Anyone else out there feel like their head is exploding with marking undergraduate work? I’ve almost completed my role as a second marker / moderator for the Manchester Leadership Programme (MLP), and have nothing but admiration for the postgrads who are the tutors for the group work involved.
During the first semester, they’ve been running weekly on-line discussions, setting topics each week after the lecture (generally from an external lecturer) about a different subject every week – all based around leadership for economic, social and environmental sustainability. None of the tutors are experts in all the topics – we’ve got postgrads from criminology, cancer research, philosophy and anthropology to name but a few, but they’ve each risen to the challenge of setting questions about the leadership issues involved with energy supplies, bioethics, sustainable local communities, corporate social responsibility and more.
They’ve run face to face seminars, encouraged group working and answered queries from students throughout the semester, whilst dealing with students from dozens of different degree disciplines and as many nationalities.
Now, they’ve assessed group “e-Posters” (our term for a series of Powerpoint slides linked to mimic a mini-website) about a topic on one of the MLP themes, an on-line Q&A session and an individual reflective group work report.
In terms of careers, they’ve added so much to their employability, whether for academic / teaching roles or for any non-academic employer, who would be blown away by the flexibility, communication, innovation and general interest in the world around them that the tutors have shown.
Any chance you get to become involved in tutoring this or any other interdisciplinary course, I’d highly recommend (apart from the marking, of course…)
I must admit that some nights this week, I’ve been so overloaded on “ethically correct” and passionately argued causes from groups of students, that I’ve needed to escape into something a bit less worthy to relax (I find that a G&T and a dose of something involving J. Clarkson ranting on Dave TV is a suitable antidote).
However, some of the e-poster topics have really made me think, learn and in some cases, have had me fizzing with outrage at what’s going on in the world. Do you know about “Vulture Funds”? If not, READ THIS and be prepared for steam to start coming out of your ears.
And if you’re wondering where the careers bit comes in, here’s something I picked up from a feed from another blog based at the university, from the Brooks World Poverty Institute – “Thinking of a career change?”
If the MLP encourages just one more student to think about and act on this sort of stuff, it’s doing a worthwhile job.