Week 15 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

Welcome to Week 15!  

How can I maintain high expectations for all students?

  • Write course learning outcomes that focus on the four highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy to have students apply, analyze, create, and evaluate information.  Research shows that when learning is focused on memorization and understanding, students do not retain the information and are not able to transfer it to other courses and situations.  See Outcomes_Characteristics for information about writing outcomes and/or see this course-design tutorial: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/coursedesign/tutorial/overview.html ​
  • Choose course learning activities and assessments that have students practice the higher-level skills in your learning outcomes.  For example, if you want students to analyze information by comparing and contrasting, use class activities that help students practice comparing and contrasting.  Join us for an excellent course design webinar 3-4 pm on 12/15 (see below).  For more information about integrating course components, use this guide: http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf
  • Try to move lower-level learning to out-of-class learning so that students are watching, listening, and reading outside of class.  Then, use more class time for them to reflect, draw, construct, do, etc. when they have the support of you and your classmates.
  • Write your syllabus and course policies that provide flexibility for all students but that keep you from needing to make exceptions to your policies, weighing excuses, etc.  Examples include dropped scores, “coupons” for a certain number of late scores,” one make-up exam for all students at the end of the class, an optional assignment or exam that students can use to replace a missed score, choices of assignments (e.g., complete three out of five).
  • Some reasons students do not complete assignments on time include misjudging how long it will take or not feeling confident in their abilities.  Including small, spaced assignments can help to develop skills and keep students on task.  For example, if you have a project at the end, have students turn in topics, resources, thesis statements, resource summaries, citations, drafts, etc. and include self, peer, and/or instructor feedback.

What is good teaching?

Last year, we used the Teaching Tips to go through Chickering and Gamson’s 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education and Ken Bain’s book “What the Best College Teachers Do” (based on Dee Fink’s summary).  At the May all-faculty session, we reviewed these summaries and introduced a table of “Common characteristics of culturally responsive and competent educators.”  In each of the remaining Teaching Tips emails this semester, we will focus on one of the six parts of the table and look the overlap between these three documents.  We will then look at ways in which we can improve our courses this semester and as we look forward to future semesters based on these summaries.

Common characteristics of culturally responsive & competent educators 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education What the Best College Teachers Do
Maintaining High Expectations for All Students:

“High expectations and high standards are set for all students.  Remedial work for students is not acceptable.  Activities are designed to foster higher-order thinking.

See above for ideas to help with this.

  • ​Communicates high expectations
  • Formulate good learning goals: (1) more than learning the content, (2) full range of Fink’s taxonomy (and Bloom’s taxonomy)
  • Integrate the course activities well: connect out-of-class learning with in-class learning

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