New Academic Year & a new course

Little Pencil

image by pink sherbert photography Attribution 2.0 Generic

I have agreed to write and deliver a new course this year. The Level 4 City and Guilds accredited Certificate in Technology for Learning Delivery. The last course I wrote was the CELTA, back in 2008 but I think I can safely say that the two experiences are not the same at all. I thought putting together the CELTA for the first time was a steep learning curve, but at least there was support in terms of resources from the long established course. From City and Guilds there is the qualification handbook and …. well, that’s it really.

At the end of last term I had planned to leave for the summer break with a solid outline of a year plan and some kind of reading list. When I left in July, I was disappointed not have got further and part of this was due to not being able to schedule a meeting about moving forward with it, and the unknown issue of whether it would definitely run!

However, returning this week I feel that I did have a pretty good outline of the course and having an early meeting this week with two people who are more familiar with the workings of C&G and deciphering the handbook jargon put me right on track to get cracking again.

What is currently my biggest challenge is considering the assessment tasks. The course has three units, and each unit has between six and twelve assessment criteria. I was all prepared to think about what assignments would be needed to meet these outcomes, when it turns out it is more of a task-based, on the job course and the portfolio of evidence should be from naturally occurring workplace activity.  So I have now spent a good day getting my head around these criteria, matching these into the draft course outline & thinking about possible tasks that would provide the required evidence while on the job.

The portfolio should also be digital, and evidence gathered holistically, so one piece of work should provide evidence for a number of criteria. As well as providing links to materials they are using in class, the students will also need to provide analysis, justification and evaluation of the resources. There is (quite rightly) a focus on learner involvement (ie, the students’ students) as well as an aspect of dissemination and staff development. This is where take a big gulp. I don’t want to dictate to the students about how they should present their work – that’s kind of the point of they course – they need to research, use and evaluate a range of technologies and find what suits them as individuals. Therefore, I think that this first course is going to be a learning curve in terms of how collaborative technologies can be integrated with each other to provide a digital portfolio of evidence, but what that leaves me with this year is the potential for a lot of different systems to assess. Once again, gulp.

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