Small changes in teaching

Joanne Berry posted this interesting article about small changes in teaching practices on the Learning and Teaching in HE facebook group (well worth joining if you would like to be kept up to date on what is going around the internet about university pedagogy). It is interesting to me that two of the changes James M. Lang mentions are things that I already do at UCAS visit day and Open day talks (working the room before the talk, having a picture up for discussion in the first couple of minutes while people are still filtering in). It could well work to improve the student experience, and has parallels with the use of the 8.45-9am slot of my children’s primary school day to go over yesterday’s work and refresh the children’s memory of learning objectives (what they are trying to achieve). It does add another time requirement to already packed teaching days, but could work on the occasions where the hour before allows. As for making structures clear, that is something for which I find powerpoint very useful. But perhaps an initial slide on ‘how this lecture fits into the course’ might be something I could add. Ultimately it is all about persuading the students that the material is interesting – it is not inappropriate that we should extend the marketing tactics of open days to all our teaching. Hard to talk to all the students when you are lecturing groups of 100 to 200, though.

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