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Theory assignment 1

T1 - Review your role, responsibilities and boundaries as a teacher in terms of the teaching/training cycle.

Mortar board iconTask Notes

To be able to complete this task you need to know what the stages of the teaching/training cycle are; what the scope of your role is or might be; what your responsibilities are and the boundaries which may impact on your teaching practice. The notes below give you some guidance but are not intended to be a definitive list – you may think of others and some may not be relevant to your personal teaching practice.

Throughout these notes there are suggestions for additional research and reading – do not try to cover all of these. Most of the topics will be reviewed again later in the course. After you have read these notes, have a go at the activities and weblinks.

PowerPoint Icon Task: Click on the Teaching/Training Cycle Powerpoint presentation before reading the notes.

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Teaching Training Cycle Stage 1:

Identify Needs:

Role: Assessor, Reviewer; Signposter etc.

Responsibilities: It is important that you identify the needs of your learners so you can design the course to reflect individual differences. Although this is usually described as the first stage in the teaching/training cycle it is a process that may have to be deferred until you meet your learners for the first time and usually should be a continuing requirement throughout the learning journey. However, some organisations interview their learners before the course, or there may be an application process where learner needs can be identified.

The range of learner needs can be described by a variety of acronyms – one of which is SPICE:

Social –   might affect how a learner can interact with others or how they view learning especially if they have had previously bad experiences of education.
Physical –   might affect how a learner can access learning (e.g. sensory disabilities or reduced mobility).
Intellectual –   might affect how a learner gains new knowledge/skills. Learners may be at different academic or skill levels and take longer or shorter times to process new knowledge/skills than others in the group.
Cultural –   might affect learner views, values and beliefs.
Emotional –   might affect learner motivation or ability to concentrate.

In all cases teachers have a responsibility throughout the teaching cycle to monitor their practice and ensure learner needs are met.

!Boundaries! Learners may not want to disclose needs and the teacher must respect their right to refuse to divulge sensitive information. Learners have a right to expect that personal information is kept confidentially and not discussed with others, unless permission has been given to do so or there are concerns for vulnerable adults.

Brain IconTopics to research/review:

You now need to consider the following through research and further reading:

  • Initial assessment.
  • Learning styles inventories.
  • Individual learning plans.
  • Barriers to learning.

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Teaching Training Cycle Stage 2:

Plan and Design

Role: Planner, designer, reviewer, scheduler, organiser, researcher etc.

Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the teacher to plan and design a course, which meets the needs of the learners and requirements of the course. Most teachers/trainers will be responsible for designing their own courses. There are some courses, however, which are prescriptive and have to be delivered in a set way; for these teachers, there may be limited opportunities at this stage of the cycle.

It is the responsibility of the teacher to write the syllabus for the course while ensuring that the learning outcomes, aims and objectives for the course are covered in an appropriate way e.g. length of time allocated to each outcome, order in which outcomes are planned; possible delivery strategies; appropriate resources and assessment methods.

This stage is about planning the course; these plans, however, are not ‘set in stone’ and changes can be made throughout the teaching cycle.

!Boundaries! In their course planning and designing, tutors have to be aware of the requirements of the awarding body, their own organisation and legal obligations (such as health and safety). Courses have to be planned so all the learning outcomes are met in the time allowed. Resources and methods have to be appropriate – don’t plan for resources which are too expensive or not available (remember, in some organisations you may have to book them).

Brain IconTopics to research/review:

You now need to consider the following through research and further reading:

  • Definitions of learning outcomes, syllabus, aims and objectives.
  • Writing schemes of work and session plans.
  • Individual learning plans.

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Teaching Training Cycle Stage 3:


Role: Teacher, tutor, facilitator, coach, instructor, lecturer, presenter, mentor, trainer, assessor, demonstrator, guide, listener, communicator etc.

