Friday, October 31, 2008

Your responses to "Bootcamp"

The responses to the "Bootcamp" idea that I have received either on the blog or via email have been overwhelmingly positive.

It's too late on a Friday afternoon for me to do the topic justice, but here is a foretaste:

The two concerns are
a. The name "Bootcamp" may sound too military, and may have negative connotations, and
b. The programme should be marketed as highly positive, and not be associated with punishment or fear.

To that I have added a few concerns too
a. Maybe it is too early in the year. Students don't know what they don't know.
b. Maybe it is too long an interruption in one go.

So, I have thought that maybe we should spread it thus
a. Two weeks at the beginning of the year.
b. Two weeks towards the end of the first term (i.e. just after assessment - maybe during moderation

Finally, I thought we could include the whole thing in the current discussions that I am having about Prof Prac - and actually include it in there.

I will, however go very carefully through all the suggestions and then put it to a working committee.

Friday, October 24, 2008


The most common recurring theme about teaching and learning to reach my ears is the one about UNDERPREPARED FIRST YEARS.
So now I am thinking
How about a SIX WEEK Bootcamp to get ALL our first years on the same page.
The idea would be to remedy their mathematics, their English spelling and grammar, their budgeting skills, their time management skills, and their interpersonal skills.
Much like "Basic Training" in the army is able to convert ANYBODY from a civilian to a soldier in six weeks, I want us to convert a matriculant to a student in six weeks.
The purpose of this sort of exercise would be to give ALL the students in the Faculty the opportunity to
a. Develop academic literacy
b. Get to know ALL the other members of the Faculty.
What are your thoughts?