E-PORTFOLIO 2015-2016

20160501_203304Thank you for visiting!  This page contains my submissions towards my PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education.  Do follow my blog, and check back here for later submissions for 2015-16.

Two observed teaching sessions

I was required to do two half-hour teaching sessions, one attended and reviewed by a course tutor, and the other peer-reviewed by another member of staff.  In my case, I was offered two hour-long sessions, one of which was attended by PG Cert Tutor Rachel Drury (attending BMus Traditional Music Year 2) and the other by Traditional Music course-leader Josh Dickson (attending BMus Traditional Music Year 1).  These took place on 11 December 2015, and  all documentation can be found below:-

  1. THEORETICAL ACCOUNT KAREN MCAULAY BMUS TRAD MUSIC YEAR 1
  2. THEORETICAL ACCOUNT KAREN MCAULAY BMUS TRAD MUSIC YEAR 2
  3. LESSON PLAN BMUS TRAD MUSIC YEAR 1
  4. LESSON PLAN BMUS TRAD MUSIC YEAR 2
  5. Year 1 Handout. Historic examples of tradition in performance
  6. Student activity creating definitions (Year 1 define ‘Traditional Music’; Year 2 define ‘Nationalism in Traditional Music’)
  7. 20160110_175442
  8. Peer Reviews for Year 1 KMcA Tutor observation of year 1 by Josh Dickson and Year 2 (with a reference to Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle) KMcA Tutor observation of year 2 by Rachel Drury 
  9. ‘Rate My Seminar’ – students’ reviews of sessions for Year 1 & Year 2 RATE MY SEMINAR
  10. My Reflective Evaluations for both sessions appear below:-

Evaluative Report

(In this report, I focus on the success of the design and delivery of my seminars.  I’m asked to use feedback from key stakeholders: peer observer, tutor observer, learners, other staff, to build critical analysis of the success of the sessions.  My assessment is centred on learning outcomes, the content, delivery methods, assessment and feedback as outlined in my lesson plans, and the indicative word count is 2000 words.  (Mine is about 2,300 words.)

Session 1 – a seminar to second year undergraduates (Traditional Music)

Session assessed by Rachel Drury, my tutor.

Learning outcomes

There were three stated learning outcomes:-

Learners should have a broad knowledge and understanding of the scope of their subject/discipline; a critical understanding of some of the main theories, concepts, terminology etc; and more detailed knowledge of some specialised areas.

This session dealt with nationalism, a key concept pertinent to both historic and modern traditional music, in this instance introducing students to the way nationalism is interwoven into traditional music of earlier centuries.

Learners are expected to be able to apply knowledge and understanding; practise routine methods of enquiry/research, and some specialist skills.

Session 1 offered students suggestions as to the ways they could examine and interpret some key primary sources from past centuries.

Learners’ generic cognitive skills are expected to equip them to ‘Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues; identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues; [and] draw on a range of sources in making judgements.’

Session 1 began by encouraging students to share their own interpretations both of the key concept (nationalism in music), and of primary sources, looking at both the music and any musical commentary or other paratext.

