Volume 6, Number 1, Nov 2005
Online Workshop - Scenes
from a Classroom:
The University of Minnesota's Center for Teaching and Learning Services has developed a useful and engaging video workshop entitled Scenes from a Classroom: Managing Conflict. The workshop is designed to support instructors dealing with conflict in the classroom. While the resource is tailored toward Teaching Assistants, the content is relevant to all faculty working face-to-face with students in the classroom.
The primary goal of the online learning experience is to help instructors think through challenging situations they may encounter in the classroom and to see and hear a variety of teaching consultants address the same situation based on their experiences.
When you select one of ten scenes you have a chance to view an encounter between a student and an instructor. An embedded flash movie player displays the film clip within the page. Following the clip, you are invited to think about how you might have handled the situation with reassurances that there is no one right solution. After you've formulated an opinion, you can choose to listen to video clips of several teaching consultants to see how they might have worked with the student to resolve the conflict. The consultants bring different points of view to the situation and help instructors think of possible preventive actions to reduce the likelihood of conflict in the future.
Transcripts of both the scene and the advice are available on every page and further resources can be found on the workshop's resources page. The scenes involve a multicultural cast of characters and offer plausible situations that many teaching assistants or professors may face. The flash interface worked smoothly in multiple browsers and loaded quickly on a broadband connection, typical for most campus networks.
Here's the list of available scenes.
SCENE 1 -- "Why Did You Take Points Off?"
SCENE 2 -- "I'll Never Get it!"
SCENE 3 -- "Could You Talk To The Professor For Us?"
SCENE 4 -- "It's A Zoo In Here!"
SCENE 5 -- "Let's Meet for Coffee."
SCENE 6 -- "I Had To Go To A Funeral."
SCENE 7 -- "Sorry, But I Can't Always Understand You."
SCENE 8 -- "Do The Problem For Me!"
SCENE 9 -- "I Had A Sick Kid"
SCENE 10 -- "You Never Told Us That"
While they may not always agree with the teaching consultants interpretations, faculty and teaching assistants will appreciate these easy-to-access, thought-provoking scenarios.
(review by Bill Warters)