Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

Profile 1. Designing and planning learning activities, October 2009

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On this course we are encouraged to pursue our own learning programme. In the same way, I have always encouraged ceramic students to design and plan their own work. Their approach can be based on a theme or a series of diverse ideas. Technique can then be taught individually, when a student’s design requires it. This method depends on having an ongoing yearly or multi-year group structure such as an evening class in a community centre. For single all-day workshops, taster sessions, or 6-10 two-hour sessions, it is necessary to plan and design a different type of programme in order for a group of students to achieve particular learning outcomes in the given time. Although I have taught ongoing programmes for many years, I have minimal theoretical and practical experience of designing and teaching these shorter programmes.

An example of a shorter workshop that I have designed and taught is casting body parts in Mod Roc. I had to think through what could be achieved by a group of ten students working alone and /or in pairs, what supplies they would need, and what resources I would need. I generally make loads of lists! I thought about the minimum learning outcome required for the slowest student and how this could be extended for students who might work faster.

My plan is quite general and is helped by a simple table:

Date Learning outcomes Teaching method ResourcesRequired Assessment

This I learnt on a brief teaching course that I took several years ago. I find that it can be helpful to have a timed practice session as this can help with planning what might be possible. The other benefit of this is that it provides a ready-made example. I also think about designing the session with a balance of teaching and demonstrating, and students’ hands on application.

On this course I hope to improve my computer skills and learn how to design and organize templates for text materials such as planning documents and handouts. This will enhance the calibre of my written teaching materials and resources.

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Author: pandaji

Ceramic artist, educator

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