  1. Content.  The session began with an introduction to the learning outcomes and structure of the seminar, and students were asked about the previous session, in order to establish context for what the present session would cover, and to help me ensure that I didn’t repeat or omit any important elements.  Discussion of the concept of nationalism in traditional music arose from the students’ own definitions.  We discussed the ‘Ossian effect’, and how Macpherson’s poetry came to represent Highland culture for many Europeans.  We went on to examine key music texts, and I encouraged students to look at the commentary as well as music notation in the scores I had brought along; in this way they could see that what the compilers said, gave us clues as to how they had regarded the music and its place in Scottish culture.  I introduced music from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries and provided historical context vis a vis contemporary literature and also other Celtic cultures.
  2. Delivery methods.  After my initial introduction, I began with a ‘dictionary definition’ activity with students writing their own definitions on post-it notes, which I assembled on large sheets of paper, encouraging discussion amongst the students. (I later typed up the definitions and shared them with tutors.)  Next, I shared examples of Macpherson’s Ossian poems, and then shared a number of different collections of Scottish music from different periods for violin, bagpipes, and voice.  I had intended to use the internet to show the Wighton Database, but could not immediately access the internet. I felt it was better not to waste time trying, but described the resource that I’d been meaning to show them.  I shared a handout giving details of the books we had been looking at so that students could go and look at them in the library later if they wished.  After verbally summarising what we had covered, I asked students to complete feedback forms for me, simply to establish what they liked, disliked, and would have liked more of.
  3. Assessment.  Reading my tutor assessment, I was pleased to note that my attempts to use constructive alignment and scaffolding were evident.  I was also gratified to be assessed as having thought out the session well, and to have been organised in the delivery of it, and it particularly pleased me that my delivery style was judged articulate.  I may well have got through the information quicker than intended in the first part of the lesson; however, this did allow more time for the students to examine the books, and I felt that the students were mostly quite engaged with what we were talking about. I did summarise at the end of the hour, but on reading my tutor’s assessment, it seems that maybe I didn’t articulate the goals sufficiently clearly at the beginning of the session.  If this was so, then it was probably due to nervousness on my part, and it’s something I’m prepared to take on board when future teaching opportunities arise.  From my own point of view, I managed not to ‘flap’ when I couldn’t access the internet, but it was annoying, and did mean I missed the opportunity to demonstrate a really useful resource.  I had arrived in time to get logged onto the computer before the students arrived, and it looked as though everything was okay, but I didn’t move away from the IE homepage; this was regrettable, because I would have either have discovered sooner that there was a problem, or have at least got to the Wighton database page before losing connectivity during the lesson.  The only lesson I can learn from this is to try to access the relevant website before the start of a session if possible.  Once the session was running, there was nothing that I could have done.
  4. Feedback.  I transcribed student feedback and have posted it on my portfolio pages; see RATE MY SEMINAR.  In summary, the students …
  • Liked having a lot of books brought to the session (7 out of 10)
  • Liked the stories about the collectors (1/10)
  • Liked my delivery style, knowledge and enthusiasm, also the handouts (4/10)
  • Disliked passing the books around (1/10 thought it rather time-consuming)
  • Felt I occasionally went off-topic (1/10)
  • Felt I didn’t give clear enough time-lines (1/10) – I would dispute this!
  • Disliked a 9 am seminar. Not my fault!
  • Would have liked more media (recordings, films, websites) 4/10
  • More handouts (1/10)
  • More discussion (1/10)Fewer books (1/9)
  • More music notation books (1/9). Again, in my own defence, I had taken a full flight-bag of music notation books, so I really felt I’d been quite generous in an hour’s seminar.
  • Would have liked modern nationalism rather than historical nationalism to be discussed. I thought I had explained that Lori would be discussing this at their next seminar, but maybe I hadn’t. (1/9)On balance, therefore, I felt that both my tutor assessment and student feedback were largely positive and encouraging.  As I mentioned, the internet glitch was a nuisance, and I take on board the comments that more media content would have been welcomed.  If I could not have provided recordings from some of the 18th-19th century sources, I could certainly have found one or two, which would probably have been enough given the time constraints.

Session 2 – a seminar to first year undergraduates (Traditional Music)

Session assessed by peer assessment by Josh Dickson, Course Lleader.

Learning Outcomes

As in the Year 2 session, there were three learning outcomes:

Learners should have a broad knowledge and understanding of the scope of their subject/discipline; a critical understanding of some of the main theories, concepts, terminology etc; and more detailed knowledge of some specialised areas.

This session addressed key concepts pertinent to traditional music, particularly historically, and students were introduced to the various ways these concepts were addressed in different eras.

Learners are expected to be able to apply knowledge and understanding; practise routine methods of enquiry/research, and some specialist skills.

This session introduced students to some key primary sources.

Learners’ generic cognitive skills are expected to equip them to ‘Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues; identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues; [and] draw on a range of sources in making judgements.’

Students were encouraged to share their own interpretations both of key concepts and their responses to the aforementioned primary sources.

