Minute Teacher meeting 2-3 June 2008

VIRCLASS Teacher meeting 2nd & 3rd  June 2008, Jönköping

Partcipants: Anne Karin Larsen (Project-leader, M1), Andrés A Astray (M 2A), Bob Sanders, (2A), Remmelt Veenkamp (M1, M2B), Klas-Göran Olsson (M1, M2B), Carsten Otte, (M1), Eduardo Marques, (M1,) Jochen Peter (new teacher) and Grete Oline Hole (secretary).
The plan was to start with the going through last year experiences, but the teacher evaluation were not finished the after Module 2A &B; Remmelt need some more time. What can we do then, waiting for this? èLook into the course, discuss any changes.

Module 1:  what do we remember about M 1? Carsten and Jochen had some suggestions: there were numerous misspellings in the weekly program. Could create confusion, there is a need for a better proofreading before next course. The list over participants/ group should be made in a better way (has to do with how Word-documents are transformed to web-pages…).

Discussion around task:
Task 4- and 5: Brainstorming: Carsten raised a question here: how does students interpret this, what do us as teachers expect them to do?? Agreed upon that this was a good task, -- maybe look into the phrasing next time?

Discussion about the reading list: Carsten had some suggestions for supplements: important to remember that it must be available on-line, for our students. Will check how it is with these reports Carsten had found about the new countries in EU “Social protection in the Candidate Countries” Vol 40- 43.  All agreed upon that the some chapters form the new Campinini book should be added to the reading list. Carsten would do this work with the readings list before next course.

How to make groups for task 7??
Carsten raised the issue about how teacher could divide the students in groups…. Must do this before students select partners themselves; to get the “best” group; to have diversity regarding nationalities, work- experiences etc. Remmelt remembered that there had been some problems here: - task 7 starts in week 4, maybe use week 3 to prepare the groups? There is a need to restructure here: Remmelt will plan how to do this.
 Remmelt: but we have different groups during the course, this made some confusion of which teacher should respond/ give answers to the students. You have the students in your group, chats etc. Then they go into new groups for task 7, --- should I or Andrés give them response now…?

 Discussion: do we need to change teacher?? Decision: We could still give answer to our students; -- this is individual feed-back, not group feed-back. è less confusion both for teachers and students’.
When we looked into task 7; Anne Karin remembered that week 4, 5 & 6 are very demanding; the students really need to collaborate with task 7. They are dependent on peer-students work to fulfill their own work; and delays make a lot of trouble.  We should tell the students so they know this before they apply/start the course; and the teachers really need to be supportative in this period.

We need to work further with how we assess the students work. A student had commented to Anne Karin that she got a C, and had compared her work with the work of another student who got a B.  

The next time the whole assessor group should look into the same works from 2 or more students, and discuss how this should be assessed; what marks this work should have. Another possibility is to look into an assignment we think are very good and one which is bad – and discuss those.
Should we give the students an example of a good answer, an assignment which were given A??  This might influence the way the students write, -- they will want to “copy” this; not make their own way of writing.  And we want to show the diversity both towards European ways of dealing with social work issues, and in the students’ works…
But for the next time, we could see if we found two/ three assignments that had chosen different ways to handle the topics, but had a good structure, correct way of referring etc. Then we could tell the students that these are examples of some ways you can deal with these topics.

Bob presented the student evaluation from the students from Module 2A and B, jfr handouts. Had made a brief extract of the students’ comments, and also summed the numbers expressed in percentages. He had found some “high-light’s” among students statements he found important to tell the CMG meetings, -and our leaders at home university.

