As Warwick in Schools Programme Lead I manage a team of part time tutors who are new to teaching in HE and coordinate a network of school based mentors who support students whilst on placement in their schools. Since taking over the role I have refreshed the subject matter covered within the sessions, in particular making an emphasis on evidenced based practice such as and removing reference to ideas now regarded as ‘neuro-myths’ such as learning styles.
I have designed learning materials and activities based around discussion and active learning and provided them for my team and with support in adapting them to their subject areas. Throughout the course of the modules I have mentored and supported the tutors through weekly tutor meetings and inviting them to observe my teaching. I developed a Moodle site with resources to support teaching and learning across the programme and have trained the tutors in how to use the site from a teacher’s perspective. The Moodle has proved valuable as the modules run across different departments, and combined with a number of twilight sessions there are sometimes clashes and therefore absence. I encouraged tutors to upload photographs of group work produced in their sessions to Moodle to extend learning beyond the classroom, which has proven popular and valuable based on student feedback and the high hit count shown in the Moodle usage statistics.
Learners come from a variety of disciplines so I have developed a series of resources and activities to develop their academic writing in education and carried out the activities with the tutors in order to support them in delivery and understanding the nature and rationale of the tasks which are designed to develop the skills required by students to succeed in their assessments. To further raid learning and support students with writing outside their discipline I have introduced extensive formative feedback on tasks. To facilitate this I have designed a workflow to provide audio feedback and ‘instant feedback’ on tasks and subsequently coached my team on how to use these approaches, which have now been embedded within their practice. Positive student evaluations have demonstrated these methods to be both effective and popular. As a result I am now working with other course teams in my department to introduce and embed this practice elsewhere. Furthermore other courses within my department are now adopting a workflow using Tabula to streamline the assignment handling, marking and feedback processes which I first piloted with my modules.
The Warwick in Schools programme includes a professional placement in school. I have worked with my school based mentors to put in place activities and support for the students whilst in school to create a positive professional learning environment for the students. Employability and the development of transferable skills are embedded throughout the programme and to recognise that I have introduced a framework for mentors to produce a professional reference for all participating students.