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Teaching and learning tricky topics
Teaching and learning tricky topics

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3 The tricky topic process

In Weeks 2 and 3 of this course you learned how to identify and capture tricky topics through the tricky topics process. In this section you are going to look back at Weeks 2 and 3 and reflect on how you did this. It will be helpful to look at Activities 5 and 8 in Week 3 which built on your work in Week 2.

Described image
Figure 1 Tricky topic headset

In Activity 5 of Week 3 you wrote a few sentences about your thoughts on the tricky topics process, explaining whether it made sense to you, whether it was something you felt that you could now do, and how it related to your experiences on the needs analysis. You then went on to do some structuring and sharing of your tricky topic. Both these activities involved writing your thoughts and feeding them back to the tricky topics team. Finally, you read about the practicalities of different types of tricky topics workshops that could be conducted in different contexts, in order to collaboratively identify, capture and share tricky topics with colleagues (Week 3, Section 4).

Activity 5 Reflecting on the tricky topics process

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes
  1. Look back at Activities 5 and 8 in Week 3.
  2. Now, reflect on the feedback you provided for those activities.
    • How have your thoughts changed?
    • Does the tricky topics process work for you?
    • Has this course helped you to feel more able to conduct a tricky topics workshop in your teaching context or organisation?
    • If you have been able to share this with your colleagues, how has that worked for you and your colleagues?
  3. Write down your thoughts about the ‘Identification’ and ‘Capture’ stage of the tricky topics process.
    • What form of collaborative workshop would/does work for your organisation to better identify students’ problems?
    • How can you share tricky topics within (and beyond) your organisation?
    • What works for you?
  4. Feedback your thoughts to the tricky topics group on IRIS Connect. See Week 8, Activity 5.
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The feedback you are providing via the IRIS Connect is a form of sharing. You are sharing your thoughts and experiences with the tricky topics team at the Open University. But how can you better share your tricky topics with teachers in your organisation and in other organisations and even other countries?