During the first lecture of the Fundamentals in Bioveterinary science module we were approached with a lesson on Scientific notation and nomenclature. There was a slight divide within the class as a handful of students had studied A Level Chemistry or Maths whilst the rest of the class had come from a different educational background. Personally, I feel as though the lesson would have been more productive if the class was separated into different skill levels. This is supported by Slavin (1987) who suggests that when students are placed into learning groups depending on their individual ability, the learning becomes more effective as the teacher can vary the intensity and pace of the lesson for each group. This theory seems to be especially effective within mathematics.
From this first lesson I have learnt that it would be beneficial for me to take it upon myself to engage with others in my class who are of the same skill set as I am. Placing myself around others who work at the same pace as I will result in me not rushing or struggling with content. Peer work is seen to create a great sense of personal improvement as appose to competition within a classroom, also attaining a sense of team work. (Black et al., 2004)
One of the greatest aspects that I struggle with in this lesson is maths. I have always struggled with maths throughout my entire period within education. With this in mind, being aware of my primary weakness is beneficial as it allows me to work on this flaw specifically. One way of working on a classroom flaw or struggle is to undertake Self Directed Learning (SDL). Rothwell and Sensenig (1999) state that SDL is the practice of an individual learner taking responsibility for a number of different decisions made in regard to their personal learning. SDL can involve several different actions that are carried out with the intention of improving knowledge inside a subject. This could include; further reading outside of class, online activities, group study sessions or turning to a lecturer for help outside of class if I am still unsure of the lesson content.
Time management and preparation are skills that could improve my studies greatly. I know that as an individual I do suffer with poor time management as I have a busy schedule outside of university, and that this ability needs to be developed. By improving my time management, it would allow me to introduce some SDL into my current routine, with hopes that this would further my understanding. Also, improving my time management would give me a chance to read through lecture notes the night before the session, and print them off ready for the lesson so I can make my own annotations on the notes already provided, rather than rushing to note down information which then results in me missing what is being said by the lecturer. Studies demonstration that students who manage their time effectively can greatly influence their overall grade. (PsycNET Record Display – PsycNET, n.d.)
In the future I hope to see a development and change in the skills that have been listed in the reflective writing above. I feel that without improvement into these foundation skills, my grades and understanding within this subject will suffer. If I follow what I have suggested my skills and ability should significantly improve.
Black, P., Harrison, C., Lee, C., Marshall, B. and Wiliam, D. (2004) ‘Working inside the Black Box: Assessment for Learning in the Classroom.’ Phi Delta Kappan, 86(1) pp. 8–21.
PsycNET Record Display – PsycNET (n.d.). [Online] [Accessed on 9th October 2017] /record/1992-10822-001.
Rothwell, W. J. and Sensenig, K. J. (1999) The Sourcebook for Self-directed Learning. Human Resource Development.
Slavin, R. E. (1987) ‘Ability Grouping and Student Achievement in Elementary Schools: A Best-Evidence Synthesis.’ Review of Educational Research, 57(3) pp. 293–336.
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