Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Low energy, high impact approaches to teaching international students

Greetings from the Australian National Unviersity, where Jude Carroll, of Oxford Brookes University UK, is speaking on "Low energy, high impact approaches to teaching international students". She is the author of A Handbook for Deterring Plagiarism in Higher Education (OCSLD, 2011).

Jude identified the characteristics of "international" students, being a combination of learning in a second language, in a different country and culture. Obviously many of these caracterisits apply to "local" students and so improving courses for international students should help all students.

It occurs to me that the international students can help educate the teachers about how to be more international.

Jude suggests a self-audit, to assess what are the issues for the teacher. What is taking up most work time might be the most useful activity. Some tasks stress the teacher, perhaps unnecessarily. Some tasks may not be educationally useful. Also there may be interventions (strategies) which work well. For me giving routine lectures was time consuming and stressful, so I stopped giving lectures.

One useful suggestion Jude made was not to copy edit the whole of a student assignment. She asserted that students do not learn English grammar by being shown numerous corrections in their assignment. Instead she suggested identifying a few representative problems, use standard descriptions of what the problem is and identify where students can get help. I get good results referring students who have difficultly with assignment writing to the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre.

Further information on Jude Carroll's work is in the "International Student Lifecycle Resources bank".

Jude Carroll, will present two seminars on 'Formative uses of TurnItIn' and 'Teaching International Students 'at University of Queensland in Brisbane, 16 November 2011.

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