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Learning by Teaching

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Petra Leimich
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Passive learning is generally believed to be ineffectual in that it leads to a generally impoverished student experience manifested by poor attendance, engagement and motivation alike. A shift towards a more pro-active learning experience was therefore the main motivator for the proposed method outlined in this paper. The method adopted was applied to a single module for a cohort of postgraduate, mainly international students. In our method, each student is charged with delivering a specialist database topic as part of an allocated group. They self-organise their group into two subgroups for lecture and tutorial delivery respectively. Staff support the process by delivering the teaching in the first half of the module. The second, student-led phase is staff-supported using preparatory meetings to discuss content and presentation issues prior to delivery. Feedback overall indicates that the method is effective, particularly in confidence building. We believe that the latter more than compensates for the one or two concerns raised about the quality of information being received. We conclude by discussing a number of changes based on two years' experience and student feedback.