  1. Content.  The session began with an introduction to the learning outcomes and structure of the seminar, and students were asked about the previous session, in order to establish context for what the present session would cover, and to help me ensure that I didn’t repeat or omit any important elements.  Discussion of the concept of traditional music – and what different people mean by the term – arose from the students’ own definitions.  We went on to look at early 20th century definitions, and then discussed where we might look for earlier evidence.  A variety of early sources were examined and discussed. Finally, after summarising the session, I asked for student feedback.
  2. Delivery methods. After my initial introduction, I began with a ‘dictionary definition’ activity with students writing their own definitions on post-it notes, which I assembled on large sheets of paper, encouraging discussion amongst the students. (I later typed up the definitions and shared them with tutors.)  After that, I tried to provide a balance between giving explanations of new concepts, and encouraging students to enter discussion so that they would begin to form their own opinions about what they were learning. I allowed plenty of time for hands-on exploration of the scores, but was hindered by the aforementioned internet problems.  Perhaps because I was anxious not to lose the students’ attention, I was loth to try accessing the internet again, in retrospect, I really should have tried, because there was much that the students could have benefited from.
  3. Assessment.  I was pleased that my activities were considered ‘effective and engaging’, and also that the students were keen both to respond to me, and to interact with one another.  As with the earlier session, the flight-bag of books (several from Special Collections) was considered a very good idea, and my peer-assessor was pleased both that I provided plenty of historical and cultural context, and that the students had plenty of time to handle these collections.  My theoretical framework and preparation seemed to have been appropriate for the session and the teaching task I had been assigned, and the only negative was my inability to share the online resources that I’d planned to demonstrate.  Talking about these was not the same as showing them.
  4. Feedback.  As before, I transcribed student feedback and have posted it on my portfolio pages; see RATE MY SEMINAR.  In summary, the students,
  • Unanimously liked seeing the historic collections, all the information and stories about them (12/12)
  • Would have liked more audio examples/less talking (5/12)
  • Would have liked more time so that the pace could have been slower and/or books could have been examined without my talking about them at the same time. 2/12)
  • Would have liked more fiddle collections. (I tried to provide something for every main group, pipes, fiddle and voice, but maybe I should have asked the course-leader in advance to see if I could have provided a better assortment for the students who would be attending.
  • One student would have liked more Gaelic songs, maybe also Cape Breton material, and from the Outer Hebrides. Again, maybe I should have asked about students’ interests beforehand, but in fairness, there’s a limit to what can be covered in an hour.
  • One student would have liked to have had the opportunity to compose settings. This would have been an interesting challenge, but (a) I had been tasked with taking a historical approach to what had been published, rather than what might now be written; and (b) there would have been insufficient time to do anything like this in the context of an hour-long seminar on a fairly detailed subject.
  • Again, one student disliked attending a 10 am class!

My own personal reflections on these two teaching opportunities, and having also considered the feedback from my tutor, peer assessor, and the students themselves, have led me to reach various conclusions.  In the first instance, I was quite pleased with my initial preambles, and enquiring about the previous sessions definitely proved to be worthwhile; not only did it get the students talking, but it also helped me understand and establish the context in which my own sessions were being given and received. Similarly, my post-it note “Write a definition” activities went down well, giving the students opportunities to share their own views so that I wasn’t just standing talking.

I was gratified by the students’ interest in the music books I’d taken to show them.  My feedback forms showed this definitely to have been worthwhile – although I did sense at the time that a minority of students were perhaps not too enthusiastic about being given time to examine them closely.  Since the majority were keen, I don’t think I’d change the format much, except maybe to put the books on tables that students could gather round, to encourage further interaction amongst the students.  However, if I had asked how many students played which instruments, I could have fine-tuned my selection to ensure that there would be material of direct appeal to them.

The major setback, of course, was my problem with the internet. I did report it subsequently, but I don’t know what had gone wrong.  I don’t think it was anything I did wrong technically.  Although I did arrive early, I should have arrived even earlier to ensure I could reach the resources I wanted to demonstrate; then, even if there was still a problem, I could have tried a bit longer to see what was wrong.

I have also learned that students do seem to expect multimedia formats, and another time I would definitely have looked for a couple of recordings, played a piece on the piano or invited someone to try one or two tunes.

I was glad that I had prepared feedback sheets; and the students provided some valuable comments which I shall certainly take on board.  I had wondered if I was taking a risk in inviting comments (there’s always the risk of negative ones), but I thought the comments were fair and generally well-considered, and I am grateful to both staff and students for giving me these pointers as to what needs to be improved upon, as well as confidence that my sessions were, in general, gratifyingly successful.


 Journal Entries

I have used this blog to record reflections on my various roles: researcher, librarian and student teacher. Categories and tags help identify which posts relate to each role, but please find below a list of those posting specifically relating to my PG Cert studies:-


Bibliography

I’m required to provide a bibliography at this point.  Mine is listed under the Resources tab, and includes everything I used for the Teaching Artist module, too.  However, I thought I’d log my reading since December, as an indication of the kind of material I have been looking at.  The following items will also be found in the big bibliography:-

Online

Busch, Bradley, ‘Secrets of the teenage brain: a psychologist’s guide for teachers’, The Guardian, 2015/12/09  http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/dec/09/teenage-brain-psychologist-guide-teachers-classroom?CMP=share_btn_tw

Cassidy, Sarah, ‘School’s results go from Bottom to top, thanks to Shakespeare’, The Guardian (21 June 2016)

Clawson, James G. S. and Mark E. Haskins, Teaching Management (Cambridge University Press,2006) ;  Online Publication Date: February 2010 Online ISBN-13: 9780511617850,
Hardback ISBN-13: 9780521869751, Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511617850 (Specifically Chapters 2. Levels of Learning – one, two and three /James G. S. Clawson and Mark E. Haskins, pp.26-33; and 13. Experiential methods / By Clawson, pp.212-227)

