Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Differences in Perception?

The thing that most amazes me about receiving student feedback is the difference in perception regarding certain aspects. I cannot say what the reason for that is, apart from perhaps different expectations of explicitness.

In my Frameworks of English Discourse Analysis module I keep telling the students that there are four sections to the module (each lasting 5 weeks), and what the topics are that we are dealing with. Compared to how the module was run a few years back it has a much better thought-out structure to it, and I think this actually works quite well. Part of that was also to bring the topics of the lectures in line with the seminars.

However, in my most recent round of feedback, these are exactly the issues the students comment on: not being clear about the structure of the module, and the lectures not being related to the seminar topics. I myself feel I'm over-doing it, by telling the students at regular intervals where we are and what they have to expect, but it seem that this is still not enough.

Perhaps it is the absence of anything tangible: I have not given the students a handout with the module outline and the lecture schedule. So talking about the structure is probably not as effective as giving the students something in writing. I will have to do that in future!


  1. This is my experience too. You need to put things in writing, otherwise they will simply not be remembered.

  2. Fantastic, I think we are synchronised!

  3. Yeah, telling someone something does tend to assume they're listening - a dangerous assumption. What you need is a podcast!

  4. Or perhaps a visual representation of the structure - the writing clearly doesn't do it...

  5. Ha, peer communication and critical incident analysis rolled into one, plus additional dissemination!

    Thanks for all your comments, I think the remedy is obvious now... preparing handout soonish.