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David McDade Post 1

18 May 2020, 19:52 Edited by Nigel Gibson on 19 May 2020, 10:02

Section 4, Activity 4

WritingThis thread is for section 4, activity 4

What does teaching mean to you?

Watch the video in activity 4 and make notes about how the tutor fulfills their role. How does the tutor support students? How do they demonstrate this skill to you?

Correspondence tuition (supporting students through your marking feedback, emails, and tutorials) is a different skill to many other forms of teaching – so you may like to think about how you can apply your transferable skills to this new situation.

Reflecting on your own experience, how do you support people, learners or students with similar issues? Draw on all of your experience, both within work, academia and in informal settings.

Write a post that demonstrates your experience. Comment on another post, is it clear what they do?

These are examples of the types of posts we might expect to see:

"I support learners by helping them find their own path, and helping them over come obstacles. I do this by discussing their individual needs with them, rather than forcing an particular approach on them. Sometimes this means pointing them at material they can self study, and sometimes it means working through the study with them.

"I need to provide the support at the right time, this may be proactive after noticing a student is not studying consistently, or reactive by responding to a student request.

Use the "Reply" button below to contribute to this discussion.


(Image CC BY-ND 2.0 Flickr user Hans Splinter https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/)

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David Sherlock Post 2 (summarised) in reply to 1

8 Jun 2020, 14:40 Edited by the author on 8 Jun 2020, 14:41
I thought that the video for this activity was very interesting. In the...
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Tamara Lopez Post 5 (summarised) in reply to 2

14 Jun 2020, 09:58
Hi David, Very intersesting to hear your take on what it is like to teach...
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Lucy Gillett Post 3 (summarised) in reply to 1

12 Jun 2020, 00:16
This activity and video really made me think about my time so far as a...
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Tamara Lopez Post 7 (summarised) in reply to 3

14 Jun 2020, 10:07
Hi Lucy, Your first hand experiences with personal challenges and the...
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Marcus Young Post 4 (summarised) in reply to 1

13 Jun 2020, 20:33
The video was very interesting and had some excellent ideas. I like the idea...
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Tamara Lopez Post 6 (summarised) in reply to 4

14 Jun 2020, 10:02
Hi Marcus, Excellent point about not giving direct answers to questions, and...
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Tamara Lopez Post 8 (summarised) in reply to 1

14 Jun 2020, 10:24
I waxed on about the mystery of the tutoring experience in supporting...
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Adrian Hehir Post 9 (summarised) in reply to 1

15 Jun 2020, 10:31
I agree it is very important to set students expectations and that students...
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Ben Pike Post 10 (summarised) in reply to 1

15 Jun 2020, 14:19
The video was very interesting, the theme running through all the speakers...
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Colin Jenkins Post 13 (summarised) in reply to 10

26 Jun 2020, 14:24
I think you have hit the nail n the head here with keeping the communication...
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Emmanuel Isibor Post 11 (summarised) in reply to 1

19 Jun 2020, 08:22
The video was very interesting to watch as it gave a preview of how OU tutors...
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Colin Jenkins Post 12 (summarised) in reply to 1

26 Jun 2020, 14:20
As an OU student I can say first hand that the approach of the tutors as...
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Michael Liedl Post 14 (summarised) in reply to 1

1 Jul 2020, 09:28
In viewing the video interview of the tutors, I felt a particular commonality...
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Rod Gliven Post 15 (summarised) in reply to 1

13 Jul 2020, 00:10
One of the simplest things, but very important: The best personal learning...
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Graham Smith Post 16 (summarised) in reply to 1

14 Jul 2020, 01:16
I enjoyed hearing about how the different tutors support their students, from...
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Quentin McPhee Post 17 (summarised) in reply to 1

7 Aug 2020, 10:43
Very interesting video that builds on my perception that successful teaching...
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Raj Seepersad Post 18 (summarised) in reply to 1

8 Aug 2020, 19:00

Part 4 Teaching in Computing & Communications Section 4.5

 I have tutored...
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Coffee on Tyne

Bill Tarpy Post 19 (summarised) in reply to 1

27 Aug 2020, 15:24
Can't really say I've ever supported students online, however students are...
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Silvia Varagnolo Post 21 (summarised) in reply to 19

22 Oct 2020, 21:42
Hi Bill, despite you have never supported students online, I can see you...
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Silvia Varagnolo Post 20 (summarised) in reply to 1

22 Oct 2020, 21:38
For distance support I used email, a Facebook group and whattsapp groups....
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Kevin Frost Post 22 in reply to 1

1 Jan 2021, 15:02

Teaching for me is much more than just delivering information or imparting knowledge, the question of how that is done is the core of what teaching is there to do. Firstly there is the age and development of the learner to consider, adults will learn differently to children for instance so can take on the direct challenge of more abstract problem solving than young children, not recognising tis would be to the detriment of the learning. 

