Keynote on 'Higher Education: What has gone wrong?'
Professor Amos Witztum, Department of Management
Two trends have been dominant in Higher Education in this country in particular but also across the developed world. One is the view that higher education is about preparing individuals for the life of work and must therefore be ‘relevant’ and flexible to the needs of the individual and those of the labour market. This view, together with the substantial returns to higher education, led the way to the second trend: the apparent refusal of the public to fund higher education. Indeed, if higher education is about getting a better job and better salaries, there is no obvious reason why the public should want to fund it.
Underlying this trend is a broader theme that education—in general—is about the preparation for life. But what exactly we mean by life and how much of these preparations are the responsibility of society is an open question. Evidently, if by life we mean: working life the current trend may be appealing though, as I will endeavour to show, totally misguided.
The purpose of this talk is to argue that the answer to the role of education is embedded in the conception of society and the principles of its economic organisation. I will argue that the underlying justification for the current functional approach as if the role of society is limited to preparing people for working life is a-liberal and myopic. We will examine the organisational relevance of the decentralised promise of the economic system in the light of various long terms trends in the world of work and leisure as well as the little-talked of phenomenon of the rising levels of over-qualified workers. We will ask whether in such a context preparing someone for a job is enough to absolve society of its duties.
We will therefore go back to the drawing board to ask the question: what indeed is the purpose of education if, in general, we accept that it is to prepare people for life? The answer will be that it is to prepare people for life outside work. Here, however, a serious problem arises. While preparing people for the labour market seems morally neutral (as technology is, ostensibly, such), preparing them for life entails a judgement about the culture for which individuals should be prepared. This means that liberal views of capabilities and the like can no longer hide from the fact that the ‘good’ life is a social concept.
In many ways, this is a far more coherent view of education than is the current one. Higher education is an extension of primary and secondary education. However, in exactly the same way as artists begin studying with people who are not necessarily masters but ends them in the house of the masters, so it should be in education. Higher-education is the house of the masters; those who are research active. It is in universities that research-led teaching must flourish and where research should be free from commercial constraints to facilitate a fruitful process of transferring and enriching the social intellectual capital.
Parallel sessions 1
Strand 1: From concepts to case studies and back
Dr Myria Georgiou, Media & Communications with Ms Jacqueline Attwood-Dupont, Ms Jennifer Carpenter and Mr Benjamin De-La-Pave-Velez, MSc students, Media & Communications
Type: Case study
This presentation will introduce some of the ways in which Masters' students develop their skills in making critical and creative links between theories and case studies. The course leader and students of the Master's level course 'Identity, Transnationalism and the Media' (taught in the Dept of Media and Communications) will discuss the benefits and challenges associated with using empirical material to address conceptually driven questions. The presenters will introduce different methods in which case studies become incorporated in the course: in in-class exercises, through the development and use of multimedia resources on Moodle and finally through the option that students have to write a case study driven summative essay.
Case studies presented students with the opportunity to develop shared understanding of the material in the group, while enabling them to bring into the teaching and learning experience their particular knowledge and expertise. Case studies have also enabled students to create together spaces of reflexivity and creativity. This is particularly relevant to courses engaging with questions associated with identity and culture.
During the presentation, the course leader will introduce the Moodle multimedia resources and their development as an elearning tool dedicated to this course, developed in association with CLT. Students will also discuss their own work and the ways in which they used Moodle multimedia resources during the term and worked on their case studies for their essays. Each student is asked to highlight the most important benefit of using case studies in the course and one way in which case studies can become more beneficial in advancing their understandings of theories and concepts.
Strand 2: 'Immersive teaching and learning'
Mr Barry Rogers, Social Psychology
I designed a half-unit option, PS446, 'Issues in Organisational Psychology' in 2002 and have acted as sole teacher and seminar facilitator ever since. This is a capped course at ISP with an average of 35-40 students annually.
