Session Planning

Today marks the first of our training team’s CPD 15-minute forums, known as ‘Momentum Monday’. Every Monday at 9:15, one of our tutors or assessors will share a successful teaching strategy/resource for 5-10 minutes. Then the other members of the training team will discuss ways to implement this in their own subject areas, or share similar approaches which they have also used successfully.

The idea for these forums came from the aptly titled book by Shaun Allison (edited by Jackie Beere):

Perfect Teacher-Led CPD

Perfect Teacher-Led CPD

I thought I would get things underway with a forum about the extent to which our revamped session plan could contribute towards effective teaching and learning.

A comprehensively designed training session evidenced by a completed session plan, does not automatically result in an outstanding experience for the learners.

The session plan is useful for the tutor delivering the session, and also for any potential observer, but it is merely an indicator of what might happen during the session. Anyone who has taught will know that even the most carefully constructed session plan is prone to slippage in terms of timings and/or the proposed content.

A written plan is not an end product in itself, but one of the stages in the overall process of delivering high quality teaching and learning. Also, the relationship between successive training sessions is just as important as each individual session.

Our session plan is particularly helpful in supporting us to deliver appropriate learning outcomes because it requires tutors to consider areas which might otherwise have been overlooked, such as opportunities to promote equality and diversity, employability skills developed during the session and links to career progression.

Common mistakes made when planning training sessions are:

  • Plans which centre around tutor activity as opposed to learner activity; and
  • Tutors focusing on what learners will be doing rather than what they will be learning.

Our training team is currently gearing up for the start of the next teaching year, so the CPD focus for September 2015 will be various aspects of planning (and ultimately delivering) outstanding training sessions.

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