A Seminar off-piste

By which I mean, I wrote a lesson plan, but the seminar didn’t exactly go according to plan. This is because – as I’ve found before – you never quite know what will happen when you’re a guest speaker in someone else’s series.  I knew the discussion documents had been circulated, but I hadn’t personally been in touch with the students urging them to (a) read them and (b) bring them to the seminar.

Some had, and some did.  At least as many either hadn’t and didn’t, or glanced at them then didn’t.  So, my plan to divide students into pairs to critique the documents was naive, or at least ill-considered.  I did quiz those who had obliged, and got quite a bit of interaction that way, so all was not lost.

There was another surprise.  I merrily tackled the topic I’d been assigned, only later (because they were polite) to be posed with the question, “Why are we only being told this now? We didn’t know it had to be done this way.”  I couldn’t answer that one!  However, there was quite a bit of dialogue between the students and myself, and their course leader, so I think some useful points were thrown up. The time was definitely not wasted.

The technology behaved itself, and I got across some useful basics about our online resources.  Next year there might be two seminars instead of one – the first, a very brief basic intro to the resources, and the second looking at the issues that I looked at today.

Documentation Project seminar for Masters Students Jan 2016

And the moral of the tale? To be more specific about what I need students to have done beforehand/to bring with them.  Or take a batch of copies with me to the seminar.



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