As part of its mission PS446 seeks to provide an insightful perspective on emerging aspects of organisational life by (a), grounding understanding of these processes from a theoretical perspective and (b), meaningfully connecting with organisational practice. Given the focus on emerging themes achieving rigour and relevance in delivery is a central feature of the course.
The course seeks to buttress the rigour/relevance requirement through its structure. This is achieved in a number of creative ways.
Outside practitioner speakers on most topic areas (relevance)
Video pods by Barry Rogers to link weekly topics to developing media stories (relevance)
A 'free' lecture where the topic to be covered is decided by students in week 5, then grounded, presented and debated in week 10 (relevance)
Use of pre-recorded lecture material [from 2010/11] as required pre-view for students on selected topics in order to allow greater depth in the face-to-face sessions (rigour)
In addition, a core platform for both rigour and relevance is the course Facebook page ('PS446 revisited'). This private site was launched 3 years ago and now has 116 members - current and past students. It attracts 20-30 posts a week (mostly from students and growing by the week!). The site achieves the following:
Connects with students in a media they are close to
Allows both teacher and students to post relevant and related material anytime, anywhere
Actively engages alumni perspectives on topics while connecting them in a on-going productive manner with PS 446, ISP (and wider LSE community)
From my perspective the impact has been quite profound with the initiative fundamentally changing the nature of my teaching. The 'conversations' that develop between the face-to-face encounters not only supplement, but also shape, my subsequent teaching interactions.
From a student perspective the site contributes towards creating an immersive learning experience. As opposed to a series of episodic, potentially disjointed, face-to-face encounters the course (hopefully!) now blends into a continuous, two-way, learning vehicle.
Strand 4: Phone Booth: How mobile technology is transforming student and teacher experience
Ms Andrea Gibbons, Geography & Environment and Mr Ed Fay, Library
Charles Booth attempted to map out poverty in London street by street, often house by house, between the years of 1886 and 1902. The beautiful maps that resulted from this tremendous effort, along with the notebooks full of first-hand and unmediated thick descriptions of life and work that the maps are drawn from, have been amongst the iconic collections in LSE's archives, and a tremendous resource for students and faculty alike. While nothing can replace the feeling of holding an original document in your hands, the new age of internet and mobile technology has opened up an entirely new way to interact with this kind of resource, and a partnership between library staff, faculty, and students are working on a new digital library application 'Phone Booth' which will deliver the maps and notebooks to mobile devices for use beyond the walls of the Library and the School.
This presentation is the story.
It is a story of pedagogical innovation, transforming the student experience while giving historical archives an additional, virtual, life. The second and third year students from GY244, London's Geographies: An Introduction to Socio-Cultural Geography, helped design the functionality of the app after a visit to the physical archives. As teachers, we hoped to spark imagination and excitement, but also make it possible to access the richness of the digital archives in multiple ways, not simply by pulling up information about the neighbourhood or building you are in, but also to explore the geographies of say employment, or crime. That combined with student enthusiasm for something as interactive and social as possible, and for a new way of moving around the city and experiencing and bringing the past into the present wherever they might be, has laid out quite a program of work. So this is equally a story of technical innovation, as staff from the Library, working with project partners who are mapping and mobile specialists, have taken on that work to bring to life our pedagogical desires. The presentation will end with examples from the new application itself, how students have both worked with it and assessed it, and a short discussion of where to take such exciting new technologies and how they can best be used to enhance both teaching practice and the student experience.
Parallel sessions 2
Strand 1: Nasser and YouTube: Using short videos for teaching Arab nationalism
Dr Marco Pinfari, Government
OVERVIEW: the broad aim of this presentation is to reflect on the use of short videos for teaching modules on nationalism. It illustrates my experience in introducing a seminar class on Arab nationalism with a subtitled operetta from the Nasserian period, explains the rationale of the activities that accompanied the projection and discusses the results and suggestions that emerged from a self-assessment questionnaire that was administered after the activity.
The presentation is based on a short research paper that I wrote on this topic (which I am preparing for submission to a peer-reviewed journal) and will be structured in three main sections.
