What I do: the role of a teacher

Here the aim is to describe the role of a teacher within the subject area of computing and business at a higher education (HE) level; though a more accurate descriptor of this role may be ‘learning facilitator’ as in HE the student is expected to take ownership of their own journey and expand upon information provided in class.

The onus is on the teacher to be aware of how her particular module fits within the structure of the overall programme so that she may assist her department in providing instruction which fits seamlessly into the expected learning outcomes of each individual student. To this end the teacher needs to be aware of both the level of teaching and assessment required in order to support her students in realising their academic goals and to be aware of individual student needs that must be incorporated into her delivery and assessment methods. In computing it is the opinion of the author that a blended learning method is most appropriate. This is a method comprising both online and classroom delivery which may also extend into the way in which student learning is assessed; this could take place as computerised in class tasks or tests (both formative and summative) or the adoption of ‘virtual meetings’ for the sake of 1-2-1 tutorials in order to alleviate the financial burden/ time cost of lengthy travel into college.

Some of the barriers to learning which exist may be a direct result of outside influences (family problems, financial issues, disabilities) and as previously mentioned a blended learning approach may help counter these, however the flip side to this is that it pre-supposes every student has both the necessary hardware and connection in a safe environment; while internet use is growing rapidly it is sadly still not the case that every household has the required tools necessary to interact in this fashion. For these students, a blended approach may be more of a disadvantage as they will be unable to use the time outside of class as effectively as other students can, for these instances it is for the teacher to adapt her materials in such a way that they are accessible by all, allowing each student an equal chance to succeed.