My experience taking an IATL module
Image Credit: Spaces with IATL
Known as IATL, the Interdisciplinary Advanced Teaching and Learning is a cross-faculty department which gives an opportunity for students from various departments to take their modules.
When I was looking at the optional modules available for Economics final-year students, I was curious when they mentioned that we can take an IATL module. I was happy to know that they have a module called Understanding Wellbeing: Theory and Applications.
Throughout the three years of my life, I have faced challenges to my wellbeing. For a long time, I wanted to get out of this rut, and have made the effort to change my mindset and have (hopefully) improved myself . Hence, I believe that the Wellbeing module is a perfect module to take, especially since I had gone through ups and downs of my wellbeing journey.
On the first week, I was quite nervous because I thought that I would be the only Economics student taking this module. I started talking to the other person who was waiting to get into the Humanities Studio, where the lecture is held, with me as well. It turns out that she is an Economics student too! Both of us agreed that we wanted to venture out of Economics, after two years and try out something new.
The minute I got into the lecture, I was surprised to see the layout of the lecture hall. Due to the number of students in the module, they planned it out like a seminar, where there are 4 to 5 roundtables in the studio, so my new friend and I decided to sit in one table, joined by a few other people.
We were greeted by Dr. Elena, the module convenor. She then introduced us to the guest lecturer who works in the Warwick Wellbeing Support Services. We had our first lecture on introduction to Wellbeing. We were introduced to the different types of wellbeing. At the end of the lecture, Dr Elena explained about the parasympathetic and sympathetic body responses when our wellbeing is on threat.
At that moment, I felt daunted because I have not taken science. I did not even take Biology for my GCSE-equivalent, I took Accounting instead. So, I started questioning myself and my ability to carry on with this module. But I had so much fun, because everyone was encouraged to have their own say in this module, and it was the most interactive lecture I’ve been throughout the whole 3 years of my life!
While I tried to make a decision on whether to take an IATL module or an Economics module, I consulted with Dr Elena, and she told me the benefits of taking an IATL module. I get to interact with people from different faculties, which makes me a person who can interact with others who are not from my course and also convey my message in a clearer way, because you have to make your message simple so that people from other courses understand it too. This is particularly useful in future jobs as you will meet people from different industries and you will need to be able to adapt to communicating in a clear and concise manner with them. Say if you’re a financier, speaking to someone from another industry about bonds and stocks, you will need to adapt your message in a way that the person will be able to understand what you’re trying to say. Taking an IATL module will also make you stand out from the crowd, because hey, maybe everyone else takes modules related to their course, but you took the opportunity to venture out, so it gives that additional feature, saying that you can adapt to a different environment and learning everything from scratch.
I’ve also spoken with my personal tutor to solidify my decision making in my modules. He told me to choose what I feel will be good for me.
Based on my conversation with the two, I decided to take the Wellbeing module.
I learnt so much in the Wellbeing module. The first half of the term was spent on learning the theories of Wellbeing. We looked at it from the biology, psychology and the economics perspective. The Economics of Wellbeing week is my favourite week because at the same time, I was able to relate it to the things I learnt in Behavioural Economics. Since everyone was encouraged to give their feedback and resources, I provided literature related to the Economics of Happiness on the Moodle page. While I am an Economics student with no science background, I was able to make friends with Science student. A Biology student was really nice to me as she was explaining to me science terms that I wasn’t able to understand before.
We learnt the application bit of the Wellbeing on the second half of the term. I loved this module because each week is super different from the other. One week, we were meditating, the next week we were walking around campus, immersing the beauty that is Warwick University. At the same time, we were also given guidance on the assessments that are due in Term 2. We have two assignments, one essay and one Student-Devised Assessment, where we’re allowed to choose whatever topic we want (so long as its related to what we’ve learnt so far) using any kind of medium (play, video, documentary, film, dance). This was also one of my favourite reason why I chose this module.
In the end, I made a video on the impact of the makeup industry on wellbeing of young women. I also did the essay and because of how much I loved the module, the writing and the planning of these assessments were so enjoyable! I know it sounds like I’m lying, but I’m really not! I really wanted to highlight how much the makeup industry have impacted our wellbeing and I wanted to give it my all for my essay.
Overall, I had so much fun in the Wellbeing module and I am so happy that I trusted my gut to choose an IATL module for my final year! I could really implement what I’ve learnt to my personal daily life. For instance, I learnt that we need to do at least 75 minutes worth of vigorous physical activity (or 150 minutes of moderate PA). I’ve been doing a lot more swimming this term and honestly it has been a mood booster!
I genuinely did have an amazing time and I would highly recommend others to take an IATL module too!