Thursday, August 21, 2008

Changes in the new semester

This semester there have been a lot of changes in the courses I teach, especially Academic Writing in Engineering. It has a new textbook, grading scheme and materials. It has been a bit tricky using the new textbook. It has a lot of text in it, which is good because it will easier for the students to use it as a reference. On the other hand, all that text slows down the pace in the class and decreases student interaction. I have been putting more discussion questions related to the readings and the learning objectives into the class to increase the energy and divide the tutorial time into several short Q&A sessions. It's better but not completely successful.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Semester has begun

I checked out my friend Sara's blog. She's starting her MBA study and described her life as running around like a chicken with its head cut off. (Odd simile for vegetarian.) My life is very similar for the same reason. The NUS semester started last week and now I will be involved in a cycle of tutorial prep, marking and conferencing until November. I have more this semester because one of my courses, Academic Writing for Engineers, was extensively revised with quite a lot of input from me. This means that I have to prep all my classes rather than relying on last semester's plans. However, even though I'm 10 times more busy, I'm glad the students are back. I'm looking forward to seeing how if the revisions in the course and materials will be effective and get positive feedback from the students and other lecturers.