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seminars / small group activities

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Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: seminars / small group activities Reply with quote


I was wondering if anyone has any bright ideas for small group work in seminars?  I have 3 hours to fill for 13 weeks (1 of which is a lecture).  I have some AV materials, journal discussion, a debate and a tutorial for coursework planned but am stuck for further ideas.  

The seminar immediately follows the lecture which is a bit of a pain.  I am thinking of asking them to do a presentation but as it is not assessed I am not sure if they would actually do it!

All ideas gratefully received!


PS - I would like to include discussion of  case study but can't seem to find any good ones.  I may have to be creative!
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Dr Spouse
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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Three hours! That's a really long time!

I make my students do presentations but I am allowed to add a pass/fail 5% to their coursework as it's my option. I did get 1st years however to do non-assessed presentations and they still did them. I push these heavily and repeatedly as being 'transferrable skills' and remind them about 50 times how this is something they can use when applying for jobs. If they did it in small groups (even pairs) it would make them less likely to give up, perhaps?

When I do journal discussion, I break them into small groups and make them write out some bullet points on overheads and pick a group member to tell the class what their group thought.

Videos usually last MUCH longer than you think - try very hard to get them on DVD with chapter breaks in appropriate places, but with you pressing pause every 5 minutes to tell them your words of wisdom, a 1hr video can last nearer 2hrs. 1hr is quite long though so perhaps a 30 min video over 1hr.

One of my colleagues does individual feedback sessions for coursework but it sounds like you're already doing that. He finds it takes a long time so has got another colleague to help him with it.

Also don't forget at least 15 mins of coffee break  Very Happy
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