SECTION 1 will provide a general overview about the reasons why I decided to use this approach for talking about Arab nationalism. I will shortly discuss the general benefits that can be associated to using short clips for teaching nationalism, and I will explain why I chose this specific operetta for approaching Arab nationalism.
SECTION 2 will outline the structure of this seminar, its learning aims and outcomes, and how exactly I prepared the video and used it. Since the video is in Arabic, I will also briefly discuss some practical issues related to preparing subtitled videos for class (e.g. the speed of subtitles can be a problem for dyslexic students). The video (approx. 5') will be played to the audience.
SECTION 3 will focus on the results of the self-assessment survey that I administered to my students. The activity was repeated in three seminars and 30 surveys were collected. The survey included a self-assessment of the attainment of key learning outcomes, some closed questions on how they perceived the activity (e.g. was it fun?) and allowed for some open comments. Some of the results are particularly interesting 'e.g. students who came to class prepared benefited more from the activity' but they also suggest that some aspects of the activity were over-ambitious.
At the end of the presentation I will be happy to answer questions; if the session will be attended by colleagues with similar experiences in using short videos in seminars or lectures, I will encourage an exchange of views especially on the outcomes of the self-assessment survey.
Strand 2: Student-led education
Ms Meena Kotecha, Statistics & Mathematics with Ms Yulia Goncharova, Mr Peter Jegunma, Mr Filipe Martins and Mr Nearchos Petrides, UG students
This presentation will discuss the exciting outcomes of a small scale study in which conscious efforts were made to encourage students to actively contribute to various aspects of their education. It will share an emerging teaching practice that focuses on student-led education.
Seminars provide an ideal setting to promote students' contribution and participation because they allow flexibility in terms of making sessions student-centred, with the only constraints being syllabi requirements and the duration of seminars. Students are invited to contribute to the designing of seminars in order to help develop a format of seminars that addresses their diverse learning requirements.
The significance of students' feedback is clearly explained to them. Students are invited three times during the academic year to participate and contribute to the process in various ways. They are advised to share their anxieties/queries on issues of concern to them anytime during the academic year. This is to prevent such issues from impeding learning.
Further, the content of seminars is appropriately amended and aligned to suit students' suggestions and requirements. This demonstrates to them that their feedback is taken seriously. This assurance promotes active learning and plays an important role in encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.
Further, they are motivated to play an active role in the process of formative assessment and feedback by making feedback interactive.
Students enthusiastically participated in the process of providing feedback. Their unprompted qualitative feedback suggests that the discussed approach undoubtedly enhanced students' satisfaction and engagement.
Another exciting observed development was that students' attitudes were transformed from lack of engagement to demonstration of keen interest in the course and enhanced commitment to engaging with the learning process. They showed a strong sense of obligation to improve the standard of their formative assessments and perform well in the summative assessment.
The initial outcomes are exciting, promising and extremely encouraging which suggests that these ideas may indeed be worth exploring and extending, perhaps modifying the approach to make the entire process even more efficient.
Strand 3: Translating core theory into 4 different MSc programmes: Thinking like a Social Psychologist
Dr Caroline Howarth and Ms Rochelle Burgess, Social Psychology
With MSc students specialising in very different subjects in the Institute of Social Psychology (from social and public communication, to organisations, to intercultural relations, to health, community and development) and many arriving at LSE with very different academic backgrounds, it is increasingly important to have a core course that teaches all students the central conceptual tools that inform modern social psychology. With support from the Teaching and Learning Centre and the Centre for Learning Technology this is precisely what we have developed: a Flagship programme that provides a unifying thread across our diverse MSc degrees. This is an ambitious programme that has to be stimulating for students with extensive knowledge of the discipline as well as appropriate for students for little or dated psychological background.
