Micro-teaching the teachers

I do a lot of lectures to a large group of students so I should not be nervous. However, before the micro-teaching session started, I felt a bit nervous. I don’t know why.

Nevertheless, I was eager to show as I have done some preparation work on this session. My objective was to introduce the injection moulding process and how it can be used across different categories. This is a common mass-production process and a basic understanding for product designers. I was hoping to introduce this process to a non-technical student/person/teacher.

Since it is two weeks before Easter, I have a set of eight cards/steps that show how injection moulding is/can be used to make a chocolate bar. I started off the introduction using a Lego® toy by saying it is one of the most recognisable item and it is mass produced by plastic injection moulding. On the table, I have six other objects, Unilever®  Lynx/ Baby Dove soaps, Cadbury® chocolate bars and a cupcake wrapper.

What I would have done differently?

I would have used questions to engage my audience/students/teachers. I would ask them if they knew what I am going to teach before I start. This small group teaching is very different from my large group 90+ students lecture and I always wanted to show products (as examples) in my lectures but found it really difficult. Product design students need to see these samples to learn and engage the objects in front of them. I have used the visualiser in lectures and depend heavily on images and slides (keynote/powerpoint). I am always looking at ways of implementing this type of visual studies in my lectures and seminars.

The next step for me is to try this type of teaching in the second week of Summer Term on Product Design students. I will be showing them the CSM materials library section using texture samples, material samples, colour reference charts and discuss potential methods of manufacturing to illustrate how they can design small size mass produced products.

Click on this link to see feedback from my peers during this session.

Reflections on Innovative pedagogies series: Wow: The power of objects in object-based learning and teaching by Dr Kirsten Hardie

I find this is a well-structured way to learn to be curious. All her 3 case studies were conducted on 80+ students (in groups) which is similar to my teachings. Product design students need this! This activity provokes students to understand/learn in various ways: aesthetics, judgement, observation, analyse, meaning, drawing, visual literacy, key issues and context, etc. Students need to learn to push the boundaries, be on the “cutting edge” and be “unusual”.

Such activity can be identified as “reflection in action” (Schön, 1983): students reflect, evaluate & take action and make decisions during the activity.

Objects are important in Product Design. They can relive/retell the experience of the owner who owns the object and how one can relate one’s experience of this item with another person. An astonished “wow” or “oooh” as an acknowledgement for those who are familiar with that item and can either be unique/unusual or truly original.

Perhaps, the aim of OBL is to move away from describing beyond function and purpose to taste and enquiry. The concept of Enquiry Based Learning does resonate well with the object and the viewer and generates spontaneity, interest and engagement in the subject matter.

The plastic problem is now under a lot of scrutiny and the MODIPs relevance has shifted into mass produced. This is interesting to note.