge

8
Team teaching Our approach
  • Team development of curriculum and course content
  • Team delivery of teaching (face to face)
  • Team development of teaching skills

9
Team teaching Our approach
Development of curriculum and content
  • Input from team members to develop a course with
    wide appeal across disciplines and abilities
  • Fosters creativity
  • Responds to new developments in research
  • Continual revision and development

10
Team teaching Our approach
Delivery
  • 2 tutors in each session to provide different
    experiences and perspectives
  • Higher student- teacher ratio
  • Share the workload
  • Alternate teaching and observing
  • Provide practical support, e.g. computer
    problems.
  • Support and development opportunities for new
    tutors

11
Team teaching Our approach
Training for teaching
  • Peer observation- support and feedback
  • Debriefing sessions
  • Specific training sessions to develop skills,
    e.g. VLE assessment at M Level
  • Share experiences

12
Reflections on our approach
  • How to train a mixed group
  • Students bring their own topics and materials to
    training sessions
  • Mechanisms for sharing good practice in research
    methods training.

13
1. Teaching and learning within a mixed group
  • Open and explicit dialogue around learning
    objectives
  • ….but impossible to meet all learning objectives
  • Match between tutors and learners tutors, as
    well as students are a mixed group
  • ….but dangers re lack of continuity with tutors
    and materials

14
2. Building on students own experiences
  • Mixed students can learn from each other
  • ….but if too diverse there may be little common
    ground
  • ….but more vocal students may dominate
  • Tutors learn from students to further develop
    teaching and learning methods and materials and
    own subject knowledge
  • …..but more vocal students may have more
    influence on tutors
  • Extending teaching team to students teaching
    and learning teams??
  • ….but need to strike a balance between
    student-led and tutor-led learning

15
3. Sharing good practice
  • Teaching in teams is a mechanism for sharing good
    practice
  • Writing about our experiences
  • Teaching in teams as a scholarly activity
  • ….but lack of time and resources

16
Conclusion
  • Our team approach to systematic review training
    has advantages and disadvantages
  • Importance of balance between collaboration and
    cooperation
  • Recognise the role of scholarship in teaching
    practice

17
Questions for discussion
  • What are your experiences of teaching in teams?
  • How to maximise collaboration in teaching teams?
  • How to be a scholarly teaching team?
  • Whats so special about teaching research methods?
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