Week 16 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

Welcome to Week 16 and the last week of classes!  

Ideas for the last week of class​

  • Remind students of the date and time of your final exam (our final exam are scheduled during normal class time during finals week) and final due dates.
  • Talk to your students about when you hope to complete grading and when you will be available during finals week and after the end of the semester.
  • Have students attend the Always Lost: A Meditation on War exhibit that will be on our campus from Dec 15 – Jan 23; hosted by Student Life and the MCTC Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee. For background on the exhibit itself, please see HERE and HERE.
  • Use a survey or writing/discussion exercise to help students reflect and to provide feedback to you for the class.  Some ideas for questions  : Course_Reflection_Questions
  • Instruct students to write a letter to students who take your class in the future including strategies they used when they struggled in your class.
  • Direct students to create a final-exam study guide as teams within class.  For example, each team could be assigned a chapter or Unit, then study guides could be passed to other teams for additions and corrections.  Creating a study guide could also be an individual out-of-class assignment.
  • Have students write possible final-exam questions.  This could be written individually or in teams in class then passed around (instruct students to NOT write their names then use the “pass-pass-pass” activity where students randomly pass the questions around the room until you say stop, similar to musical chairs then repeat).  Exam questions could also be written as an out-of-class assignment and posted to a D2L Discussion forum so students could use them to practice.  Reading the questions will give you feedback about student learning, and you could use the best ones on your final exam.
  • Provide time in class for students to talk about which classes they will take next semester or what they will do next.
How can I view culture as an asset to academic learning?

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
Viewing Culture as an Asset to Learning: “Bridges are built between academic learning and students’ prior understanding, knowledge, native language, and values.  Culture and native language (and cultural dialect) are valued and used as assets in learning, rather than deficits. ‘Empower students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically using cultural references to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes’ (Ladson-Billings, 1995).

See above for ideas to help with this.

  • ​Respects diverse talents and ways of learning
  • Incorporate Big Questions & stories into structure and content of course
  • Adjust the course to deal effectively with students’ prior knowledge, prior learning patterns, students’ expectations of the course, etc.

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