On 3 July we held an introductory session for IUG students with the aim of getting to know each other better, introducing the whole EAST Project and particularly the Constructive Feedback Course. We used Skype to connect and one of the last year’s participants, Amani, came along too to talk about the project from the student’s perspective.
I’m thankful to Dr Nazmi for introducing the students to the project and outlining the main benefits for them, including the intercultural exchange and the opportunity for the international students in Glasgow to learn about Palestine and its people’s situation. I’m also grateful to Azza, the E-learning co-ordinator from IUG, for organising the session and ensuring the technology works and our meets proceeds as smoothly as possible. Last but not least, I’d like to thank the students for turning up to the session despite it being a holiday time for them and scorching hot weather. It was great to see them gathered round tables in a spacious meeting room, listening attentively and asking questions. It was very beneficial to have Amani in the room, who talked about her experience of participating in the project last year, the benefits (developing a range of skills and language proficiency, particularly in regard to academic language) and the challenges; she drew the students’ attention to the importance of task and time management, for which I was grateful. The project has a very tight schedule and it is crucial that things are done in a timely fashion. We both stressed how important it is to communicate even when disagreements arise as communication is key in conflict resolution.
The students have now joined our closed Facebook group, introduced themselves using the Padlet wall, and are forming groups to start working on developing skills in providing feedback. As an initial task and a gentle start to the first phase of the EAST project, they were asked to share their ‘Feedback Story’ and the contributions are starting to come in, providing an interesting read and an insight into the students’ experiences and perceptions of feedback.