What Makes an Effective Teaching and Learning Session

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Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Winston Churchill paraphrased it to "He who fails to plan is planning to fail", either way the message is evident. To succeed in whatever we are doing we need to plan. In our work as lecturers it is important that we have schemes of work and lesson plans to assist us in the education process.

A scheme of work is the lecturer’s equivalent of the electrician’s circuit diagram or the engineer's blueprint. It sets out the outline of a group of lessons over a period of time. It is a working document, just as building plans can be altered so too can a scheme of work, it is not binding. The lesson plan is a more defined document it looks at, in greater detail, what we are going to do within each lesson. Reece and Walker (2007, p15) suggests that there are two functions to a lesson plan A Strategy or plan for teaching

A series of clues to be used during the lesson
Lesson planning is a critical factor in the delivery of any session, it provides a structure and gives not only the learner but also the lecturer a guide to what, how and how long there is to each task in the lesson. Without a lesson plan there would be a lack of structure that could cause the learners to feel lost and unsure as to the objectives of the session.

In my previous employment I worked as an Activity Leader delivering outdoor education to groups of young people. To be able to deliver these activities safely I had lots of equipment or resources at hand, climbing harnesses, ropes, helmets and wet suits etc. These resources were used to “provide an experience not otherwise easily obtained”, as Reece and Walker (2007, p27) put it.

Today most modern classrooms are equipped with whiteboards, interactive whiteboards and computers, they are a great help in delivering lessons as they are able to cater for most learning styles, the interactive whiteboard is a great tool to have when using powerpoint presentations and videos for visual and auditory learners.

It has been noted that resources can be divided into 4 categories known as the 4 M’s which are given below. |Money |Machinery |Manpower |Materials | |Company sponsorship |ICT |Teaching Staff |Electronic components | |Government Grants |White boards |ALS |Notes and hand outs | |Personal contributions |Test Equipment |Technicians |Experiment kits and work sheets| |Budgets |Tools |Group tutors |Software packages | |Apprenticeships | |Admin | | | | |Estates | |

The powerpoint presentation is my chosen resource as I consider it to be an all-round tool when I am delivering a lesson, it allows me to supply the students with a good basic knowledge. Obviously depending on the nature of the subject I am delivering my need for resources varies hugely. If I am in an electrical or electronic lab the resources I use increase enormously. The resources I use assist me to communicate with the students and also provide variety, which is very important to increase retention and motivation.

2.3Teaching strategies
Initially to avoid confusion I feel I have to clarify the difference between a teaching strategy and a teaching method. Wallace (2007, p131) states “you’ll find these terms used interchangeably”. A teaching strategy is seen as a tactic a teacher will use to deepen learning, for example putting the students in groups or a peer teaching...
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