Thursday, April 2, 2009

Student story - Miss S Icknote

I have written this as a student has started the course and these are her reasons for not continuing..............
Miss S Icknote has not been turning up for class lately:
  • Garment Construction Certificate in Fashion Studies (level 4).

  • open entrance. 16 week course.

  • 5.30pm - 8.30pm

  • Practical class in workshop @ Otago Polytechnic Dunedin, using industrial sewing machines.

Background info on Miss S Icknote:

  • 18 years old and very homesick.

  • Shares a house with 3 other older, part-time, Uni students.

  • English is not her first/preferred language.

Having spoken with Miss S icknote I have discovered her house mates encourage her to party hard with them. None of them are preparing any meals, getting enough sleep and she is struggling with a new culture. She is tired, unwell and has dificulty concentrating when she manages to attend a class.


Leigh Blackall said...

Hey Tracey, my wife and I enrolled in one of the courses you list above, but we're having second thoughts now if this is best that fashion staff can do in imagining the needs of some of their paying customers. Hope you'll have another go at it.

Leigh Blackall said...

Don't loose your sense for humour though

Leigh Blackall said...

No progress? Is everything OK. Did I dent your motivation? I hope not. On second reading I realise there are some issues well worth teasing out here. Things about a certain section of student life, language barriers, culture shock, and living away from home just for study. Better give you a call next week,, make sure we're OK...

Sarah Stewart said...

Making the move from school where you are told what to do all the time, to tertiary education where you are self-motivated can be a real problem for 18 year olds, and a challenge for us as educators. Add the other social problems that miss sick note is facing, and you have a major problems. I'm not sure how 'flexible' you can be in this sort of situation.

tracey nash said...

I'm back. thanks Sarah and Leigh for posting comments.
Leigh-just hadn't been on the blog for a few weeks.I'm not dented. As Michelle had covered most of the obvious reasons for a student not enrolling on a course I thought I'd try a diff. angle and as you suggested using a real life cenario, this sprang to mind.However you obviuosly need more substance so I'll try again.

Thanks Sarah. Yes the course I run is totally Unflexible. set place/set time/set proceedures to learn. lets hope I can improve it.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Tracey I think the issues you have outlined for S Icknote are very real for many students.

So the things to tease out here (I have not read your next post yet so you may have done this already) are the following as I see it:

1. If Miss S is missing classes - how can she catch up?
Hint: Is there some way you can provide resources flexibly to allow her to do this in her own time....and when the hangover has abated. :(

2. What sort of motivational tactics can you use to support her to progress in the course?
Hint: is your course content authentic and directly applicable to Miss S's aspirations and future career? How can you help Miss S to make the links?

3. How do you keep in contact with Miss S and check in with her progress?
Hint: Do you use email or text messages or use telephone contact or blog posts as reminders about the topics coming up?
Is there a weekly tutorial?
Are assessments well paced to keep her working steadily and to keep her focussed?

Do you think it matters whether Miss S has intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to learn AND how can your enthusiasm for the subject be transferred to her?