Around three years ago, I began teaching part time at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS). I began as a freelancer and have just finished two temporary contracts. This month I begin as a permanent lecturer. I’ve always been interested in educational theory and am currently following two courses aimed at those teaching in higher education.
The first is directly through my work, and is a compulsory course for all lecturing staff. It’s taught by The Hague Centre for Teaching and Learning, based at THUAS. There are four modules, and I’ll write about these in another post.
Alongside that, I have just began an elearning course via Future Learn called “Introduction to teaching and learning in Higher Education“, taught by UNSW in Sydney, Australia.
Both courses have recommended watching this video below! It’s a bit “naff” as we say in Australia, but makes some really important points.
Do you think you are a deep learner or surface learner? Another type of learner is described as being a strategic learner and I’d identify mostly with this. This means that you use a combination of deep and surface learning, depending on the “cues and clues” of what is necessary in that context. For example for me, I believe I’m naturally a deep learner, I’m intrinsically interested in learning for learning’s sake and have a really wide range of interests. However with limited time to really undertake deep learning (especially as I’m combining children and career), then often I have to resort to surface learning to pass whatever I need to at that time (for example, to successfully complete my Master’s or teaching certificate).
As with most theories, it’s not perfect, but knowing about deep and surface learning (and strategic learning) is useful as a lecturer and to understand my students. I want to be careful though not to do the “level 1” talked about in the video where I consider them “good” or “bad” students. I believe I’m currently at level 2, and make an effort to actively engage my students, both online with elearning options and offline (F2F or Face to Face), and in a blended learning approach (mixing both). I aim to become a level 3, and will go and learn more about this both in theory and practice!