This VOC session was all about teaching methods. I was really interested in and excited about the concrete teaching methods we were going to be learning about and using even. That’s why I wasn’t very happy to realize that I was going to miss the session because I had a meeting that couldn’t be postponed. However I was able to take part in the EduGrapes’ session planning process. It was only partly organized and somewhat sporadic, but all the same quite fun. I believe that we are all kind of easy going and it helps that none of us has strong concerning the topics or the themes.
The overall theme of this VOC was Versatility of teaching. Our topic was “How do we classify various teaching (or working) methods? Give examples by using different methods!” Boy, oh boy! There are numerous methods. The other groups’ themes were
• What teaching methods advance/improve the versatility of learning? What is the pedagogical model / foundation behind a particular method?
• What are the core skills of teaching? How do we teach the best so that our students will learn the best?
• The latest trends in teaching methods
Since I wasn’t actively taking part in the session I will try to make as clear picture of the process as I can.
All the groups did give the pre task on time except one. That’s why not everybody was able to go through it. It was a nice task made with Popplet. I don’t know how well a mindmap will work when you don’t take part in creating it. I was really happy to see that the pre tasks were more versatile than before and seemed like lots of effort had been put to them. The videos were awesome too and I liked the questionnaire approach as well. In educational science class by Open University of Oulu they seem to be using a kind of approach, where the students have to write shortly what they know about the subject before they familiarize themselves with the material.
This time ours was probably the most traditional one with PowerPoint presentation. Someway I got a feeling that maybe the pre tasks could an active element to them, because I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about the contents of them anymore. Maybe our own content, but not the others. I know people have only limited amount of time to spend doing the tasks since, well, since we all have lives too:) But still it would be a complete nonsense to try to teach a matter in 25 minutes without any assignments.
Our strategy for the online session was to play a Method game that we discovered while thinking about how to classify the different methods. I thought the idea was great, although I must admit that when gaming, part of the game usually is like a scoring system or something like that, which didn’t exist in this game. But it didn’t matter.
My overall impression about the online sessions was that they went somewhat ok. Technical issues took place though. These I think are unavoidable if you have many people in an online session at the same time. I was pleased to notice that in the rooms people were helping each other out with difficulties concerning sharing etc. Made me think that it’s totally fine, if you can’t master everything by yourself. Even your students or other participants of the session can have a solution for your tech problem for instance and if it helps you to continue your session as planned, you might as well ask for help.
Fortunately our group members were discussing the session and the key moments and their experiences about the online situation in Whatsup. This was very helpful for me too! I’m really happy with our group and the result we came up with.
However I must admit that keeping up with all the pre tasks and own assignment is quite challenging when you’re working full time:)
One of the groups had an after task as well and here is the answer to my fellow students’ question: For preschoolers like my daughters, I would teach about different species of fish either by making them color pictures of fish, by making them play a fish-related game or telling them stories about fishes. We could also go fishing to add motivation. Another group I could think of was actually teenagers, who are most likely not that into fish. For them I would teach about different species of fish by telling stories most likely and trying to get them in a context that would somehow have an attachment to the lives of youth. Also it might be a good idea to make them do a poster in groups. I remember enjoying that sort of exercises as a teen.