Hey everyone here is a quick rundown of what wasÂ discussed in our first IBL mock Focus Group. As youÂ you can seeÂ it tookÂ place on the 24th Nov (sorry it’sÂ taken so long to blog it!).Basically for those who don’t really understand…one of our methods of evaluation for the IBL modules is through the use of Focus groups and before we get goingÂ doing the real thing it was decided a mock version would be needed. So Sabine got together some nice willing lecturers and Bob, who then all acted as our Focus Group and we set about pestering them with questions about CILASS and IBL type stuff. It was all very successful and good fun! So here is some ofÂ what was discussed…a bit more will follow soon once we have collaborated more info. HopeÂ it’s all clear. See you all soon (at the meeting tuesday no doubt)
judith Â Â
1. How are you planning to successfully integrate IBL into your courses?Â
Dissemination of material and increased sharing of ideas between colleagues, both within individual departments and across the university.
More discussion between staff and students, in order to increase student feedback and use their ideas.
Analysis, evaluation and feedback.
Sharing of teaching methods.
2. How will the students be participating?Â
First year modules will be adapted inÂ one department.
Group work, individual inquiry based projects.
An effort should be made to focus much more on the processes of learning and on the skills learned during education. It should not just be about content and the end product.
3. Will it be for undergraduates, postgraduates or a mixture?Â
Mainly directed at undergraduates or it is them who are already involved anyway.
4. Are you planning to use existing modules, which you will add to and adapt, or make completely new modules?Â
It seems much more useful to staff and students if IBL is incorporated into existing modules. A process of adapting them, building on them and slowly infiltrating the IBL approaches seems more effective than making new modules.
The idea of making such modules compulsory was discussed but we agreed this is usually not a productive approach.
Extra Points discussed:
- Web CT was discussed and the following was mentioned:Â
- Successfully participating in Web CT and Blogs depends on the confidence of the student.
- There is often a stigma attached to posting your opinion on a blog.
- Should it be anonymous?
- Is it successful or not?
- Is it simply used because it is there, i.e. for the sake of it?
- In some cases it might be useful as an addition to the module but not as the main method of teaching and learning.
It was also agreed that when doing Focus Groups with students in the future the following would be done:
- A brief introduction by us and them.
- Explain the structure of the Focus Group
- Beware of troublesome students (the quiet/talkative ones)
- Have confidence to control the group and keep it on track
- Ask them if they have any questions or topics to discuss that we missed
To finish we asked the staff members how they would like to be evaluated by us in the future? The answered with the following:
- Not (only) with tick-box questionnaires
- In a more continuous, regular and reflective way (3 to 4 times a year).
- Through adaptable, both specific and open, questions.
- Using both focus groups and observation techniques.