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Educational Teams: teaching in a different way Heather Fry Centre for Educational Development Imperial Educational Teams: teaching in a different way Heather Fry Centre for Educational Development Imperial College London Barcelona 2007

Main Areas • The course/teaching team: a particular type of educational team? • Some Main Areas • The course/teaching team: a particular type of educational team? • Some questions about educational teams • My personal experience as part of educational teams • Working with (and helping to create) educational teams • Some propositions for consideration before embarking on or promoting educational teams • Some arguments for and against educational teams

What is a teaching team? • A group of people engaged in curriculum design What is a teaching team? • A group of people engaged in curriculum design and/or teaching and supporting the learning of students taking a course or programme. • Course: a unit of teaching, a module. Part of a complete degree programme.

Questions About Educational Teams • How or why do they form? • What happens Questions About Educational Teams • How or why do they form? • What happens to role and status in a teaching team? • What happens to choice? • Efficient and Effective? From whose perspective?

Questions About Educational Teams • Permanence or ‘of the moment’? • Do some teaching Questions About Educational Teams • Permanence or ‘of the moment’? • Do some teaching methods/forms of curriculum organisation ‘demand’ having a team? • Do regulatory requirements demand a team? • Who belongs to a course team? And how many teams can/should an individual belong to?

Personal Experience Personal Experience

Maximally, what might be the composition of a teaching team? – – – – Maximally, what might be the composition of a teaching team? – – – – – one or several academic teachers an administrator a learning technologist a lab technician a librarian Ph. Ds and Postdocs running seminars and labs a student learning support officer a person looking after pastoral care an educational developer (or the e-learning specialist might combine these roles) – students – others? Does it need an inner core group? How do you get ‘buy-in’ from all? Can only divide tasks once there is an agreed plan for outcomes, teaching, assessment, evaluation: these aspects are interdependent

CED work with teams and groups • A one–off workshop designed for teaching teams: CED work with teams and groups • A one–off workshop designed for teaching teams: ‘Designing Courses and Curricula’ • An ‘educational interest group’ facilitated by CED: ‘Topic Focussed Learning Sets’

Propositions about educational teams for consideration • A team can focus on a different Propositions about educational teams for consideration • A team can focus on a different thing from a course • Need a clear purpose and rationale – shared goals • ‘Top down’ may not work; BUT often need a leader • Most needed in times of change or innovation • Vary in intensity and effectiveness over lifetime • For ‘buy-in’ need outcomes worthwhile to individuals • Can be more or less a requirement for some types of teaching/ curriculum organisation

Propositions about educational teams for consideration • The main costs are financial – money Propositions about educational teams for consideration • The main costs are financial – money and time • Their output will limit freedom for individual action • They help the whole to be greater than the parts • The composition of educational teams needs careful thought • ‘External’ factors may be among some of the main reasons forming teams – but there main purpose/value should be pedagogic

Arguments for and against course teams? AGAINST • Can take more time and difficult Arguments for and against course teams? AGAINST • Can take more time and difficult to get everyone together • People are not used to it • May have difficulty reaching consensus IN FAVOUR • A democratic way of working • Shares problems, ideas and solutions • If formed by members’ choice they will have commitment • Provides a forum for discussion of teaching and may prepare the ground for decision-making • Can help with inducting newer staff members Other points…?

Heather Fry Centre for Educational Development, Imperial College London Barcelona 2007 Heather Fry Centre for Educational Development, Imperial College London Barcelona 2007