Later

 Remmelt had prepared a presentation and made a summary of the teacher survey, 2007/08, jfr the pp. He was focusing on the teacher evaluation and aspects related to the teacher role. 
8 of 9 teachers had submitted answers; 4 teachers involved in M1, 4 teachers involved in M2

Possible teaching improvements: provide more positive/ constructive feedback (4), evaluate assignments, VIRCLASS work in relation to campus work’. How to distinguish between different roles (head teacher, teacher leader, main- teacher, co-teacher…) è We need to clarify the concepts we use
Teacher self confidence: More comfortable on the platform, more competent in e-teaching, Chats,  More familiar with the course, More acquainted with the themes, Better in facilitating the discussions
Collaboration between teacher: Good collaboration /covering, Agenda (schedule the work), New teacher in course need time to be acquainted, Although we scheduled the work, unexpected duties disturbed the work, Online meetings seem not to have the priority if all teachers.
Comparison with last year: The chat were easier, More experienced to run the course, My English language skills need improvments, Hard to d the duties as planned.
Impact of being an e-teacher; Other ‘campus’ colleagues are not really involved. Much time in administration of the course, less time to professional development,
Internationalisation, Wider range of international literature,  Stressful, Inspiring.
Virtual book: Excellent tool, It is inspiring for campus work, Gives more time to focus on tutoring, New possibilities’ for learning, Makes the work less time-consuming, Need updating
LMS: Copying and saving difficult, More used to it. 4 without specific comments
Working hours M1: 15% less than 30 hours, 15% 31-50 hours. 70 % 51- 100 hours
Working hours M2: 20% less than 30 hours, 80%: 151- 200 hours
Future points of attention:  Secure future funding, New teachers, Feed-back- /peer-feedback, Peer assessment, Improve intake to avoid drop outs, Develop new modules, Students reflections. Institutions involvement: Working hours integrated Not really recognized by campus colleagues Economical support differs

Discussion after the presentation: with a brief explanation about different tools in it’s learning.
New teachers role: Important that this is discussed and made clear, with introduction to it’s learning before the course start. We have to make clear the different roles. There is no head teacher now. There is a main teacher and a co- teacher.
Materials/Virbook: Look at all triggers; - there are a lot of triggers from other Modules and other teachers that you do not use. All can add new audio-visual material to the course but have to aware of the quality. If we add something to the Virbook, the Mediasenter should make the last thing in the layout.
Feed-back to students: make a data-base over possible ways of giving feed-bac? GO will go through this year’s answers, make this resource-list.
After coffer break, we discussed the hours used pr teacher: The surveys show that there is used about 200 hours work pr week; while the calculation in the agreement is 70/ for teachers and 140 hours for main teacher. We need to be aware of how many hours we spend during next course; to have a better understanding of the hours we use,
Bob: presenting the surveys from the students’ in M 2A and M2B.  (I refer here to the numbers in the schema he gave us):
12: Triggers: this year the students were not so positive to the triggers; - and teachers noticed that there were not so much discussion among the student after seeing the trigger. We need to discuss/ clarify how the teachers can use the triggers to enhance discussion among the students.
19- 21: about chats: It is important that the students find the chat useful; and that the teachers use time for promoting the learning aims for VIRCLASS: We will monitor who are participating in the chats: That will make it explicit who were in the chat; and can help to “catch” the students that are late in catching up with their work.
36: satisfaction with peer-students work, this does not compare it with answers at 30; about peer-students support!
Discussion about improvement:
Students wanted more technical support: ”like in Module1”. (this could not be some of the students from Austria that had not doing Module 1)
All students said that attend it’s learning every week; maybe the teachers should structure the course so there were some new information there at least once in a week? Could put the stuff in at the same time, use the calendar-function to ’portion it out’

Changes in Module 2 A. Andrés will look into the reading-list.
Bob had made some reflection-notes of thing he wanted to discuss: We tell the student to do a lot of duplications: … as notes of chat’s in their folder; while the teacher also archive the chats. How to ensure that we store the best copy of the chat? Also duplicate information’s both in theme discussions and in the e-portfolio
But mostly the duplications is documentation in the students’ e-portfolio, so they could be a easy way to document what they have done.
One of the task is difficult to understand for the students: ”Vulnerable person and social work as social oppression”….. : We need to clarify this; and also the question about “Power and anti disc practice”: students misinterpret this concept. Do we need to emphasise a broader sociological perspective on certain issues; as cultural expectations towards the legislations?
Some students had problem with commenting into other students portfolio’s ; we should maybe make an exercise here: a simple task as “What are your favorite animal...” and comment on each others. At last techer meeting we decided that we should encourage the students to do this, --but we missed to put the tutorials at the it’s learning. Must make for this for next time! (nobody in charge)

