Independent Thinking

By Cheryl Philpott

Team building events can be a positive way of engaging your students to work together, boost morale and learn new skills and people.

  • Set differentiated individual tasks and set open tasks for stronger students as they can interpret these in a more demanding way.
  • Buddy up students who can help each other, peer checking, peer tutoring, learning teams.
  • Clear and challenging objectives set which are understood by students, who then see how they meet them and develop independent learning skills.

Recently students created an event to promote awareness of Alopecia and the effects it has on people emotionally. Instead of using text books and the internet to research, they created an event where they put information boards up around the college regarding the signs and symptoms and emotional effects of the condition and provided workshops to the public using consultations to reassure anybody who may be experiencing signs and symptoms of the condition.

The research was carried out by inviting a guest speaker in with the condition. The students were able to experience the emotional effects of the condition first hand by engaging with someone who suffers from it using their story and guidance on how to deal with the emotional side of the condition enabling them to gain skills so if someone presents them with the condition they will feel much more confident with dealing with the impact the condition has on the client.

Feedback was encouraged from all learners so the tutor was aware of their opinions, using evaluations at the end of the task.

  • Use self-evaluation, ask the students to set themselves targets on how to aim higher and keep motivation high while on the course.
  • Set individual goals and targets with their feedback in mind. This will help you determine what’s needed to  increase their motivation.
  • Have a reward program in place, this is an effective way to encourage the students to aim higher.  This could be as simple as a reward chart that is filled in during the term with a prize at the end of term. This doesn’t always have to be financial it could be discount products or trips out.

Recognition = Motivation!

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