Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Thinking about a new online tutorial

The most useful thing for me about giving my presentation at our Teaching and Assessment Network (TAN) the other week was the discussion afterwards about what should happen next. So far I've only developed two tutorials, one on plagiarism and one on posters (although the one on plagiarism does have 16 different versions). For a while I've just not had the time (what with writing a book with Jon Scott and everything) but I'm very much hoping that I'll be able to create another one over the next few months. There were a couple of suggestions from the TAN crowd; something on revision and exam skills and something on analysis or criticism. Since having had a conversation with Simon Rofe in International Relations I've decided to try and develop something on the later, with the working title What is analysis? (although I really must come up with something better than that).

So here are my (and Simon Rofe's) early thoughts on what it might include.

Key areas to cover

  • An explanation of how analysis (or criticism) is different from narrative (or description)
  • Suggest different ways of using evidence to analyse/critique ideas
  • The importance of the relevance of evidence to the point you're trying to make
  • The importance of using your own words to express your views
  • How to link paragraphs to develop argument


An activity of some kind around the following quote from Joseph Heller, Catch 22.
"...the corporal and Colonel Korn both agree that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything."

Possible structure

Scene setting – these four students all read the same books, all used the same quotes and all worked hard on their essay – but they all got different marks…

Part 1 – stepwise creation of a paragraph using two quotes (each paragraph version is one submitted by one of the four students)
  • only description
  • paraphrase
  • analysis
  • comment
Part 2 – the creation of a second paragraph to link with the first using two additional quotes.


As with the plagiarism tutorials I plan to develop and refine this with one department (International Relations) and then adapt it for other disciplines if it works. These are only very early ideas, but I thought I'd put it up to get some early comments...

1 comment:

  1. Great idea. We'll be evaluating/re-designing the workshop programme over the summer and I thought a Critical Analysis workshop would be great to do - haven't done anything about this yet though, apart from borrowing a few books from the library (you might find your supply short if you were hoping to do the same - please liaise!).