How will I be taught?
As a student in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, you will be taught in a variety of ways:
KEATS is the centrally supported virtual learning environment for the delivery of teaching material throughout King's College London. KEATS replaced Blackboard (the College's old e-learning system), local e-learning environments and local module web pages.
You will now find teaching materials for all your modules on KEATS. It is your responsibility to make sure you have access to the correct modules and that you check KEATS regularly for new material.
For more information on how to access and use KEATS please see the College E-Learning Service pages (link to E-learning webpages). You can also log on here: http://keats.kcl.ac.uk/
Lectures are intended to provide guidance, stimulation, and orientation about a topic, as well as transmitting factual information. You should take systematic notes to remind you of their content.
There will always be some opportunity for students to raise questions, although these may be more appropriate at the end than during the lecture itself (ask the teacher which s/he prefers). A typical lecture will last for one hour.
Classes or seminars are not primarily designed for the teacher to convey new information about a topic; the aim is for students to reach a deeper understanding through interaction and critical discussion among themselves (the teacher is a kind of referee). You will often have been asked to do preparatory reading for your seminar and may have attended a lecture on the topic.
Seminar presentations give individual students practice in producing a clear and coherent oral analysis of a topic, and of constructively criticising the presentations by others. Do not expect to take full notes as it may distract you from engaging with the discussion. A typical seminar will last between one and two hours.
These are intended for in-depth discussion of a piece of your work, either at the planning or draft stage, or when it has been marked. Criticism of your essay work by a teacher is never intended to be destructive, but as a guide to how to improve both your essay writing skills and your understanding of the subject.
Coursepacks are an important part of your learning at King's and normally contain extracts from books and other useful documents that will inform your study. Not all modules within a department will have a module coursepack.
Content of teaching material
You will also be expected to undertake independent study to prepare for your classes. You can find out more on the being a student webpage on our website.
The nature of Arts & Humanities subjects means students may be more likely to encounter sensitive or alarming topics than in some other areas. Our disciplines range widely across cultures, times and human experience. Debate and argument between different perspectives is vital to the way they work. They inevitably involve students in the consideration of material that might in other contexts be regarded as challenging, obscene, private or provocative – indeed it often lies at the heart of the education which we strive to deliver.
This means students should expect occasionally to be challenged and made uncomfortable by material they encounter in university as in the wider world and should be encouraged to develop a mature approach to such material.
As a Faculty, in collaboration with tutors, we want to support all students to develop appropriate strategies for incorporating this into learning. The Faculty recommend that students consider the following points:
- That with such a diverse student body often drawn from different disciplines and cultures, it is difficult to anticipate every potential source of discomfort for students.
- King’s does not have a policy of insisting on explicit ‘trigger warnings’.
- That the Faculty encourages staff to be clear and open about the content of their teaching so that students are sufficiently informed to make sensible choices in their modules reflecting individual circumstances.
- That where a student becomes aware that content is likely to present them with particular challenges, they are encouraged to discuss this with either their personal tutor or the module teacher in advance of the class, either to explain the situation or to agree the terms on which the student will engage with the content. There may be some circumstances where a student may need to request absence for a particular class, but this should be the option of last resort.
- That where a student has encountered material that distressed them and which was not anticipated or could not be anticipated from the description of the module and its content, then they are encouraged to let the staff concerned know so that this can be taken into consideration in the future.
- That discussion in seminars is not subject to the same degree of control and planning as material presented in a lecture; however seminars likewise have the potential to be challenging or provocative, or even to cause students distress. The seminar leader should consider if such issues are likely to arise before the class. As above, such topics should not be avoided, but rather the discussion managed properly. Particular risk to individuals should be anticipated as much as possible, and reminding participants, whether formally or informally, that discussion must be conducted in a spirit of mutual respect, and never personalised.
If students have any concerns about the content of teaching material, the module convenor or the programme convenor should be available