Lecturers have a wide range of tools at their disposal to create engaging and transformative learning experiences in, and out of, the classroom. But it’s a bit like signing up for gym membership. There’s an array of different equipment and, depending on your previous experience and motivation, there will be some activities that you gravitate towards (rowing, cross-trainer, bench press).
But membership alone isn’t bestowed with osmosis-like properties that make you fitter; you have to be motivated enough to set yourself targets and to put in time and effort. A personal trainer can make this endeavour more successful by working with you to set realistic and personal goals, then providing support and encouragement to help you attain them.
Similarly, simply having access to teaching tools and the latest technologies won’t automatically generate deeper learning in your classroom/lecture. If you are a newcomer the range of options available can be a bit bewildering to say the least; so many different pedagogies and multiple ways to implement them. You may well already have success using tools you know and like; but how about branching out and developing your skills in a new area?
Learning Designers are like personal trainers in that we will help you to assess your current situation, identify personal goals linked to your development and teaching aims, and provide you with support and encouragement whilst you implement those tools or changes. We also go one step further in this analogy; we will also help you to form a support network, making use of specialist expertise in iSolutions (they do great gym inductions for university-supported technologies) and academic peers who can provide inspiration and encouragement (think of them as your local running club).
Don’t wait until January’s New Year resolutions to shape up your teaching and learning experiences. Talk to your University Learning Designers and tell us what you would like to change. Simple goals, straightforward conversations and a whole lot of encouragement. And no spandex. We promise.