Session 6: Mock 1-on-1 review, Active Learning Modules

The research literature focused on teacher and tutor development suggest the value of two key practices: 1) peer observation and 2) video recording of teaching. Peer observation of teaching can propel instructional change by enhancing what is noticed and creating the opportunity for dialogue and the development of action plans. Video recording facilitates self-evaluation and self-reflective practice.

Rather than telling peer mentors a list of do’s and don’ts, a key strategy for the peer mentors’ learning is to also have them engage actively in seeing others and seeing themselves engage in the activity with constructive feedback.

We use a particular combination of video recording for self-observation and self-reflection, as well as the chance to observe peers through those videos which facilitates dialogue and reflections on instructional change.

Students are often reticent to participate for fear of being vulnerable and humiliated by errors. To allay this fear, peer mentors should watch their own videotaped sessions alone. 

They will watch snippets of others’ videotaped sessions with their peers, and rate their observations of what was effective or not. The peer mentors consistently commented that this helped them to focus their energies on what they could improve, and to take up the learning constructively. This was by far one of the most effective and memorable parts of their training.


Overall Motivations and Objectives

  • Students reflect on their mock 1-on-1 meetings, to improve their skills
  • Active Learning Modules are practiced and improved

Prerequisite Knowledge

To use this module, the following readings, activities, and reflections should be completed:

Readings

None.

Preliminary Activities

Students should have previously completed their mock 1-on-1 videos, and prepared their Active Learning Module lesson plans.

Instructor Reflections

Students may feel uncomfortable viewing videotaped sessions. Reflect on how you have been evaluated as an instructor and your feelings related to that.
  • When evaluating yourself as an instructor, how can you focus your energy best on what you can improve? Are you always able to take feedback constructively? What mechanisms do you use to gather information and feedback about your instruction?



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Lesson Plan





Viewing Mock 1-on-1 Video Clips (30 min)

Description

Students will watch clips of others' videotaped sessions with their peers, and rate their observations of what was effective or not. The groups of students watching each set of clips should be carefully chosen so no student is watching themselves in the company of their peers. The clips should be short (under two minutes) and include effective and ineffective mentoring.

Materials

Prep: Clips and groups of students should be prepared in advance from the Mock 1-on-1 videos prepared prior to the previous session. It is often helpful to review all the videos and pull out clips as you watch, making notes on whether each is a positive or negative example and the clip length.  Once you have compiled a list of clips, assign them to groups based on the following:
  • no group should view a clip in which one of the group's members was playing either GEM or PEBL
  • make sure each group has at least one example of effective mentoring and at least one example of ineffective mentoring
  • try to have the length of the clips balance out so that each group has roughly the same amount of viewing time - as long as the total viewing time is similar, it is okay to have different numbers of clips for different groups
Note: While it is helpful to have notes on the clips during the process of assigning them to groups, you should not provide any information about the clips to the students who will be viewing them. Give them a chance to notice things on their own and come to their own conclusions.

Objective

Help students focus their energies on what they can improve, and take up the learning constructively.




Active Learning Module Run-throughs (120+ min)

Description

Students scheduled to present their active learning module use the rest of the class as guinea pig PEBLs to test their ideas. Other students should provide formal feedback to each group (see sample feedback form). From these feedback forms, you may wish to condense a few important points that both worked, and did not work, well in the ALM to give to the students. Students should continue working on their lesson plan to turn in with their final portfolio.

Materials

Necessary materials will vary based on the active learning modules. The Plan created
by the students should include these details.

It is helpful to provide the rest of the class with a structured way to provide anonymous feedback about each ALM. Sample Feedback Form.

Objective

To provide students with critical feedback on their active learning module content and design.




Tips/Advice

Common Issues

Choosing clips for the mock 1-on-1 viewing can be difficult, especially if you have either very few videos to choose from, or many videos to watch. Try to keep each clip short (1-2 minutes), including enough context from the conversation to show whether it was effective feedback or not. Also choose clips that show coaching vs. mirroring to highlight the difference between the two.

If students seem anxious about having other people watch their videos, reassure them that they don't have to be present in any of the groups watching their clips.  In the previous session, warn them that this will be happening and give them an opportunity to email or speak to you in private if they still prefer not to have anyone else see their video.  They will have trouble absorbing useful information if they are too preoccupied with what other people are thinking about their video clips. By explaining the rationale for peer observation and review, they are helping their fellow peer mentors to learn, and they can also improve. When everyone is willing to participate, the exercise has more potential impact.

Tips

For Students
  • Active learning module run-throughs
    • Don't get upset if it doesn't go perfectly as planned.  Learning to adapt in those moments is part of what you’re learning to do in this course.
  • Exit Feedback
    • Be honest and self-reflective, don’t worry about giving the responses you think the instructors want to hear.




Assessment, Debrief, and Looking Ahead

Assessment

For each session, two types of feedback are collected. First, anonymous feedback collected immediately at the end of the session. While this may be done in any form, we chose to use simple index cards passed out at the end of the class deposited anonymously at the classroom exit as the students left. The benefit of this form of feedback is its immediacy - thoughts and feelings relating to the session are fresh in the students' minds. Students were instructed to write anything they felt like - or nothing at all.

The second type of feedback was an Exit Feedback Google Form which the students were asked to complete before Midnight on the day of the session. Sample Exit Feedback Form.

Debrief

Students should complete the Reflection on Mock 1-on-1's by writing answers to the following prompts:
  • After seeing clips from other students’ mock 1-on-1s, are there any  things you think you did well in your own that you weren’t aware of before?
  • Are there any things you saw in other mock 1-on-1s that you wish you had done in your own?
  • After watching your own video and clips from other students’ videos, what stand out as good practices for 1-on-1 meetings? Are there any things that many people did which you think you should avoid doing?

Looking Ahead

Remind those who presented their Active Learning Modules in this session to continue polishing for their portfolio.  Remind those who will present in the next session that they are expected to have slightly more polished ALMs since they had additional time to prepare.




Supplemental Reading


Hamilton, E. R. (2012). Video as a metaphorical eye: Images of positionality, pedagogy, and practice. College Teaching, 60, 10-16.

Useful article describing the importance of reflective practice in one’s own college teaching, and how video recording can help to facilitate this process.


Bell, A., & Mladenovic, R. (2007). The benefits of peer observation for teaching for tutor development. Higher Education, 55, 735-752.

Describes how peer observation of teaching can promote reflective practice and instructional change, and how this practice was used with peer tutors.


Cahalan, J. M. (2013). Teaching classroom videorecording analysis to graduate students: Strategies for observation and improvement. College Teaching, 61, 44-50.

Provides a set of analytic frames through which one can analyze videorecordings of teaching in order to improve one’s practice to include participation patterns and nonverbal communication.


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