This has been very successful, largely due to the fact that this has been a collective project. Key members of ISP have been instrumental in establishing the course, all members of staff teach one lecture on the course (in an area in which they have significant research expertise), members of staff also attend the lectures and play an active part in an extended discussion session after the lecture. In addition experienced PhD students have played a vital role in running 'linking' discussion groups, where the primarily purpose is to link core social psychological topics with the particular field of interest (communication, organisations, culture, or health, community and development). In these sessions our aims are (1) to equip students to 'think like a social psychologist' in the context of their MSc and (2) highlight the importance of Societal Psychology to contemporary real world issues. These 'optional' peer-led sessions have been extremely popular amongst the MSc.
After discussing the aims of Flagship course generally, we will focus on the peer-led discussions. We discuss the benefits of 'peer' facilitators in helping MSc students develop the 'language' of a particular discipline and the skills in thinking and working within that discipline, particularly the ability to extend theory to real world experience.
Strand 4: Introducing Moodle 2
Mr Steve Ryan and Ms Sonja Grussendorf, CLT
Moodle is well established across the School but the current version is becoming outdated. The School will be moving to Moodle 2, a new and updated version of the current Moodle, ready for the coming academic year.
This session will give you a chance to see Moodle 2 in action. It will not be a technical or a training session rather we will demonstrate and explore together some of the pedagogical possibilities of the new features in Moodle 2 and it will give you a chance to raise any questions you may have.
The session will introduce you to topics such as:
new assessment tools in Moodle 2 including the rubric tool and conditional activities
our plans for closer integration with LSE for you
how Moodle 2 supports access to a wide variety of resources and media including YouTube and Flickr
new features for students, including easier cross-course navigation
Moodle 2 is flexible and customisable so if you have ideas for features or ways of organising resources that are not currently available come and see if Moodle 2 will answer your needs. The session is intended for you to shape the way we approach future developments of Moodle 2.
This session will be of interest to all staff currently using Moodle and will help you think through how you might choose to use some of the new features of Moodle 2.
Parallel sessions 3
Strand 1: Future directions for Higher Education? Building bridges between academic disciplines and analytical skills needed for the 'real world'
Professor Amos Witztum, Management, Ms Laura-Jane Silverman, LSE Careers Service, Ms Natasha Jones, LSE alumnus (BSc 2010), Ms Elisa De-Denaro-Vieira, BSc Geography & Environment, chaired by Ms Maria Carvalho, Geography & Environment
Type: Panel Discussion
It is increasingly becoming apparent that there is a shift in undergraduate students' expectations of the content and skills that they should be learning during their tenure at University. Such shifts in expectations can be attributed to certain key developments. The first is the increase in student tuition fees, where students are - to a greater extent - perceiving their degree as an investment to their future careers. The second development is the intensely competitive market for graduate jobs. Undergraduates are cognizant of the constricting supply of graduate jobs, which they have to compete against students who have obtained Master's degrees. These perceptions lead students to emphasize the need for their academic experience to be a foundational stage in preparing them for their future. Such expectations imply that academic curriculums need to help students not only understand the essential theories associated with their discipline, but how to relate such theories to what is 'going on in the real world'.
The general shifts in students' perceptions prompts academic institutions to re-visit the question: 'What is the real purpose of higher education?' Is it meant to be the core training ground for students' future careers? Or is it primarily meant to teach students' the theories and skills that underlie a discipline? Are such objectives mutually exclusive in the first place? In what ways can academic curriculums 'bridge the gap' between theory, and applying such theories to the evolution of current events?
Another set of questions to engage with are: Is there actually a divergence between the skills inculcated in undergraduate learning, with those needed for future careers? Do undergraduate institutions already have services that help students gain those skills? In what ways can curriculums incorporate certain key 'career' skills into students' academic training in order to build the overall analytical skills of students? How does academic institutions ensure that the efforts used to help students does not lead them to 'spoon-feed' students, but instead develop students' resourcefulness and critical thinking skills?
My proposal is to provide a panel discussion of both academics and students to discuss each other's expectations on the purposes of higher education. The discussion includes understanding in what ways curriculums can effectively incorporate both theory and skills-based learning. Ultimately the main question to ask is: How can undergraduate education maintain the 'spirit of learning for the sake of learning' whilst preparing students for their future?
