Teaching Adults – Self Assessment of the learner

Personal Evaluation of teaching and learning approaches and effectiveness of the
resources for my observed session:

By Liz Eje

The distinction between teaching and learning is highlighted by Wilson (2008) p. 34 when she states that the teacher is engaged in teaching and the student in learning, but she holds that the activities for both approaches must “be balanced to meet the different needs of (the) learners and to develop motivation” (Wilson) p. 35. Such activities are geared to enable the realisation of the aim and objectives of the particular session so they must conform to the particular subject being taught. In drawing up my session plan, I had this as my goal – to make my teaching activities match the learning activities for the required outcomes. Nevertheless I was also aware that circumstances could arise during the teaching session to necessitate change or adaptation of my chosen activities.

My teaching activities included selecting the relevant teaching resources which comprised:
Work sheets,
Name sticks
Power point notes,
Flip charts,
Board pens and blue tack.
Session Plan

In teaching I utilised the following approaches

  1. Group work
    The students discussed general notions about the Bible with colleagues at the same table and
    presented their findings to the whole class by sticking them on the board.
  2. General Discussion
    This followed the presentation and was also used a few times during the session.
  1. Pair Work
    This method was utilised to study the maps of Israel. Due to the fact that maps were printed on both sides of each sheet, each pair of students could discuss with opposite sides of their sheets laid side by side. However, I allowed some groups to comprise three people to avoid unnecessary movements and to save time. This was an improvised arrangement to cater for the fact that a smaller number of learners than was expected had turned up that day.
  2. Group discussion with Individual work.
    This activity comprised two actions: discussion with other learners and reporting the findings from an individual point of view. The variety of ways of using group work was, to my view effective. My intentions here was that learners would be supported by others while researching the issues and then have the opportunity to report their findings as individuals
  3. Lecture (Verbal exposition):
    I utilised this method to clarify points it took long to arrive at but always concluded by asking the learners’ opinion about my input. This method was used to summarise the two ideas from their flip chart presentation which best described the Christian view of the Bible – Word of God and written by people (within a particular historical and Geographical context). I used this approach at other times when the necessity arose.
  4. Question and answer
    This teaching approach was utilised often during the session to challenge the learners to bring out their ideas and to assess the learning outcomes during, and at the end of the session. I also gave the opportunity to the learners to ask me questions. Because I was concerned about time management I decided not to use PowerPoint presentation which I initially had in mind to use.
  5. PowerPoint handouts
    I intended these as course outline to supplementary information. They contained more information than was in the session plan to show how this session connected with the second in my scheme of work.

Effectiveness -of teaching resources
As for the effectiveness of my teaching resources, I found them generally effective. They can only be assessed against the overall aim and objectives of the session, but before going into that, I will look at areas that could have been better enhanced by a more attentive use of my teaching resources.

Group discussion:
During the session there were moments I was concerned that the discussion sessions might go on longer than planned, so I had to bring them to a close as soon as I was sure the learners had written down what had been discussed. I realised later that this created the impression of pressure. I have learnt now that I should usually tell people at the beginning of the discussion period how much time is allocated to a particular activity and not wait until it is well underway.

PowerPoint Presentation
Although it had been my initial preferred teaching approach, I decided not to include PowerPoint presentation in my session plan in order to ensure better time management, even though I had PowerPoint notes that could have filled that role efficiently. I later realised from the tutor’s and students’ assessment, and my personal observation that PowerPoint presentation could have enhanced my teaching session especially with the study of the maps. Nevertheless, my use of printed maps proved to be an incentive to more research since learners could take home these handouts. I told them the source of my maps and encouraged them to research the history and changing geographical boundaries of Israel.

Name sticks
Even though name sticks were among my first procured teaching resources, I used them only once as I then decided to change the method of assessment to leave enough time for the students’ feedback and questions. I later realise, with the benefit of peer and tutor feedback, that the use of name sticks would have enhanced the final assessment process rather than hindered it. It could have facilitated the process of inclusion on the level of assessment, even though I had tried to call people by name, some of whom did not put up their hands. Nevertheless, this is an area that needs improvement.

How I met the needs of the individual learners:
The needs of the individual learners were met in several ways such as:

Group, pair and individual work
The different methods of group work described earlier were geared to address the group as
well as the individual.

Research on Sacred books of other religions
By studying the particularity of the sacred books of other religions as well as the Bible and showing how the notion held by adherents of each book influences the way it is studied, I made it clear that I wanted to incorporate inclusion into my teaching session. The idea was to enable everyone to relate to the subject.

My method of assessment throughout the session was intended to include everyone. I endeavoured to call people by name during question and answer periods and at the end. Name sticks, as explained earlier, could have enhanced this process.
I believe the aim and objective of my session were achieved judging from the feedback I received from group evaluation and from individuals who appreciated my session in private. However, I take on board the observation of the tutor. I should have assessed the learners specifically on the main ideas of the objectives in order to know if every point had been clear. General questions do not always achieve this.



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