Posted: 24 Jul 2011 10:58 PM PDT
Over the weekend I was at a retreat on teaching, learning and assessment. I had signed up for the retreat for 2 main reasons:
1. Attending a workshop organized by my employer was one of my Key Performance Index (KPI)
The retreat was held at the Nilai Springs Resort, a 4-star golf focussed hotel located in a remote part of Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. The place wasn't all that bad – a bit like Malaysia really – a country with heaps of potential but badly run by incompetent people. The food was, unfortunately, quite bad (the chef wouldn't make it past the preliminary rounds of Junior Master Chef), the facilities only so so, the lock in my room was broken, the lights wouldn't work and the phone in the room was dead (which prevented me from ordering a in-room aromatherapy massage!).
But that's not the issue.
I think my expectations were too high. Like many other similar workshops I have attended, we were divided into groups and were given triggers for discussions/brain storming and come up with solutions. I've learned from experience that this kind of workshop seldom ever resolves anything. And so at the end of the retreat, we had more questions than answers which was rather deflating.
It was also at the retreat that I made a major boo-boo by falling asleep on my chair during the lecture on "How to make your lecture more interesting"!! It was with deep mortification that I bent down to retrieve my iPad which has slipped off my lap while I was dozing off and fell with a loud 'klunk' onto the floor (I bet every pair of eyes in the room that were still awake at the time was staring at me)! It wasn't entirely the presenter's fault. I slept badly the night before (I will not elaborate why here) and so wasn't really in the right frame of mind to sit through a lecture purporting to make lectures more interesting!
Still, I did learn something.
I learned that there are 3 levels of lecturers:
Level 1: the lecturer delivers nothing and audience learns nothing.
Level 2: the audience thoroughly enjoys the lecture given but comes out learning little.
Level 3: the audience achieves the knowledge that the lecturer desires for them to achieve.
Level 3 is the a bit like the Nirwana of lecturing – where, at the end of the lecture, knowledge suddenly falls on hitherto dull minds and transforms them into enlightened beings!!
I suspect my level of lecturing is probably around 2-ish.
I hope to learn and reach the next level…..hopefully before I get tired of lecturing.
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