Invigorate Your Teaching

As we near the middle of the term, I thought I would share some ideas, which although not a SoTL paper, most of the ideas are deeply rooted in research. The 2016 article entitled, "Three Perspectives to Invigorate Your Teaching" by Evans suggest ideas, which many of us could overlook as we hyper-focus on our many faculty roles. The author's top three ideas include:

  1. Yourself as a Novice. To remember what it’s like to be a student, try learning a new skill or hobby. If this is too challenging, perhaps try to learn something for the first time (significantly outside of your area of expertise), perhaps enroll in a continuing education course. Often, we forget the type of foundational background and subsequent scaffolding needed for most learners.

  2. Know Your Students [Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions]. Offering frequent, timely communication with students about their learning can include:

  3. Formative Assessment. A quick, anonymous data gathering activity can tell you what students know, can do or want to learn and gauge their progress (Angelo & Cross (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A Handbook for college teachers. SF: Jossey-Bass).

  4. Journaling. Journaling establishes a line of communication between you and your students. This also builds their 'self-talk' skills, helpful for enhancing self-regulated learning and metacognition (Iwamoto & Hargis (2017). Self-Regulated learning as a critical attribute. International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(2).)

  5. Mid-semester Evaluations. The middle of the term is a great time to check in with your students to see how the class is going (Clark & Bekey. (1979). Use of Small Groups in Instructional Evaluation. Journal of the Professional & Organizational Development Network in Higher Ed).

  6. Instructional Support Staff. Many of you have access to a CTL, with faculty members, who have university teaching and Instructional Design (ID) experience (remember, ID is different than Instructional Technologist). The basics of a REEx backward design can be helpful:

  7. Results (Learning Outcomes);

  8. Evidence (Authentic Assessment, Measurement, Evaluation); and

  9. Active Experiences.

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