Investigating paired teaching on a collaboratively designed module

Gordon, Damian and O'Keeffe, Muireann (2011) Investigating paired teaching on a collaboratively designed module. [Conference Proceedings]


Paired teaching usually consists of two teachers delivering joint lessons in the classroom. In this study following the restructure of a programme, two separate modules were redesigned and merged into one module. Rather than having each lecturer teach on their own unique element of expertise, it was decided that a paired teaching strategy be implemented to facilitate module workshops. This paired teaching strategy presented several challenges, including that both lecturers came from differing epistemological and ontological perspectives, and had different training and experiences of the use of technology for teaching. This resulted in an entirely novel experience for both the lecturers and the students. For some elements of the module it was apparent that either one lecturer or the other had more experience, and the other lecturer served as both support and student, whereas on other elements of the module both lecturers were able to contribute equally. In deference to the pedagogical shift that this paired approach brought about, Gibbs' model of Reflective practice was identified as an appropriate model for evaluation of the strategy. Gibbs' model enables reflection from descriptive reflection to supporting more critical reflection in the latter stages of the cycle. Through the process of evaluation both lecturers identified challenges and lessons learnt. Potential improvements were acknowledged for the paired teaching strategy and thus an action plans to effect positive change for the future of the module was implemented. This paper will analyse the challenges of paired teaching and also present the Gibbs model of reflective practice as an appropriate tool to evaluate this strategy.

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