It was busy start of module 2A, and quite many of the students had problems with the time-table, they submitted late and many assignments in short time. Maybe we should give more concrete feed-back about lack of /wrong references? Use the bulletin-board to address question like  this; to “talk to all students” Or I could be an idea to have a theme discussion or a chat about evidence based  writing/ references early in the semester; “We have dad some earlier problem with this: what are you experience regarding reference?”. We should try to have more campus contact; meet the students from our university sometimes to state that we see them; and if we notice that a student in Sweden have problem, we could mail K-G and ask him to talk to the students with him.
An idea if the partner institutions named somebody to look after students from their institutions? There were a comments to a new book in the reading-list….. (?)

Module 2B: K-G: this year everything functioned very well; and the task were OK. Nest time will he try to  organize the chat in a more structured way in advance….
To the reading-list: the welfare systems are changing rapidly, There are also criticism of E-A; the book does  not fit into the situation now, -- (Australia, Japan); and have an “white-male-perspective”. Maybe make a new lecture, supplementing the lecture in module1?? It would be easy to make this with an international angle…  and can then be used for the new course
K-G have a few suggestions for readings list, and will try to find some more triggers in the module: Maybe use some form the Virbook. And it useful to link to actual reports and puts on the bulletin-board; - not a trigger but it could trig them!
Disc around triggers: and the tendencies in modern societies; Harleem is making a video about homelessness; could make something about soup-kitchen; special shops were leftovers from restaurants kan be bought cheap; places outside shops were people leave food for poor; “The Big Issue”: a new form for begging or a way out of misery??
C: There is some misunderstanding in the students understanding of ‘subsidiary’, we need some clarification in the lecture/ presentations.
K-G had a very good chat about ethical dilemmas: Student send some questions to discuss from their own countries and we picked some to discuss in the chat: Very inspiring!!

M2C; only 4 persons wanted to take this, è cancelled. The title “Social work theories, methods and skills training in context” is not a title that tells the students what this is; and these topic’s are covered in the other modules too. Suggestion for a new title: “Social work practice in different / international context” would be better??

Change this for 2009/2010, as all the pamphlets etc for 2008/2009 are printed with the old name. This year, 2008/2009, can Manheim students include M2C in their BA, might give more student here.

Teacher and assessor for 2008/2009:

Module 1: Remmelt, Eduardo, David, Jochen and Carsten, AKL as main teacher. Assessor: internal E &  J, External: Andres and Bob
Module 2A: Bob & Andres. Bob is suggested as main teacher, but since he will have  a study leave from January 2009; Andrés is main teacher. Assessor: internal assessor Bob. External Assessor: Michael Knoph
Module 2B; Remmelt and Fernando Lucas. R is mainteacher. F the internal assessor; as he has been external assessor earlier, or David? External: KG
Module 2C: AKL and a new teacher Susanne Lang/  Marianne?  Internal assessor AKL, external and Susanne Lang, or Marianne (must be sorted by the CMG)
Carsten presented his idea’s about “Social questions and organizations in the tensions between Family, Government and Markets”. He saw the need for more lecture about this after reading the student assignments. Will write this and send for us all. 
There were a discussion about where this could fit in; what module? This raises important issue we need to work further with; and will be suitable for the new course, VIRCLAS goes www!
AK described the new electronic conference-room in Bergen: VITERO, will discuss at the CMG meeting if we should use the surplus this year to rent it for a year.


Meeting next year:
Meeting for all teachers in Module 1 at Thursday 25th of September from 12-14 o’clock. Agenda for the meeting: make sure that all the changes we have discussed these days are done, and that we all are prepared for the start of the course.
Next online meeting: 23rd October from 12-14 o’clock and Thursday 6 th November from 12-14. M1 teachers.

Meeting Module 2 The courses starts19th January; in week 4, pre-start is week 3.
Online teacher meeting at Thursday 8th January from 12-14 o’clock
VIRCLASS /VIRCAMP: Meeting at 8- 11 October; Bergen Arrival 8, meeting starts early 9th. (IF we get the money: Kickoff meeting for the new project…)
SG meeting online Tuesday  2nd September 09:30 – 14:00  NB!