Making it easier to adopt CORE

 
Thu 26th November 2015 | Blog

Parama ChaudhuryFor lecturers who want to introduce CORE, our goal is simple: to make it as easy as possible for you to do so. Parama Chaudhury (right), a Teaching Fellow at University College London, taught CORE at UCL for the first time last year, and found that adopting the new course was a time-consuming process:

“There is a lot of material, so an instructor needs to think carefully about how to cover it. We set up an incentive system (quizzes and assignments with very quick turnaround times) which implied that students were reading the unit before the lecture. But this meant that rehashing the unit in the lecture had little value added.”

Her thoughts were echoed by Colin Jennings, a lecturer at King’s College London: 

“My apprehension in adopting CORE was to a large extent that it involved a step into the unknown. Because the course is not the standard first-year fare, any lecturer who does not like the unfamiliar will not adopt the course.”

When we introduced our ebook, The Economy, we knew that we needed to help lecturers update or rewrite lecture slides, notes and tests by producing resources we could share with them. Initially we didn’t realise how much we needed to do – and this year, we’re trying to fill in a lot of the gaps we left when we first offered CORE.

Colin has, nevertheless, been “pretty happy” with what we have provided in 2015:

“I was given the lecture slides for last year, seminar questions,  multiple choice questions, updated figures for  this year and so on. It will be important for future adopters that they have access to examples of lecture slides in PowerPoint.”

Parama is now also a member of CORE’s Teaching and Learning Committee, established in April 2015 to produce the resources we share with teachers of CORE:

“This year we have thought much more carefully about the purpose of the lecture, but more still needs to be done in terms of introducing active learning strategies for the contact time. Some games and in-class questions are being provided to lecturers, but there is a need for much more.”

For example, we created a series of Multiple Choice Questions for each unit, and we have begun to offer PowerPoint slides for teachers (those with teacher access can download them from their account page), but students and teachers still demand more – something we’re working to provide, thanks to the feedback from those of you teaching CORE this year.

There are three key developments the Teaching and Learning Committee are working on, Parama tells us:

  • Planning and writing a teacher’s guide: which provides guidance for the Discuss questions in the e-book, but also ideas about how to teach a particular concept or a particular section of the e-book.
  • Crowdsourcing ideas: gathering teaching plans and lessons learned from teachers around the world who are teaching the material in different types of contexts and to different types of students.
  • Introducing an interactive platform: where sharing will be encouraged to speed up the development of these resources.

Over the last 12 months we’ve increased the range of materials available – and will only be increasing this further over the coming months. If you’re interested in adopting CORE, get in touch. And if you’ve already taken the leap into teaching CORE, please share your experiences or materials with us, and let us know what more we can do to make the transition easier for future teachers of The Economy: you can contact us at contact@core-econ.org.