Reece and Walker state, "The desks need to have a flexible format so that they can easily be moved from the more formal situations" (Reece and Walker, 1997, pg40). The environments within which I teach (computer classrooms) have very little scope for change. Each student sits at a fixed desk, upon which there is a computer work -station (monitor, keyboard and computer). The logistics of computer classrooms mean students are isolated from each other and face away from the whiteboard. Most computer classrooms have a quite sophisticated air conditioning system installed to counteract the amount of heat generated by the computers. The temperatures that students find comfortable vary considerably and I am constantly either adjusting the thermostat controls or opening windows to satisfy the majority. Lighting needs little adjustment but window blinds are provided if necessary.
Reece and Walker state, "If students are to be asked to learn for themselves then you should assist them in this process" (Reece and Walker, 1997, pg41). A major part of "Key Skills" qualifications require to students to produce a portfolio of work ascertaining to the subject being undertaken. The building of the portfolios is often down to the student's personal choice and is done independently. To assist the students search, reformulate and assemble information for their portfolios I often have to suggest or demonstrate what sort of evidence is required. Although requirements of what the students are expected to produce are outlined at the beginning of the course, they sometimes need reminding of how to achieve this.
Reece and Walker state, "Motivation is a key factor in successful learning". They later suggest, "Use material familiar to the students" (Reece and Walker, 1997, pg96 & pg98). In the exercises I devised for the students I have tried to include subject matter familiar to the students. One exercise involved the sorting of a mobile phone spreadsheet, another the sorting of a...
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