Trouble-Shooting Your Teaching: A Step-By-Step Guide to Analysing and Improving Your Practice

By Geoffrey Squires | Go to book overview

2

Trouble-shooting the course

Introduction

Chapter 1 focused on what happens in the class or session. In this chapter, we look at the larger canvas of the course as a whole. By 'course' here is meant a self-contained piece of curriculum, such as a unit or module, which is complete in itself even though it may form part of a wider programme. Such a course will typically comprise a series of sessions, perhaps of various kinds, over a period of time that will often last for a term or semester but may extend over anything from a weekend to an academic year.

The questions in Chapter 1 do not disappear but become subsumed in a wider framework that is concerned not only with what goes on within a session but everything that bears on this: the initial selection and induction of students, the resources they get, the structures they have, the support they receive, the environment they experience and, last but not least, the criteria and methods of assessment. The two final sections deal with the results of the course and the quality of experience it provides for both students and staff. By the end of the chapter you should have built up a general picture of your teaching at the level of the course or module and this should help place your analysis in Chapter 1 in a broader context.

The variety of post-compulsory education becomes much more evident at this level. While the basic processes of classroom teaching provide some common ground for those working in the various sectors, once one starts looking at entire courses marked differences begin to appear. Some of these relate to the structure or pattern of the curriculum, others to assessment and the role of awarding or accrediting bodies such as exam boards and professions. Different regulatory frameworks in further, higher and adult education mean that the amount of control teachers have

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