My “Teaching” Roles

I started this week not clear what data I will gather from a “teaching with data” point of view especially that I do not work in the educational sector. After some thoughts, I wanted to collect data about myself being a “teacher” capturing my various everyday roles as a mother, friend, work leader and student. After I gathered the data, I decided to use a dial-shaped visualisation to resemble teaching dashboards inspired from this week’s themes. The following is the legend I developed for the visualisation.

Each dial represent a role where I assumed a “teaching” responsibility. The low, medium and high aspects refer to the difficulty of the teaching activity. The main data elements captured are the following :

  • The medium: Face to face, voice call or text/emails.
  • The location of the taught audience “students”.
  • Repetition: capturing if the teaching required repeating (more than once)

The data was captured from Tuesday to Friday of this week. Some of the activities overlapped or they were completed during different hours of the day.

The following is the outcome of the data visualisation.

Teaching Roles Visualisation

This week overlapped with a major assignment in Introduction to Social Research Methods course where I spent significant time chatting and on video calls with colleagues to actually learn from each other; thus, it was a co-teaching role.

Reflecting on the data from this week, it is obvious that the major data points came from my work as a leader of a regional team and most activities are about teaching or revising some work, why we do certain requirements/tasks and how to do these tasks. I considered my work activities as a learning exercise from the teams’ perspective since new tasks were discussed, taught, explained and trained on. Another default teaching role is being a mother. There were few interactions and most of them are do’s and don’ts as my kids are older and one is already in the USA studying – that explains the text based teaching/mothering! The funny observation is that my hardest and most repetitive tasks for this week are related to my dog. Teaching a pet certain tasks can be harder than corporate international business!!! Being a mentor on work and relationship matters is a role I cherish and the entries for that role included coaching and advising data points to my friends with one data point exception – one was on teaching how to cook a certain dish.

To conclude, I would like to reflect on Williamson et. al. (2020) core reading for this week regarding the concept of “data double”:

The construction of data doubles in education is especially consequential since anything that is modelled inside the database then affects the potentially life-changing experience of teaching and learning.

Williamson, B. Bayne, S. Shay, S. 2020. The datafication of teaching in Higher Education: critical issues and perspectives. Teaching in Higher Education. 25(4), pp. 351-365

If my data were seen by my supervisors at work, would they assume that I have wasted time doing other “tasks” not related to my main job – as there are many overlapping and during “working hours” data? This is a basic reflection of how datafication of the education is also measuring and assessing teachers and conclusions taken towards them might not be accurate and they find themselves defined by data just like technologies / teachers do towards students.

8 thoughts on “My “Teaching” Roles

  1. Love your visualisation of a very busy week!
    I can certainly relate to your wondering how others might view the way we switch between and overlap tasks (if they knew). Are we comfortable ourselves, knowing that we do this?

    • Thank you for your feedback. I don’t know if I would share this without context. I think the element of performance or achieving our work is not reflecting in our data.

  2. It was a great idea to take a broader conception of ‘teaching’ as something that is practised in professional workplaces and through social and interpersonal relations, including with our furry friends. In fact, the training of dogs may be more significant here than you think. Quite a lot of data-gathering education technologies are based on a kind of behaviourism which requires the constant observation of a learner and ‘positive reinforcement’ through rewards for the ‘correct’ behaviour. These kind of psychological rewards are built-in to a lot of commercial social media, in the shape of ‘dings’ when you receive a notification. In education, a student’s observed behaviours–recorded as data–might also lead to positive reinforcements of a similar type, e.g. rewards for meeting goals, opening up of new ‘levels’, etc. Maybe you might want to think of how a range of other technology actors perform ‘teaching’ roles. There is quite a body of research on ‘public pedagogies’–the lessons taught to citizens through the media, culture, government etc in everyday life. Do organizations like Google, Facebook and so on all now perform public pedagogic roles, learning about us from our data and then seeking to serve us up content that (the data says) will engage our attention? And what are the dangers of this kind of ‘teaching with data’? Taking this broader view might be useful to you if you’re not directly involved in teaching yourself.

    • Thank you Ben for the insightful and thought-provoking response! “Maybe you might want to think of how a range of other technology actors perform ‘teaching’ roles.” I have not thought about it but it is true. Learning is a continuous process, but with technology, teaching is becoming too. “Teaching with Data” for me today is getting a new perspective… I hope I got this response before I started dada collection for this week… something to keep in mind for week 8. Back to your question of public pedagogy’s dangers? I can think of many! Teachers and teaching for me was about authenticity and credibility! we are now learning new dimensions, new capabilities and new interactions daily but who is the teacher? how can you vet the authenticity and credibility most importantly influence and impact on the learner? … I need to read more about public pedagogies …

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