Responsibilities: A teacher’s responsibility is to deliver a course, which is appropriate for the learners, takes account of individual needs and which has clear aims and objectives. The activities should be appropriate and varied to appeal to learners with different learning styles. The resources should be well prepared, sufficient for the number of learners and used to support the learning activities. Teachers should differentiate their activities and strategies to ensure all learners can access learning.
Learners should be told at the start of each session what the lesson objectives are and how these relate to the overall course outcomes.

Sessions or tasks should have an introduction, a main content and a conclusion, which will promote learning and consolidate new skills or knowledge.

During their sessions, teachers should support their learners and assess their skills and knowledge through a range of formative assessment tasks.

Teachers have a responsibility to keep their learners safe both physically and emotionally. They need to assess the safety of classroom activities and ensure that none of their learners are being harassed or discriminated against by themselves, the organisation or other learners.

Teachers have a responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient current knowledge or skill to deliver the course content and answer any learner questions.

Teachers have a responsibility to ensure all necessary records and paperwork are up to date and filed securely.

!Boundaries!: Teachers must act in a professional manner throughout their teaching sessions. They should dress appropriately - an ‘appropriate’ style of clothes will differ according to the subject or curriculum area – and behave and communicate in an acceptable way (language which is discriminatory, judgemental or offensive should always be avoided – remember cultural differences). Teachers must keep a professional distance and not become too friendly with their learners although a teacher/student relationship should always be based on mutual trust and respect.

Brain IconTopics to research/review:

You now need to consider the following through research and further reading:

  • Differentiation.
  • Teaching methods and strategies.
  • Using resources.
  • Formative assessment.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
  • Malcolm Knowles’ andragogy.

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Teaching Training Cycle Stage 4:


Role: Assessor, recorder, marker, reviewer, provider of feedback, guide, etc.

Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that learner achievement and progression is checked throughout the learning process (formative assessment) and at the end of the course (summative assessment). The assessment methods have to be fair, reliable and valid and linked to the planned activity tasks.

In accredited courses, summative assessment is often prescribed by the awarding body and teachers have a responsibility to ensure that learners are aware of these requirements and know how to meet the assessment criteria.

Teachers have a responsibility to give clear, concise and accurate feedback to learners on their progress and achievement along with developmental comment.

This progress and achievement should be recorded in accordance with awarding body or organisational procedures. Where there is no formal recording documentation, teachers should record progress and achievement on a class tracking sheet or on a learner ILP.

Feedback to learners should be given as quickly as possible and should be based on the quality of the submission with a mix of positive and developmental comments (if necessary).

!Boundaries!: Teachers should not set assessment tasks which do not link directly to the learning objectives. Teachers must make sure that their planned assessments are at the correct level for the learners and assess what the learners should be able to achieve. Teachers should not set learners up to fail.

Brain IconTopics to research/review:

You now need to consider the following through research and further reading:

  • Formative and summative assessment.
  • Fair, reliable and valid assessment.
  • Feedback strategies.
  • Assessment records.
  • Assessment strategies.

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Teaching Training Cycle Stage 5:


Role: Checker, reviewer, evaluator, researcher, questioner, adaptor, reflector, etc.
Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of the tutor to continually review the effectiveness of the course, including the content, delivery methods, resources, assessment strategies, environmental issues and learner satisfaction. A tutor should complete a lesson evaluation after each session; this should include strengths of the session, areas for development and improvements for future delivery. Learners could also be asked to reflect on the success of the sessions; this could be done verbally, through an evaluation form or by an evaluation activity.

Learner achievement and progression also give a good indication of the effectiveness of your sessions – although motivated learners can often achieve even if the teaching has areas for improvement. It is the responsibility of the tutor to implement any changes which are considered to be beneficial, either during the next session or in the next scheduled course delivery.

!Boundaries!:  Teachers should be aware of learner feedback but any changes to the course content or delivery should only be made if they are in accordance with awarding body or organisational policy and will benefit the majority of learners.

Brain IconTopics to research/review:

You now need to consider the following through research and further reading:

  • Evaluation methods and strategies.

Pen in hand IconActivities


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