Strand 2: Transgressing to Teach
Dr Sunil Kuma, Social Policy with Mr Anthony Lamesa, Ms Toljana Myzeqari, Ms Kranthi Palreddy and Ms Saskia Westhof, MSc students
The title 'Transgressing to Teach' is a play on the words of the book 'Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom' by Bell Hooks (1994). I only read the book in the summer of 2011 but found that what I was doing matched much of bell's philosophy. For instance, she argues that '(w)hen education is the practice of freedom, students are not the only ones who are asked to share, to confess. Engaged pedagogy does not see simply to empower students. Any classroom that employs a holistic model of learning will also be a place where teachers grow, and re-empowered by the process. That empowerment cannot happen if we refuse to be vulnerable while encouraging students to take risks' (Hooks, 1994: 21). In making this point, she makes reference to the need to challenge what Paulo Freire terms the 'banking system of education'. Reflecting on this, she notes: 'To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us that teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students.
My concern, however, was how might 'Education as the practice of Freedom' work in a multicultural and multi-background postgraduate setting with some of the physical teaching constraints that the LSE is confronted with. This session demonstrates some of the mechanisms that I used in my elective (SA4H7 Urbanisation and Social Policy in the Global South), the pedagogical thoughts and innovations that went into putting 'education as the practice of freedom', the weekly un-assessed and voluntary exercises that the students undertook culminating in an online text based formative exam for the first time at the LSE. Participants in this workshop will be asked to work in groups to discuss which parts of this pedagogical experiment they might want to either critique, adapt or adopt.
Strand 3: Why use group-work? Experiences from LSE100
Dr Eric Golson and Dr Jessica Templeton, LSE100
The presentation will argue that, if incorporated into syllabi in a way that is carefully considered, group-work can be a useful way of 'embedding' assessment in learning activities (Linn and Baker, 1996) and developing multiple skills. There is a growing discrepancy between the in absence of group-work in university life and the increasingly prominent use of group-work skills among employers.
As LSE100 is a course that explicitly aims to better prepare students for life outside university, and in doing so develop communication skills that are oral as well as written, a group presentation project is an important part of the LSE100 assessment schedule. Moreover, because of the diversity of the student body to which it is taught, LSE100 assessment needs to embrace several different activities in order to lead to a fairer outcome for all students (Race, 2007).
The LSE100 'Summative' assessment project involves a three-week group task in which students are given a country case-study, some limited data and some in-class planning time, from which they have to produce a presentation in the final week. Once the presentations have been delivered, online audio feedback is given for each group and each member of the group receives the same overall mark.
This Teaching Day presentation will examine some of the challenges of such a project - from a student and teacher perspective - as well as some of the benefits, and with the learning from this particular case study in mind consider how group-work can be integrated into syllabi in a way that maximises its impact. Anecdotal feedback from the LSE100 group project was very positive. On the whole, students enjoyed working in groups and could see the transferable skills learnt would be of value in the workplace and beyond. It can therefore be hugely productive for staff and students alike.
Strand 4: Can Moodle support active learning in our students?
Mr Peter Sims, Economic History, Ms Louise Caffrey, Social Policy, Mr Jesse Potter, Sociology, Ms Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez, Social Psycology, Mr Diego de Merich, chaired by Dr Jane Secker, CLT
Type: Panel discussion
At a recent workshop held as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching (PGCert) a group of LSE teachers discussed the role that technologies such as Moodle play in supporting student learning. This led to a lively debate about the way some learning technologies are designed and used at LSE and whether they might be discouraging active learning amongst our students. Many Moodle courses provide students with links to all their essential and background readings. Some of the group observed that when it came to writing a dissertation or embarking on a piece of independent research, students were lacking the ability to find, evaluate and use the wealth of digital resources that exist, for example through library databases. If links to readings on Moodle were not working, students would say they could not prepare for classes, even if the resource existed in the library or was available online. Other teachers suggested that Moodle made students very passive meaning they could access lecture slides and recordings and may not attend face to face teaching. In contrast, there are a number of examples of good practice uses of Moodle at LSE where students undertake online activities and carry on classroom discussions using the online forums. Moodle can be argued to be an excellent way of supporting student learning, encouraging them to play a more active role in learning both inside and outside the classroom.
