IATL modules: Why I am taking another one next year!
At the moment, module decisions are being made for the next academic year. I wanted to discuss my experience of taking an IATL (Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning) module this year, and why the impact it has made on me has encouraged me to take another!
I only took one optional module this year, and my department automatically accept IATL modules, due to their interdisciplinary and thus well-rounded focus.
I ended up taking ‘Reinventing Education’, and I can honestly, wholeheartedly say that I WISH I could take it again next year! Everyone has a certain module that they particularly enjoy, but IATL modules really bring something different.
First, the weekly ‘lectures’ were so different to anything I am used to. Sitting in rows in a lecture theatre is the norm, however, in my IATL class, we were based in the humanities studio. We didn’t sit at desks, and instead, gathered in a circle. This way, discussions were open, and we could all see each other! A key element of this module was that the module leader was part of our team, as opposed to being the bearer of all knowledge. This immediately made me comfortable, and I felt like my opinions were valued.
Another key aspect of IATL modules is the assessment methods. For me, my project was completely self-led, in which I could create (yes, actually be creative!) whatever I wanted, along the lines of an educational utopia/dystopia. This broad project specification scared me at first, I usually like being told what to do and how to do it! However, as a result of the open assessment approach, I have reflected greatly on my educational beliefs, as well as what has happened through my life to form those beliefs. It has allowed me to create something powerful (I chose a poem) as opposed to a traditional essay. My project, that I am finishing up now, is meaningful to me. I really feel like I put my heart into it, and knowing that if I take another IATL module next year, I could go through the same process really excites me.
There is such a huge range of modules available, too. Some examples are Navigating Psychopathology, Public Engagement and Forms of Identity. The full list can be found here https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/study/ugmodules/
The best part is that there is something for everyone, and it is a great chance to do something that might differ from your degree. It can be really refreshing to do something completely new, and you might end up loving it as much as I have! At first, I was cynical and thought that if it didn’t relate to my degree then it wouldn’t be valuable. How wrong I was! This module will be a key thing I remember from my year, if not, entire experience, at Warwick! I have learnt so much about myself and formed such great friends through the openness and community sense that this module brings.
So, whether you’re a prospective, or current student thinking about modules, I would seriously consider checking out IATL.
Stay safe and well everyone!