Tuesday, February 26, 2019

"Get on with it!" #SnailTortoise

Image source: Celebrating the Ordinary.
Recently, I received a comment from a viewer on one of my YouTube video tutorials to "Come to the point". While comments on my channel are largely very positive, I do get occasional comments that I am going either too slow or too fast. Some also find my Irish accent hard to follow.

So - what is the right pace to deliver content at? It's obvious to all educators that students learn at different paces. Some get the point straight away, while others may leave at the end of class not understanding a thing. I often pause and check how students are getting on in my class - especially practical classes. When I walk around the class I always find that some students get the work done very quickly, while others may not have even started or have got stuck. This makes it difficult to pace a class - we can't go at a speed suitable to the fastest learner - equally it is is very difficult to go at the speed of the slowest learner.  In addition to this there are a lot of distractions in class - almost all my students have computers on during class, and it is obvious to me that some are checking email/messages (and even watching football!). 

It can be a bit frustrating to explain things again and again, but that's part of my job and I do it. I can also see and feel some frustration on the part of students who need to wait while others catch up. In my videos there is the option to fast-forward or rewind (an obvious thing for the author of the comment above to consider). I also have my on-line classes automatically recorded, but I've no sense yet if students find them useful. It is probably one of the biggest advantages that video has over the classroom - I'm certain that there are times in class when my students would like to hit Rewind/Pause/Fast Forward. Maybe even some would like to switch me off!

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