As most of my OU courses only run from October to June, I need to do other work to "keep the wolf from the door".
This year I did two. One was at Reading and involved working with teachers of EAP from Chinese universities. I have done this several times before and it is always interesting and enjoyable although the teachers are from such diverse institutions and backgrounds that it is difficult to know how much impact there is.
The second course was a pre-sessional at Warwick. I have done many pre-sessionals in the past (at Manchester and Bristol) but this was my first one for more than five years. It was similar to previous ones in that it was largely based around a small scale study project.
It was, however, quite different to previous pre-sessionals in that it was very specific. All of the students will be studying for a Masters degree in Supply Chain Management. We were given relatively light teaching loads so that we could design quite specific materials and I quite enjoyed working with content on the topic and helping to scaffold students to cope with articles using content that was relevant.
My teaching was "Text based studies" (ie reading and writing). We worked with three articles and there was variation in the style and formatting. One made much more use of diagrams than the other two and one of the others described the research methods in more depth. If I did the course in the future, I would also like to make more use of student writing such as responses to the kinds of assignments students would write.
Working towards a Study Project seemed quite focused and authentic but the final week of the course consisted of tests that seemed less valuable. Some students on the course (this were mainly from other groups rather than the one I taught) seemed to be very disappointed with their results and I wonder how much of a blow this would have been to their morale as they are about to enter their courses.