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Environments which provide effective learning for all . Moving outside the comfort zone : practical tips for interactive and inclusive seminars. Janette Bradley & Caroline Wilson. Background . Business School Marketing modules 20-30 students per tutorial

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slide1

Environments which provide effective learning for all

Moving outside the comfort zone : practical tips for interactive and inclusive seminars

Janette Bradley & Caroline Wilson

background
Background
  • Business School Marketing modules 20-30 students per tutorial
  • Level 5 Marketing Planning tutorial group
  • 30 students 17.00 -18.00 (500 in cohort)
  • Large international presence; multi-cultural backgrounds
  • Diversity of ethnicity within British nationals
  • Students tend to sit in friendship groups based around common ground and experiences, especially nationality
  • Friendships can make learning easier through a natural support group, especially for international students who can use their own language.
slide3

BUT Friendship groups do not encourage diversity of learning or inclusivity

  • It is very easy to let students stay with friendship groups
  • Communication skills and group work is important for students’ future professional careers
  • Important to give students opportunities to adapt their preferred ‘comfortable’ behaviour and learn new ways of interacting and co-operating with others.
good practice multicultural groups
Good Practice : Multicultural Groups

Multi-cultural group work contributes to the seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education Chickering & Gamson, 1987

In particular:

  • It encourages co-operation among students
  • It encourages active learning

Done well

  • It respects diverse talents and ways of learning
  • Encourages international discourse
  • Breaks down cultural barriers
  • Discourages the teacher from being drawn into only addressing ‘home’ students
  • Builds interpersonal and communications skills amongst students
good practice in inclusive teaching
Good practice in inclusive teaching

3. Provides environments for effective learning for all

Q3.1 I manage the learning environment to enable all students to participate fully,

encouraging the sharing of examples from their own experiences.

Q3.4 I structure my teaching activities to enable all students to share their values and beliefs within a culture of mutual respect and dignity for all.

Q3.5 I use group activities to facilitate students’ understanding of how working with people of diverse backgrounds enriches their own learning.

  • Respect for others

Our graduates will have respect for themselves and others and will be courteous, inclusive and able to work in a wide range of cultural settings.

  • Social responsibility

Our graduates will understand how their actions can enhance the wellbeing of others and will be equipped to make a valuable contribution to society.

the interaction for learning framework
The Interaction for Learning Framework
  • My top tip “ Beginning each class with a short peer-learning activity ” (step 2)
  • “ Encouraging students to move beyond their regular social groups ” (all steps)
  • Sophie Arkoudis et al, 2010

Dimension 1

Planning interaction

Dimension 6

Fostering Communities of Learners

Dimension 2

Creating environments for interaction

“ The classroom is the main location where students can find ‘common ground’, as it is where they share a subject and a learning environment.”

Dimension 5

Developing reflexive process

Dimension 3

Supporting interaction

Dimension 4

Engaging with subject knowledge

arranging multi cultural groups for interaction
Arranging Multi-cultural groups for interaction
  • Planning multi-cultural interaction is easier than it looks
  • Students often enter a tutorial room which is set up in lines and arrange
  • themselves in friendship groups of like people
  • X Sitting in lines does not encourage communication.
  • X Sitting in friendship groups doesn’t encourage diversity or inclusivity.

Tutor’s desk

step 1 ask the students to rearrange the tables
Step 1: Ask the students to rearrange the tables
  • Getting students to move the furniture involves them in their environment
  • Round-tables encourages communication
  • Students tend to stay in their friendship groups at this stage.

Tutor’s desk

step 2 give the students a number
Step 2: Give the students a number

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step 3 number the tables 1 5 and move students to those tables
Step 3: Number the tables 1-5 and move students to those tables
  • Students may still gravitate towards like cultures by sitting next to each other at this stage, but the tables are more multi-cultural.

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step 4 set first task in pairs e g checking understanding of previous seminars
Step 4: set first task in pairs e.g. checking understanding of previous seminars
  • At a table level it’s easier to arrange multi-cultural pairs by eye
  • Working in pairs breaks the ice, and no one person can get left out
  • It may not be easy in pairs to get every one of them to be multi-cultural.

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step 5 set next task in 3s and give people roles in the group
Step 5: set next task in 3s and give people roles in the group
  • Once ice is broken in pairs, it’s easier to extend to groups of 3.
  • By this stage it is likely that most groups will be multi-cultural and will have
  • achieved this in an unthreatening way.

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top tips from the session
Top tips from the session
  • Make sure the tasks are structured, this helps with language problems and gives focus to the task
  • This technique can work well when alternated with weeks of allowing work in friendship groups
  • Tutor should be constantly walking around the groups to spot any individuals who may not be engaging and seek to observe causes
  • Engagement can be passive as well as active : e.g. paying attention to others, checking information from websites/StudyNet
  • Name tags work a treat when mixing up the group this much.
some observations
Some observations
  • High levels of interactivity : the most vibrant of classes taught
  • Pace of learning increased : students more productive outside their friendship groups
  • Expectations raised - impact on attitude and performance ?
  • Very positive relationship between students and tutor
  • Quieter students became more involved
  • Students began to relate to each other differently and take notice of previously ‘overlooked’ individuals
  • Effective learning environment for all students
  • Average individual coursework result 55% Cohort average 49%
  • Useful basis for more wide-ranging study.

“ The structure of the tutorial is

good because we are allocated

to different groups each week,

and it allows us to mix in with

different people with different

backgrounds and ideas.”

“ I feel that the tutorial tasks allow

us to get involved and develop

our own ability in Marketing at a

good pace.”