Lectures, workshops... and private study

Class time is of two types: lectures and workshops. ALL are essential for the successful completion of the module, and ALL are compulsory.
I have designed the class sessions to help you to do well. This module is about acquiring a different approach to your sources, and you may well find you need practice at this. The class sessions will provide that practice.

While class time is essential, you will still do most of your work by yourself. You should expect to do 8 or 9 hours of private study per hour spent in class. You should aim for some of this to be group study with an effective work-group (you will learn more this way, and learn it faster and better), but the rest involves you sitting down and reading as much as you can.


Lectures
Workshops
Small-group work

Lectures

Lectures on this module will not provide The Answers, but rather the questions. It is your job to work out your own answers.

You will need the lectures to provide you with a framework of ideas with which to make sense of your own reading and group study. I will provide background information, discuss crucial concepts, and suggest ways of thinking about topics.

Lectures will, naturally, be tied closely to workshop topics - you will need the grounding from the lectures in order to make sense of the workshops, and vice versa.

Workshops

These are intended to 1) help you assimilate and think about ideas (see Lectures) and 2) give you a chance to exchange ideas and try out new ways of thinking in a supportive environment. The overall aim of the module is for you to develop the habit of thinking not just about what happened and why, but about how our picture of the past is changed by the approaches we take. This can take some practice, which the workshops should provide.

Before each workshop you must complete a workshop assignment. This will involve a set reading and tasks based upon that reading, all of which will be detailed in handouts distributed a session or two in advance of each workshop. There will be three in quick succession near the beginning of the module, after which they are approximately fortnightly.

Please note that nobody will be admitted to a workshop without their completed assignment.

Small-group work

I strongly recommend that you prepare for your workshops by pooling your resources with your colleagues and learning from each other (which is much more effective – and much more interesting – than simply trying to reproduce everything the lecturer says). You will find it most convenient if you also sit together in class, particularly for workshops.

Working with a group will enable you to learn more with less individual effort. If four of you each read different things and share what you have learned, you have quadrupled your learning with no extra work (although perhaps more coffee). You will also practise important teamworking skills.


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