Teaching should be fun!

Teaching Methods

For me there are three aspects of teaching that matter: quality, up-to-date, relevance. Quality is delivered by ensuring tailored teaching to each students. It is also about ensuring all have understood the teaching content and can synthesise a critical opinion about it. I rely on communication channels and distribution means that are in line with current trends and that are compatible with the students daily lives. So I use twitter, facebook groups and emails. I’ve also eliminated paper deliveries and now my students deliver their work in either a website or a blog that grows to become their online portfolio, which can be referred to in their job applications.

I believe it is constructive to share with my students my research interests and projects, and to provide opportunities that can be tailored to individuals, ensuring up-to-date teaching. I have found a good way of doing that is by having a good visibility of my skills and be accessible to the students. I believe that personal contact with the students is essential to my approach, and I encourage them to talk to me by emphasising my availability for informal discussions and my willingness to engage with them, in particular, to resolve any problems or difficulties, my experience as a lecturer has been significantly enriched by these contacts.

I also have been inviting my students to work with me, during their spare time and holidays, on some of my research projects giving those who are interested a chance to see first-hand what research is about (e.g. currently I have two 2nd year and one 3rd year students who are helping me). I feel it is important to deliver relevant teaching in our fast changing world. To do so, I engage with local and global businesses and arrange for most of the students projects to be run in cooperation with businesses and organisations.

Students Awareness

I am keen to ensure that students are aware of:

  • The relevance of my teaching to their professional careers
  • How to find and evaluate information and knowledge
  • The interconnection of key issues in their disciplines with other fields and domains
  • The need to continuously engages in learning and discovery
  • The diversity and multitude of opinions and approaches

Future Directions

I always look at ways to further my current teaching on processes (Lectures and presentations on Industrial Design, User experience, Interaction Design) & practices (Interaction Design Projects, Design Engineering Projects, Game Design Projects), taking into account my research and track record of publication in the area. I would be very interested in combining teaching sessions with students from different disciplines, allowing all to experience first hand multidisciplinary teamwork in relation to Design in general. Transferring directly the theoretical discourse of the papers I write into teaching material, and encouraging the student to adopt an approach that is user centred and usability focused in their design endeavours is one of my objectives. In the longer term, I am also interested into developing further my teaching with material from my current research on affordances and emotions.

In 2014/2015 I will introduce "flipped classrooms' in my teaching. Essentially, it is the acknowledgment that in a conventional classroom, students don't think, they just follow the lecturer's teaching (if they are not using their mobile phones). In a flipped classroom, students are required to watch the lectures online and in advance, and then come to the classroom to discuss the concepts and ideas presented. The sutdents are then asked to work on problems in small groups. The lecturer being there to supervise and coach the students. A much more interesting perspective than having the students attending endless one-way lectures and presentations.

In this academic year (2014/2015) I will also increase the focus on outcome relevant to employment and the job market. This however should not happen at the expense of academic content or rigor. There should be a combination of theoretical knowledge, applied knowledge, practical skills and the ability to fulfill workplace roles. The challenge being to identify area of professional parctice where there is a requirement of minimum knowledge, skills and attitude that are necessary, and to translate these into the teaching method.

More material

See: Campus as Laboratory, Nature 514(75220),16 October 2014, 288-289, Nature special issue on universities, and Bowden, J.A. Competency-Based Learning, In S. Stein & S. Farmer Eds. Connotative Learning: The training guide to Learning Theories and Their Practical Application to Training Design (2004): 91-10.