Tomorrow’s a PGCert Saturday Session
Since most of my cohort have presumably finished by now (and are anticipating graduation), I imagine I’m going to be a bit of an odd-man-out tomorrow, neither first year PGCert nor any kind of MEd student. Nonetheless, if there’s anyone there in the same position as me, then we can commiserate with one another. I had to ask for extra time, because I was under too much stress to cope with the course in Autumn 2016, was struggling with endless migraines, and that all meant my project plans fell behind quite severely.
I thought I was back on track with my revised schedule, but getting ethical approval for my project has taken much longer than I expected, so now I’m just hoping I will be able to get the project questionnaire out, processed, and interviews conducted before my target audience takes themselves off for their summer holidays.
I expect some of my cohort will have elected to continue their studies towards an MEd rather than stopping at Postgraduate Certificate. I’ve decided to stop there, though. I took first BA(Hons) Music and then MA Music in 1979-80, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship in 1983-4. I didn’t finish my first PhD, because I rushed into librarianship rather than find a way to finish the PhD when the funding ran out. I did finish the second PhD (Music) in 2009. So I’m already dual-qualified in music and librarianship, and when I get my PGCert, I’ll be triple-qualified in music, librarianship, and higher education teaching and learning. As one of the generation of women who narrowly missed out on retirement at 60 (I’m nearly but not quite there yet!), I really feel that my final decade of work should build upon and utilise the qualifications I HAVE got, rather than go on studying to improve my knowledge in education, when I can see my chances of teaching diminishing steadily with each year that passes. I’m more likely to get part-time than full-time teaching, and even with a PGCert in higher education, then I shall still be a rather well-qualified librarian-researcher.
So, what do I have to look forward to, tomorrow? The timetable doesn’t mention PGCert year 2 (obviously – they’ve mostly finished), but as mentioned above, I’m neither PGCert 1 nor any kind of MEd student. Nonetheless, I might be able to reflect upon what I’ve learned in my project so far, and I’ve no objection to devising a poster. I haven’t prepared one for tomorrow’s session in advance (I’ve not been asked to), but I can pull together some ideas in the next hour or so, in case the opportunity arises.
It also occurs to me that, if I find myself at a loose end, I can quite easily occupy myself with some focused reading, whether for the PGCert or for my postdoctoral researches, so the time won’t be wasted anyway.
Ideas for a Poster Session
- The context of my teaching (library, research and general academic skills)
- The constraints of my teaching (‘parachute’ lecturer; little knowledge of students and their educational backgrounds; the subjects I’m teaching are not perceived as particularly relevant by many undergraduates!)
- Further constraints:- often no choice of physical setting, nor of any kind of collaborative learning, and sometimes too large a group to entertain any active learning. Talking about online resources in lecture format is not ideal.
- My project: ways to maximise effectiveness of my teaching given these constraints. Questionnaire, two interventions, feedback, a handful of interviews, analysis, reflection upon answers and potential further developments in the context of my work.
I can’t imagine a presentation without images. However, I can’t do a Powerpoint for a poster session in a room where students walk round from poster to poster. A few images on my tablet or laptop are the best I can aim for. So, I shall leave this blogpost for now, and try to find some suitable pictures!