I am now a Person with a Training and will not tolerate unfair discrimination against me because of my training, which does not define me! It is just one more attribute of my being. Why can't others learn to see the whole person and not just the Train? The course was really very interesting and taught me lots. Sorry to be a traitor to the principle that workplace training is fundamentally Brentian, but there you go. It's quite true that the cardi I wore today does have a lot of pills which need picking off, but they're concetrated in the underarm area and I didn't want to look like a gibbering ape, or no more than usual.
Yesterday we learned about the benefits and disadvantages of large group and small group teaching, again mostly from the point of view of what the student gets out of it. And also about online learning. And about evaluation of teaching, as in Rate My Professors but done by the government (and probably not including a Hotness criterion.)
Today we learned about assessment as a teaching tool. And then the really terrifying part, we split into three groups of eight and everyone had to do a five minute lecture (you could prepare it the night before), be videotaped, watch the tape, and be constructively critiqued by everyone else.
I am a really, really bad public speaker. Mine was by far the worst. It was actually quite incompetent. I knew perfectly well before that I'm really bad at lecturing, though, and I don't mind the humiliation a bit if it means I have some ideas about how to go about remedialling myself. The instructor encouraged us to list what we did well before listing what we did badly. I did well at not speaking too quickly, having an interesting thing to talk about, doing a "trick" with Powerpoint that they liked, although between you and me it is a side-effect of having learnt to use PPT by guessing, and at making the "students" interested in the subject themselves. I did very badly at estimating how much I could get through in the time -- I had far too much prepared -- and at being confident enough to do without notes. I had to write sentences and read them off the sheet of paper, and after seeing myself do that on a video, I know now I've really got to stop it because it's totally appalling. Nobody else had notes, they just put up overheads or Powerpoint slides and elaborated or improvised on the slide's themes. So. much. better. I "need" the notes just as a crutch and for no other reason. It is not like I don't know what to say without them, more that I'm afraid of going off on a tangent so far that I can't get back (but the slides will help there) or worried I'll miss out on some essential piece of information, or that I'll present it in some nonlogical sequence that's needlessly hard to assimilate. Well the way I do it now is obscure and difficult anyway, with bonus lack of confidence and dullness. May as well at least cut down on the dullness if I can. On the other hand, one of those other people lost it completely about a minute in and had to start again. I'd rather not have seen that happen. But the instructor said we will all do it at some point and we might as well think of a plan B for when it does happen to us.
In some ways the best thing about this session, and this goes for the whole three days as well, was meeting people from all over the university who I would never normally encounter. They came from Health Sciences, Physiotherapy, Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Nursing and Midwifery, Physics, Biochemistry, Computer Science, graduate school of Management, Accounting, Media Studies, and some others I've forgotten. In the mini lecture thing today everyone had to speak about something they would really lecture on, so I learned about:
- Plagiocephalic babies and how to treat them
- Free indirect speech (that was my effort)
- Financial accounting
- Special theory of relativity
- Embryonic stem cell cloning
- Fishpond method for estimating errors in computer programs
- neonatal resuscitation
It was all really interesting and good.