Thanks to Jenny for her explanation of the changes, with particular focus being drawn to the Cornell noting-style document she kindly created for student use during each debate. Though the jury is still out (the essay I set at the end of the debates is due in after half term), I believe the new style of student-noting has already generated two key benefits;
1. Students feel they can ‘dump’ their knowledge as messily as they want during the debate in the Investigate section of the sheet, before colour-coding each success criterion after the debate in the Construct column, to aid comparison of the factors for pressure group success.
2. The other, more subtle, benefit of the new noting sheet is the sense of freedom it gives to audience members. There is no longer the sense of guilt for not filling out a particular success criterion. Instead, I have made it clear to students that some pressure group debates might not need to reference a factor (let’s say ‘Membership’) as it is not relevant to their success/failure. The original incarnation of the Express record sheet forced students to shoehorn their debate findings into each criterion regardless of relevance. The new version allows choice and illustrates to students that each pressure group case study offers different evidence.
Having modelled the level of detail I would expect from audience members during the first debate of each group, I left it to students to take responsibility for their notes. It was abundantly clear from the off that the more evidence students gleaned, the better their essays would be.