Concept mapping with international students

Concept mapping with international students

What we do like about our teaching and learning courses is that it makes our lecturers think and renew their classes. We see it all the time. This semester we have been supporting three pilots, and the lecturers are all previous participants in our courses. Not all participants are piloting new technology or new ways to use technology, some are also implementing new ideas. I think we leave our participants with a curiousity towards their own teaching, and a willingness to try out new ideas, evaluate and rethink. It could also be that the lecturers who already have this curiosity are the ones who attend our courses.

Last week I had a conversation with Martha Kjølseth, a lecturer in intercultural communication and, this semester, also in international management. She teaches international students coming from different university cultures. She also has classes where some students do not participate actively in class. She has rather normal class sizes, about 20-30 students, and has been experimenting with group work and concept mapping.

She discovered the students really enjoy working on the concept map together in class. Everybody makes personal contributions on the black board. One of the lessons learned is that the students need a clear understanding of the task they are about to perform the first time they contribute to a concept map. Another lesson learned is that this is one method that activates students in class, and hopefully the concept map will be an example they will remember during their exams.

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