As well as subject content, study skills are an important skill to develop, important in any teaching context but none more so that distance/independent learners who do not have a teacher physically present most of the time to encourage and remind them. Study skills are also different with different age ranges of learners since adult and particularly distance learners will often be trying to fit study around other commitments. Study skills for such learners are therefore more than pure study skills and also very much about lifestyle management.

Assessment and feedback are important but to get the most from feedback students need to be motivated to take on board any feedback and not just make a judgement from their overall score as the latter does not feed into reflection and improvement. For distance learners I feel written feedback should be detailed since the in person feedback opportunities are more limited.

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Fiona Baxter Post 28 (unread) in reply to 22

22 Jun 2021, 17:49

I agree, the pedagogical approaches taken in teaching are just as important. It can be difficult for some students to get used to a continuous assessment/feedback approach if they have only known exams. 

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Sian Armstrong-Hollins Post 23 in reply to 1

18 May 2021, 21:28

Learners learn in different ways, and different methods will work for different people. As tutors we should be approachable so that the student knows to come for help as they need it, but we also need to be proactive in determining what a particular student might need. 

It might mean (to take maths as an example) that a student might find a different approach to solving a problem easier than another method (using a grid method to expand brackets for example). In engineering it might be that analogies might help. In other subject it might be the use of pictorial, or modelling aids which might help a student. But throughout, it should be that these techniques can be used to aid the student's path to becoming more independent in their problem-solving.

It might also be that to tackle a problem a student might need more scaffolding help to take a step by step approach initially, before developing the skills themselves to break down a problem into smaller steps.

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Fiona Baxter Post 27 (unread) in reply to 23

22 Jun 2021, 17:45

Differentiation is so effective and I have found scaffolding really helps to build confidence in a safe way and enable learners to tackle independent projects. 

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Amanda Williams Post 24 (unread) in reply to 1

11 Jun 2021, 13:25

I think the video is interesting and I can see how it overlaps with my current role.  I think for me the main thing in teaching is the ability to communicate, and to be to put the student at the heart of of learning and allowing them to take responsibility is key.  I support coaching models and find that this works best with adults.

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Fiona Baxter Post 26 (unread) in reply to 24

22 Jun 2021, 17:41

It's so important to emphasise that their learning is a two or three way process. 

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Fiona Baxter Post 25 (unread) in reply to 1

22 Jun 2021, 17:38

I am a qualified vocational assessor, so have a wealth of experience in assessment using a variety of methods, from simulated work products to workplace observations. In vocational education, when a learner submits a piece of work, it is marked and feedback is given for improvement where necessary by a 1-1 meeting or email. Tutorials are structured around specific support required, so I teach only where there are gaps in knowledge or skill, as their workplace experience may prove competency in many learning outcomes and assessment criteria already.

I have had to support students with access to technology, navigate attendance and progress concerns and help ready for job or college applications/interviews. I like to start off finding out as much about students as possible in terms of where they are at and where they have been, to discuss and agree the best place to start and an action plan to move forward.      


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Elena Sanchez-Heras Post 29 (unread) in reply to 1

6 Jul 2021, 11:21

When students start a project in our laboratory, I first help them to navigate the health and safety regulations in place. They are new to them and I try to explain them to them in a practical way.

Later there are issues about where I find this or that. I am their point of reference for all the day-to-day issues arising. 

When they start to get results, I am the person they contact to make sense of what the results mean. There, I try to always apply the scientific method to understand what a set of data means. We try to educate these future researchers and I am proud to instil on them resilience, analytical skills and group working skills, fundamental for an enduring career in research.

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John Dunning Post 30 (unread) in reply to 1

8 Jul 2021, 15:07

I support learners by working with them to understand their needs (both to assist in studying and in their goals - what they want out of the course). This lets me tailor things to their requirements, whether it be just by the speed we cover topics, giving further examples or reading, assisting with alternate explanations or giving practical examples I have seen.

Discussion tags: section 4