This panel discussion including staff and graduate teaching assistants from a range of departments at LSE, will take the form of a debate to consider if Moodle discourages active learning, why this might be a problem and what steps we can take in designing our courses to encourage participation and active learning. It will also consider some examples of good practice when designing learning activities in Moodle and whether reading lists could be presented in a way to encourage students to view them as a starting point for their studies.
Parallel sessions 4
Strand 1: Supporting students' academic transition into University – the role of quantitative study support at LSE
Dr Jane Pritchard, TLC
This session will explore the range of quantitative study support offered by the TLC to students across all years. In addition to describing the long established TLC quantitative study support, this session will describe the pilot provision offered in 2011-12 knows as 'Hit the Ground Running' (HGR). HGR was held over the first three weeks of MT 2011, focusing on maths and statistics skills development for incoming first year undergraduate students. The TLC Educational Development Team designed and coordinated the initiative based on a mandate from the TLAC committee. Although some departments offer specific pre-sessional modules for undergraduates, this pilot scheme was the first to offer cross-departmental quantitative study skills development.
On the whole the student feedback was positive and anecdotal evidence indicates a strong need to see the HGR as the initial part of a more sustained support service for quantitative skills available to all students across the school. This session will move onto exploring how other HEIs across the sector have developed initial and on-going quantitative study support schemes that work both alongside and integrated into disciplinary teaching. The session will finish by examining what the future for developing students quantitative study skills across all years could look like at LSE.
Strand 2: Student centred experiential learning in the classroom: Simulations of political decision making
Ms Katharina Rietig, Geography & Environment
How can we increase our student's understanding of the interplay between interests, dynamics and actors in political decision-making? This session explores how the classroom setting can be used to integrate elements of active student learning and experience to achieve deep-level student learning.
Simulations of decision making fora can be used in Political Science or Management related qualitative disciplines to help students understand the dynamics of negotiation processes, the interplay of actors involved and the influence of power and interests from a more applied perspective. It also develops negotiation skills, requires an analysis of the topic area discussed and offers an experience-based model for academic reflection and analysis of the negotiations. Examples include multilateral negotiations in an international context, where students take on the roles of diplomats or ministers and represent that position in active negotiation with the other students, developing a solution to the policy problem. Simulations of decision-making can also involve students representing industry, non-governmental groups or actors within a national government or parliament, depending on the course topic.
This approach integrates the experience-based learning benefits from Model United Nations simulations with academic rigour and analysis of the underlying theories, models and debates. There are three core elements to integrating the simulation of decision-making fora into the classroom. First, students are assigned a role, e.g. representative of a country, industry or government department. Second, the simulation is moderated by the teacher as chairperson, and third is followed by an academic analysis of the experience, linking the student's reflection to theoretical concepts and the session's learning objectives.
The session presents research findings from using this approach in undergraduate teaching at the LSE and the University of Munich. The findings draw upon student evaluations, student feedback and participant observation of the presenter as chairperson in larger Model United Nations conferences as well as serving as course convener for a Model United Nations preparation course over three years. The session further focuses on how this type of experience-based learning can be integrated into LSE classes and the practical considerations involved to achieve the desired learning objectives. These include student preparation (role assignment, pointers towards relevant literature), stages of the short simulation and timekeeping (stating of positions, formal debate, informal negotiation and writing of a resolution, voting), strategies how the debate can be steered to achieve desired learning objectives and, most important, the academic analysis and integration of practice with theory.
