In a Journal of Engineering Education article (referenced below), Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent propose an instructional model that promotes the intellectual development of science
What are makes an effective teacher?
This particular list of characteristics appears in an excellent book that is all but unknown in the states, Learning to Teach in Higher Education, by noted scholar Paul Ramsden.
At the end of English composition, I ask students how what they’ve just learned in my class might be useful in their other classes. They’re often bemused and surprised to learn that professors in other courses care about their writing. To encourage them to take responsibility for succeeding in their future writing assignments, I hand out a list of 20 questions that they might ask to better understand “what the professor wants,” and thus continue to apply what we’ve been practicing.
Interested in a good example of how teaching, student scholarship, and service can be integrated into a single activity? Cecilia Shore [reference below] suggests that mentorship of undergraduates doing scholarship (be it research in labs or bibliographic searches) may just be that example.
It’s not easy to get unanimous agreement on anything these days, but on this most educators can agree:
- An instructor’s personality impacts student learning;
- More is learned in a class than just course content; and
- It can be difficult to show your personality in an online course.
As a former editor in the business profession and now educator, I see connections between business and classroom best practices, especially applying professional development plans and performance reflection exercises as academic learning agreements in order to promote student leadership and engagement.
Student participation is perhaps the biggest challenge of teaching online courses, says Deborah Raines, professor and director of the Accelerated Second-Degree BSN Program at Florida
“There is no personal interaction between student and teacher…the spontaneity of teaching is lost…the only rapport exists in exchanging bits and bytes of info.”
Perhaps you’ve heard someone make this objection to online learning? Or even uttered it yourself?
My answer to this is very simple: hogwash.
I’m not sure how to say this without appearing either arrogant or ignorant, but I have discovered that there is a difference between being a police officer and being a professor. I have recognized the difference for some time now, but it has taken me the better part of my 40 years as a college professor to feel fairly comfortable in my new skin.
On top of everything college faculty are responsible for, there’s one that may be easy to overlook or even deem as unnecessary: Teaching students how to be students. Do so at your peril because most students need a little help understanding and practicing the skills and behaviors they need to succeed.