Teaching and Learning Activities

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Teaching and Learning Activities

Background
I currently teach an IT Essentials 2 course at Tritec Computer Training, the course is designed to teach individuals all aspects of network operating systems including web services, Linux and Windows. The IT Essentials 2 course runs for 96 hours distributed over 16 weeks (1 day per week).

The IT Essentials 2 course is a very complex course and I use several teaching and learning activities so that students get the maximum benefit from the weekly sessions. The teaching and learning activities that I use include – practical assignments, worksheets, demonstrations, handouts, presentation, discussion, practical assessment and electronic assessment.

The IT Essentials 2 class usually has around 12 people enrolled on it and these people range in age, gender, ethnicity and ability, the group also consists of employed, unemployed and retired individuals. Most students who attend the IT Essentials 2 course already have significant knowledge with regard to computers and computer networks and they see the course as a natural progression route to improve their knowledge and skills.

The learning takes place in the three domains, these are known as the cognitive domain, (knowledge of network design principles and the use of network operating systems, for example), psychomotor (configuring software as part of the network build process) and affective (building confidence, encouraging “attention to detail” and overall satisfaction)

There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom, identified three domains of educational activities. The three domains are cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Since the work was produced by higher education, the words tend to be a little bigger than we are normally used to. Domains can be thought of as categories. Cognitive is for mental skills (Knowledge), affective is for growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude), while psychomotor is for manual or physical skills (Skills). Trainers often refer to these as KAS, SKA, or KSA (Knowledge, Attitude, and Skills). This taxonomy of learning behaviours can be thought of as "the goals of the training process." That is, after the training session, the learner should have acquires these new skills, knowledge, or attitudes. Donald Clark, http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html See Bibliography note 1

Review the range of teaching and learning activities available to the teacher, which can widen learners' participation.

The IT Essentials 2 course is run in a dedicate classroom, this classroom was set up to accommodate this course and each student has a computer to use. The IT Essentials 2 course also has a dedicated computer lab where the practical assignments and practical teaching sessions take place. The labs computers are on a private internal network and do not have internet access or local area network access, this is by design and allows more flexibility when students are configuring and using the labs computers.

The computers that are used to access the online material have dedicated software installed and they meet all aspects of the vendors’ requirements, these computers are the primary computers and they have full local area network and internet access, the students also use these computers for the online assessments and research.

The room was designed so that students could sit comfortably at the computers and when necessary turn and view the interactive whiteboard easily. The only real problem with the classroom is it sometimes gets a little hot, this has been raised with my line manager several times resulting in the promise of air conditioning.

Appropriate teaching and learning activities might include;

Question and Answer
Interactive Presentation
Cooperative Learning
Simulations
Practical Tests
Practical Assignments
Practical Demonstration (Tutor)
Practical Demonstration (Students)
Online...
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