Logue Collins, Pauline, Maye, Kevin, Rogers, Susan and Coyne, Fiachra (2013) THE LECTURER-AS-LEARNER : A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF A TEAM-TEACHING PILOT PROGRAMME. In: 6th Annual Learning Innovation Network Conference – Sustainable Models of Student Engagement – Rhetoric or Achievable? 17th October 2013 in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin., Dublin, Ireland.


In an attempt to displace traditional lecturing hierarchies with a co-learning dynamic, the lecturer-as-learner paradigm was explored in GMIT Letterfrack. An action research study was carried out in the context of a final year level 8 degree Professional Studies module (2012- 2013) which had a cohort of nineteen students. Two lecturers piloted a team teaching model of delivery in order to explore the effectiveness of parallel teaching, alternate teaching, and co-teaching formats. A co-learning model was adopted, where lecturers participated in the dual roles of lecturer and learner, in structured dialogue with students. This dynamic was made possible by means of student-led weekly lecturer evaluations/critiques, which were systematically built into the weekly timetable. This mechanism reversed traditional classroom roles, regularly re-positioning the lecturer as student, and providing lecturers with student-led direction. Both lecturer and student perspectives were examined. One participating lecturer conducted an in-depth critical reflection on his team teaching experience, in the context of a GMIT Special Purpose Award Research Cycle (level 9) module. Furthermore, one participating student conducted a final year thesis on the effectiveness of the team teaching delivery in this module. In both cases, data collection sources included student questionnaires, facilitated class focus group meetings, lecturers’ diary reflections, and student moodle forum reflections. The research found that, as the module progressed, there were significantly fewer negative critiques of performance and increasing satisfaction with the delivery of the module, since lecturers organically addressed student needs within the lecturer-as-learner framework. Students cited the variety of approaches, mix of personalities and richer discussion as further positive factors. Lecturers cited a co-sharing of knowledge and expertise and increased motivation when working with a committed colleague. Compatibility between team teachers was considered to be a crucial factor. Negatively, the financial cost of team teaching was recognised as a significant prohibitory factor, and planning time was significantly more extensive given the structured relationship between critique/evaluation and forward planning.

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