In-Out Seminar model
The In/Out seminar model alows for (i) more time for revision for all students, (ii) more opportunity for discussion, (iii) greater possibilities for self-assessment, as students also get to compare their knowledge with the others in the group, and (iv) an alternative to a traditional memory-based exam where knowledge is crammed in and then forgotten soon after. It can also ensure that most students are well read and prepared for the seminar. Students can ‘qualify’ to take their exam in this format; in other words, if a student does not perform adequately or if it seems obvious (to the tutor) that a student is not well read/prepared then the student can be warned/informed that she/ he must do the traditional ‘memory-based’ exam’. This is also the case if a student misses a seminar, as they have then denied themselves the opportunity to articulate, revise and to hear about the contents of the seminar discussion.
Procedure & information to students
Each In/Out seminar is about 90 minutes long and consists of approximately 15-18 students, divided into 3 sub-groups (group A,B,C). To begin with, group A is ‘IN’. This means that group A sits with the tutor in the inner ring. Meanwhile, the students in group B and C sit in the ‘OUT’ outer ring. The tutor uses the keywords/study questions (handed in beforehand by each group) to discuss the relevant chapter(s). After 25-30 minutes of discussion, the students of group A move to ‘OUT’ the outer ring, whilst the students in group B move into the inner ring. Once again, the group’s keywords are used to discuss the relevant chapters, for 25-30 minutes. This procedure in then repeated a final time, when Group C enters the inner ring. During the seminar, the tutor occasionally asks for a comment or an answer to a question from a student sitting in the outer ring too or responds to a question. During the seminars, you may have your notes with you. You can use them to support your memory (i.e. do not be afraid about forgetting). Please note, however, that you are expected to maintain eye-contact with the tutor and your seminar colleagues.