Being filmed when teaching …
and other peer review tools
I was not so much thrown by my colleague’s presence in the seminar room, but by the video camera. Normally teaching is fleeting; it is a fluid, temporal, and private space, where my students and I create meaning, interact, laugh, banter, and discuss. However, being filmed creates a permanent space for and an entity of this process. My colleague said that I can always delete the file again, but its mere existence extends the transient temporality of my teaching. That digital video file generates an object out of a process, changing the remit of this process in its entirety, creating a completely different reality. This reality subsequently necessitates a conscious act of deleting a time and space, that otherwise would not have existed in physicality beyond the realm of the session.
So having the camera in the room, suddenly made my teaching more real, more tangible, and manifested mistakes that else would have been simply merged into the flow of the session, rescued by my reaction to them—now frozen in time to be reiterated by pressing ‘Play’. Exactly these reservations about being filmed, made me think about the impact of teaching again, resulting in a new appreciation of my teaching role.p>
Peer Feedback from a Colleague
If the colleague providing your peer-feedback is a highly analytical mathematician, you can be sure to get a very structured and clear feedback session, from which some really good ideas and tips emerged. One point I found particularly interesting was that my colleague said to me the PowerPoint slides actually hindered my teaching instead of supporting it. She was right I create the PowerPoints merely for my students, I don’t need them. My colleague called me a storyteller, and I should look for other tools to use instead of PowerPoint. Her suggestions were to either use mind-maps or draw/write a story-board for my seminars and lectures and play around with the storyline until it makes sense. I am going to try storyboards next, and have began transferring sessions into mind-maps.
So I engaged the search engine, and picked some results for story board templates, that seem interesting:
- Jason Ohler’s template with instructions: http://www.jasonohler.com/pdfs/storyboard_template.pdf
- A very detailed Google Docs template by Jennifer Conrad
- Karen J Lloyd offers some pdf templates for free download, and also is a storyboard coach.
In terms of MindMaps, I am using iMindMap7 and I love it! Particularly as I can create 3D mind-maps, run it in presentation mode and all sort of other interesting features. It is however very expensive. It also is going to take a lot of time to create new lectures and seminars in mind-maps.
I have been using Prezi for a while and began to put up the instructions for some of the exercises I use online. This way I can run sessions completely student led and only need to draw up appropriate exercises depending on the questions and issues the students pose during the sessions.