Strand 3: Sharing our thinking
Dr Matthew Hall, Accounting
'Sharing our thinking' is a method of sharing knowledge and providing feedback to students as part of a class teaching programme. It involves the class teacher/lecturer noting and then combining the innovative and interesting points made by students during class into a single document that is then made available to students on Moodle. The document is typically one page in length and one document is prepared for each week of classes.
Potential advantages of the method:
Provides feedback to students on the most important points raised and discussed during class
Exposes students to divergent perspectives on the same class material by combining points from different students into a single document
Promotes a sense of community and knowledge sharing between students in the course
Promotes discussion in class by reducing the need for students to take notes
Serves as an excellent aide memoire for students during revision
Potential disadvantages of the method:
Despite directions to the contrary, some students may interpret the document as an 'answer' to the question
Can be time-consuming to prepare, particularly the first time it is used for a class. However, in future years, the document can be 'recycled' and then updated, significantly reducing workload
To promote discussion, remind students during class that the document will be made available and as such they do not need to take copious notes
To ensure the documents are used as much as possible, send a reminder email to students after they have been posted on Moodle
Use a camera phone to take photos of whiteboard notes for ease of remembering important points
This method has been used in two different undergraduate courses and the feedback from students has been extremely positive. The presentation will outline the method in further detail and examples of 'sharing our thinking' documents will be provided and discussed.
Strand 4: The lean classroom: How constant innovation creates radically successful courses
Mr Ian Randolph and Dr Barbara Fasolo, Management
Type: Case study
In courses where formal assessment is rare, helping students not only do their work but love their work is a challenge all LSE instructors face. How do you create such engagement around a subject that students actually demand more seminars, more content?
The presenters will share how they created precisely these results this past term with 47 students in OR 405: Advanced Behavioural Decision Making. We believe three principles underlie our results: multimedia content, temporal flexibility, and frequent feedback. First, we were not constrained by the standard lecture format, using music, movies, slides, whiteboard work, and in-class exercises to stimulate student engagement during and between lectures. Second, we had a small team of 2, giving us the flexibility to fluidly tailor content from week to week. Third, we used Moodle and in-class methods to get feedback throughout the term on what elements of the class were resonating with students. Together, these three features of the course allowed us to gather and respond to feedback on both content and delivery with students on a weekly basis, creating a course that gets better class by class, year by year.
While not all of these features are reproducible in other courses, we believe that many of our methods are widely applicable and immediately implementable, and we will share the concrete actions taken as part of our strategy. We will share exercises that stimulated student interest along with the psychological mechanisms they capitalise upon. We will also demonstrate how to use mind-mapping software to map discussion as well as prompt creative commentary. Techniques to shift the occurring of class will be demonstrated peripherally throughout the presentation to directly deliver the experience of a transformed classroom.
Plenary session: 'This house believes that student surveys give us the wrong information'
Professor Nick Barr, Professor of Public Economics, Dr Liz Barnett, TLC Director, Mr Mark Thomson, Head of Teaching Quality Assurance & Review Office, Mr Lukas Slothuus, LSESU Community and Welfare Officer, chaired by Professor Janet Hartley, Pro-Director (Teaching & Learning)
Be they the LSE in-house TQARO surveys or the National Student Survey, student surveys have attracted much attention over the last few years. While most academics and students recognise the value there is in them, these surveys have been criticised for, amongst other things, providing the 'wrong' type of information or being used in counter-productive ways.
Led by Professor Janet Hartley, the final plenary session of LSE Teaching Day 2012 will be the opportunity to discuss different ideas related to student surveys. The panel members will make clear their respective position vis-à-vis the motion "This house believes that student surveys give us the wrong information" and will then go on to discuss possible ways by which they could be improved or used more effectively.
Presentation of the winners of LSE's Teaching prizes - Wine reception
Professor Janet Hartley, Pro-Director (Teaching & Learning), will close the day with the presentation of the winners of LSE's Teaching prizes: the Major Review Awards, the LSE Students' Union Teaching Excellence Awards and the Departmental Class Teacher Awards.
Type: Wine reception