During the Chronic Wounds session, I felt comfortable and confident with the content. I was mindful that this group had last received a wound session two weeks earlier than planned due to unforeseen guest lecturer absence. As such, I wanted to recap key learning from the previous wound session to ensure they felt prepared to further build upon theory. I felt the quiz at the start of the lecture was successful, and students appeared to enjoy the challenge of answering questions for prizes. I observed students, who do not often speak during large lectures, raising their hands to answer questions, and I was mindful of encouraging their engagement. On reflection, I feel this approach was beneficial in creating a safe learning environment where students felt comfortable to contribute to the session. This element of the session was met with laughter also, which I felt suggested students were beginning to relax before I moved onto more complex theory relating to chronic wounds. My observer suggested that this approach was effective in encouraging students to contribute, but also acknowledge that answering questions appeared less pressured through humour and prizes.
Throughout the session, I explored anatomy and physiology relating to chronic wounds. I was concerned that this more complex information may be more difficult for some to grasp. I deliberately provided a flow diagram to break down the steps. Additionally I utilised the case study approach for students to try to apply this theory to practice. I continuously asked questions for the audience to clarify the groups understanding. On reflection, I still recognise the difficulty some students may have in admitting they do not fully understand the content covered when they are in large groups. I have concerns they are less likely to ask for clarification in these situations. Whilst my observe suggested that my encouraging responses to questions may support learners confidence, even if their questions are “off point”, I would still want to consider how I can confirm all students in the group have truly understood the content. Perhaps in future, tools such as online anonymous quizzes could alleviate this pressure for students, allowing them to record honest questions and answers. Due to room availability, it is difficult to remain behind following the session to clarify any points with students one to one. As such, I will consider inviting students to email me any questions / queries following sessions, to allow for this dialogue to continue.
I felt the use of media such as video clips and photographs were beneficial to clarify points discussed within the lecture. These were placed after the delivery of theoretical content to allow the students to better apply this new knowledge in a practical way. Following these, students appeared to relate to images / videos, confirming that they had “seen this in practice” for example.
I recognised the difficulty in delivering sessions utilising other lecturers teaching material. As a new member of the teaching team, I would be keen to change future presentations to suit my style of teaching and delivery. Due to these restrictions, I deliberately edited some information from pre-session slides from students to allow for greater discuss during lecturers. Following the session I released the post session slides to ensure students were provided with all of the information required. My observer suggested that this was an appropriate method in engaging learners, as answers were not provided in advance. When considering meeting students learning needs, I was conscious that those with learning disabilities would be required to receive content in advance. To achieve this, pre session slides and appropriate pre session reading material were provided one month in advance of the lecture to allow learns to complete preparation for this lecture. I recognise that some students will not complete this pre reading however; I am therefore giving consideration to alternative approaches such as online lectures and audio material, in the hopes that this is more readily accessible for learners from home, instead of attending the library.
On reflection of the peer observation process, I felt my observers support was incredibly valuable. I have a comfortable working relationship with my observer as he was my mentor during my initial probationary period. He allowed me to explore my findings of the lecture, and encouraged me to consider other points for future development. We discussed learning needs of students, but also considered the use of technology in sessions to aid the learners’ experience. We agreed that ownership of teaching material will also support my ongoing professional development, and I look forward to amending further module content to contribute to its development.
Following my post-observation discussion with my observer, we had the opportunity to meet with two students who observed the chronic wounds session also. I was excited to hear their perspective, and felt that it would be beneficial to explore students’ reflections on their learning during sessions. This would support my further development, and encourage me to consider lectures from another point of view.
During this open discussion with students and my observer, it was identified by students that the room for this lecture was too warm. They both explained that due to the heat in the room, they felt this impeded some of the learning experience. During this meeting, I reflected on how I may have manage this concern if it was raised to me during the session, however my actions would be limited due to room capacity, air condition control being in on a different site, and lack of windows in the room. This has encouraged me to consider how I assess student comfort during lectures. Whilst I am keen to ensure they are in a safe learning environment, and feel able to contribute, I could also consider asking about their comfort levels, perhaps asking for a “temperature check” during sessions. Such an approach may also allow me to address alternative needs such as longer or shorter breaks, and opportunities to move around the room (where space allows) to ensure these needs do not distract from the learning experience. This was not a point I was expecting, and initially I felt this session was not as positive as I had first hoped. However, on reflection I feel their perspective has allowed me to consider the overall experience of a two hour traditional lecture in such large groups, and I believe I will be able to make immediate changes to my teaching style as a result.