Hi Trevor and Steve,
I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my most sincere and grateful thanks for your innovative and challenging ‘Make That Course’ programme that we introduced into our Transition Year programme at the end of August 2020.
Initially I was somewhat fearful to deliver a subject I had little knowledge of, and introduce it into my classroom, but once students took charge of the materials supplied from the very outset of the programme they ran far and fast with it, and the courses that many of them have designed are just astonishing.
The ‘Make That Course’ plan has nestled seamlessly into our TY programme and student conversations about it have resulted in much anticipation by the next class groups to take the course. So far we’ve had a fantastic array of such diverse courses as ‘Beginner’s Irish’, ‘Simple Tips for Training Your New Puppy’, ‘How To Read Music’, ‘Creative Writing’ and ‘How To Cook Basic Meals on a Student Budget’.
‘Make That Course’ has encouraged students to develop their lateral thinking skills through a ‘flipped class’ approach, where the student has become the teacher. They have to think about what they want their students to get out of the course they are creating in order for it to succeed. For the first time ever, in many instances, students have to ask themselves ‘how do I engage my students so that they want to take my course, maintain their interest in it and complete it?’ I have thoroughly enjoyed fielding questions from students about this, and I have seen many of them flourish through completing their course. I firmly believe that this has given them a deeper understanding and respect for their teachers!
Knowing that you were only an email or phone call away to support my delivery of the programme also set my mind to rest and I was grateful for the speedy resolution to the very few queries that emerged in my teaching of the course for the first time.
I look forward to seeing the long term impact of these new and creative ways of thinking in students’ general studies. They have thoroughly enjoyed the original ways of collating and packaging information, and many of them have become much more proficient in their Information Technology use too.
Once again, my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to you and your team for designing the ‘Make That Course’ programme. It has helped enormously in keeping students focused and motivated in the current climate, and I wish you many years of success with it.
– Pat McLoughlin, St. Angela’s College