Thursday, 22 February 2018

HE ideas: Who is working in the workshop?

My teaching timetable is made up of time slots for "Lectures", "Tutorials", "Seminars" and / or "Workshops".  Nobody ever defined these for me and so I have used my own experience and that of others to differentiate between these "learning sessions".  Every time I update the taught module for its next outing I am asked to specify the total hours given to each type of activity.

I do note that my institutional "workload model" does differentiate between these by allowing TWO hours preparation for each Lecture hour; ONE hour for each seminar or workshop but only a nominal time for preparation for tutorials as these are known to be "repeat business" for the tutor.

A tactical teaching-avoider might well label every student interaction as a "Lecture" in order to claim the greatest workload hours for the least actual input.  You may think that, but I could not possibly confirm it.

The problem is that a standard TWO-hour "Lecture" could well house elements of :

Seminar - where students discuss key points.
Tutorial - where students apply concepts to examples
Workshop - where students participate via role play, case study, presentation etc. to their own learning and that of their peers

and even...

Lecture - where students listen and take notes to acquire new insights.

So, next time I design a course or module and need to specify the different hours for these activities I'll be ticking the box "Other".

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