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In Person Teaching

Jun 21, 2023

Today’s blog post looks at students’ opinions on a consent educational course they completed for university at the beginning of their academic year.

Note: pseudonyms have been used.

Male students feel male engagement in conversations about gender-based violence at their university would increase if self-taught and online educational courses, like the one they completed on consent, were replaced with in-person and taught educational workshops.

“I would say there should be more in person live discussion around the consent matters.” – Nathan

Whilst online courses can be convenient and cost-effective for universities, the men found them disengaging. Additionally, several male students admitted to being so disinterested by the prospect of clicking through slides alone, they postponed it.

“I kind of left it to the last minute and I probably regret that because I sort of didn’t value its importance.” – Dylan

This supports research which finds people delay self-taught, online courses more often than in-person classes because their completion relies on self-discipline (Baum & McPherson, 2019).

Although female students generally agreed that an in-person approach would be better, Olivia doubted the extent to which it would be effective since students still have to actively listen. To help combat this, some men thought the incorporation of group discussions could help reduce mind wandering. Hence, students felt an in-person educational workshop with elements of group and full class discussion would be more effective than a self-taught, online course. At the Rosey project, we always prioritise having a mix of group and full class discussions because we believe this format encourages students to think about topics more critically and results in the best engagement.

Whilst the findings from my research suggests an in-person taught approach to be the best method of engaging students, additional benefits can be attained from having additional digital components. For example, when trying to find the best ways to engage students during in-person lectures, Hutain and Michinov (2022) found digital components helped reduce mind wandering and increase overall student focus, So, whilst students favour the idea of an in-person and taught approach, digital components should not be completely eradicated.

At the ROSEY project, we certainly adopt this approach. When delivering our in-person educational workshops at schools, colleges, universities and community youth groups, we use several digital components. This ranges from playing videos to using Mentimeter. Mentimeter being an interactive presentation software that allows students to scan a barcode and answer questions anonymously. We love this because it means we get to hear from all students, rather than from just those who feel comfortable to speak in class. We’ve been delivering our workshops for more than ten years now and continue to receive much positive feedback from both students and teachers!

If you’d like to know more about our workshops, call our centre on 0141 552 3201 and ask for the Rosey project or email us at: info@roseyproject.co.uk

References:
Baum, S. & McPherson, M. (2019) ‘The human factor: The promise & limits of online education’, Daedalus, 148(4), pp. 235–254. doi: 48563401.
Hutain, J. & Michinov, N. (2022) ‘Improving student engagement during in-person classes by using functionalities of a digital learning environment’, Computers & Education, 183, p. 104496. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2022.104496