Dorussen, Han, Theodora-Ismene Gizelis and Phil Arena, ‘Will video kill the lecturing star?’ (The Guardian, 2015/11/25)  http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/nov/25/will-video-kill-the-lecturing-star?CMP=share_btn_tw

Fabri, Marc, ‘How to help autistic students succeed at university’, The Guardian, 2016/04/13  http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2016/apr/13/how-to-help-autistic-students-succeed-at-university?CMP=share_btn_tw

Garrison, Jim, Stefan Neubert,and Kersten Reich, John Dewey’s philosophy of education; An introduction and recontextualization for our times (Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) – e-book

Goldhill, Olivia, ‘The concept of different “learning styles” is one of the greatest neuroscience myths’, on Quartz website, 2016/01/03     http://qz.com/585143/the-concept-of-different-learning-styles-is-one-of-the-greatest-neuroscience-myths/

Higher Education Academy, ‘Learning Excellence’ https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resource/learning-excellence

Houghton, Warren, ‘Learning and teaching theory for engineering academics’, HEA Academy, 2004 (Engineering Centre Study Guide) https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/learning-teaching-theory.pdf

Jeffs, Chris, ‘Reflective Learning’ (print pp.135-139) in Strategic Management (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2008);Print ISBN: 9781412947695,Online ISBN: 9781446216446 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446216446.n22

Kolb, David A., ‘Experiential Learning Theory and Learning Styles’ In: Encyclopedia of Management Theory  / Ed. Eric H. Kessler (Sage publications, 2013), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781452276090.n84 (encyclopedia entry; print pp.277-9)

Moore, Chris, ‘If you are not updating your lectures, you could be letting your students down‘, Times Higher Education (9 June 2016)

O’Byrne, W. Ian,  Blog: Too Long Didn’t Read: Get more insight on literacy, technology, & education  http://wiobyrne.com/tldr/

Panke, Stefanie, ‘Innovating Pedagogy: Which Trends Will Influence Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning Environments?’, 2016/01/31, on Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education(AACE) website – a commentary on Sharples et al (2015) http://linkis.com/blog.aace.org/2016/0/j1kFl

Prawat, Richard S., “Constructivism”, in Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology, ed. Neil J. Salkind.  (Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2008); Print ISBN: 9781412916882, Online ISBN: 9781412963848, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963848.n51  (Print p.183)

Research Excellence Framework, Workshops on the impacts of research in the practice-based creative and performing arts, the humanities and social sciences http://www.ref.ac.uk/media/ref/content/background/impact/workshops_impact_research.pdf

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, SCQF Level Descriptors (2010/02) http://www.scqf.org.uk/content/files/resources/SCQF_Level_Descriptors_for_website_-_Feb_2010.pdf

Sharples, Mike et al, ‘Innovating Pedagogy 2015: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers, Open University Innovation Report 4, Milton Keynes: The Open University, 2015  http://proxima.iet.open.ac.uk/public/innovating_pedagogy_2015.pdf

Stroebe, Wolfgang, ‘Student evaluations of teaching: no measure for the TEF‘, Times Higher Education (9 Jue 2016)

Vaillancourt, Allison M, ‘Blue Books Energized My Teaching’, on Vitae website, 2016/02/29   https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1308-blue-books-energized-my-teaching?cid=VTEVPMSED1

Yarbro, Jessica, ‘The four pillars of flipped learning’, on Edvocate website http://www.theedadvocate.org/the-four-pillars-of-flipped-learning/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

Young, Catharine, ‘Don’t forget, the science of memory is key to helping students learn’, The Guardian, 2015/12/01 http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/dec/01/dont-forget-science-memory-key-students-learn?CMP=share_btn_tw

Print

Allan, Barbara, Emerging strategies for supporting student learning: a practical guide for librarians and educators (London: Facet Publishing, 2016)

Bent, Moira J., Practical tips for facilitating research (London: Facet Publishing, 2016) [In fact, I met and contributed a couple of tips to this author for this book.]

Jarvis, Matt, The Psychology of Effective Learning and Teaching (Cheltenham: Nelson Thomas, 2005)- Chapters 1,3, and 4

Silberman, Steve, Neurotribes: the legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently (London: Allen & Unwin, 2015)


UKPSF CHECKLIST

UKPSF Checklist completed – Karen McAulay

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I'm a musicologist disguised as a librarian. I've been writing this blog as part of my PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Arts Education, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

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