Student Caring - A Podcast for Professors
Join professors de Roulet and Pecoraro as they encourage professors to achieve success.
SC 163 How to Lead a Good Discussion

Teaching Techniques for Today’s Students
SC 163 How to Lead a Good Discussion

 

In the syllabus for Prof. David Pecoraro’s classes:

Discussion is a valuable and inspiring means for revealing the diversity of opinion that lies just below the surface of almost any complex issue. Although there are many ways to learn, discussion is a particularly wonderful way to explore supposedly settled questions and to develop a fuller appreciation for the multiplicity of human experience and knowledge. To see a topic come alive (The emphasis is mine) as diverse and complex views multiply is one of the most powerful experiences we can have as learners and teachers. In a discussion where participants feel their views are valued and welcomed, it is impossible to ween class sessions. – Stephen D. Brookfield 

Difficulties that we encounter:

  • You have to know where your discussion will be going before you begin or the topic will wander.
  • Our students struggle with the lost art of conversation. Daniel recommends: Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle.9781594205552
  • Most of our students know how to speak, but not necessarily converse.

How can we prepare our students for a good discussion?

  • Prepare the students for the upcoming discussion by putting them into smaller groups and give them some questions to think about. Have them write down their answers. This is followed by an all class discussion.
  • Establish some ground rules that work for you.
    • When someone is talking, you can’t talk over them. (We are also teaching our students how to listen.)
    • Whatever your opinion is, it is safe to express. “Can we all agree to that?”
    • You may disagree with the professor as long as you articulate why you disagree.
    • Always support your opinions.
    • Everybody speaks once before anyone speaks a second time.
  • The professor can act as a secretary, one who does not comment, rather moderates.

Discussions can go bad when students are not prepared with the reading or topic.

  • You need to make sure they are prepared before the discusssion.
  • One way is to ask the student to leave if they have not done the reading. (You could have a time-out!)
  • Set up a discussion board on the course management system ahead of time.
  • A key to success: Write engaging questions.

How to close out a discussion.

  • At the end of a discussion, don’t end the class. End with a reflection on what has been discussed and learned. “How were your opinions challenged?” “What perspectives do you now have?” Ask your students to write their answers down for the beginning of the next class.

Professor preparation for a discussion.

  • Take some time to pre-determine outcomes:
    • Here is where I want the discussion to go.
    • Here are the 3 things I want them to cover.
    • I want my students to get to a certain point by the end of the discussion.

If you are new to discussion teaching – FEAR NOT. Just begin and continue to fine tune as you go forth.

 

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Next: Teaching in the lab.

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Direct download: sc_pod_163.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 4:45pm PST
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SC 162 A Lecture for Today’s Students

Teaching Techniques for Today’s Students
SC 162 A Lecture for Today’s Students

Background

  • The students in our classrooms today are used to learning at a fast pace. This is evidenced by the speed that they multitask, text and learn via computers.
    • TED TALKS (Technology, Entertainment and Design) are a good example of this.
  • By November 2012, TED talks had been watched over one billion times worldwide. Not all TED talks are equally popular, however. Those given by academics tend to be watched more online, and art and design videos tend to be watched less than average. SOURCE
  • These lectures are short and entertaining. We think of these as lectures that are repackaged for the students we teach today.
  • Rethinking the Way College Students Are Taught  by Emily Hanford    It’s a typical scene: a few minutes before 11:00 on a Tuesday morning and about 200 sleepy-looking college students are taking their seats in a large lecture hall – chatting, laughing, calling out to each other across the aisles. Class begins with a big “shhhh” from the instructor.This is an introductory chemistry class at a state university. For the next hour and 15 minutes, the instructor will lecture and the students will take notes. By the end of class, the three large blackboards at the front of the room will be covered with equations and formulas.

    Students in this class say the instructor is one of the best lecturers in the department. Still, it’s not easy to sit through a long lecture, says student Jimmy Orr. “When it’s for an hour you kind of zone out for a little bit,” he says.

    Student Marly Dainton says she doesn’t think she’ll remember much from this class.

    “I’m going to put it to short-term memory,” she says. Once she takes the exam, Dainton expects she’ll forget a lot of what she learned.  SOURCE

  • OUR FEAR:  “How much will our students retain from our lectures?”
  • Students need to be reminded in different media; discussion, out of class work, and lectures, continuously.
  • Never do anything in a class for more than eight minutes without a change.

From our students perspective…

  • The attention span is not what it used to be.
  • More and more, we are in the age of multimedia.
  • Students are not necessarily taking notes when we lecture.

Constructing our lectures

  • We need to construct the class in such a way that the lecture is not the beginning and end of the information they need to learn – and communicate this to them, regularly.
  • Very carefully, come up with a plan which includes reading questions in preparation for the in class discussions and lectures. We need to get to them to that place of deeper learning.
  • In our culture, we do so much multi-media learning that merely peaks our interest (YouTubeNetflixAmazon TV) but doesn’t deepen our understanding.
  • The lecture needs to be constantly connected to what’s going on outside of class.

When you are lecturing, you need to get them involved. You are someone who is much more interesting than a text book!

  • How well are students paying attention to us during our lectures? If they are not paying attention during one part, it’s not their fault, it’s ours! Take notes after class and adjust accordingly.
  • TIP:  Analyze an excellent TED TALK and structure your lecture accordingly.
  • Humor is an excellent tool to regain their attention. It also humanizes you–again!
  • Sticking to your carefully planned class schedule doesn’t always create the deepest learning. Read the room and adjust according to the mental atmosphere of your students.

Next: A discussion on discussions.

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We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Direct download: sc_pod_162.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 9:36am PST
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SC 161 Teaching Techniques for Today's Students

SC 161 Teaching Techniques for Today’s Students

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Student Caring NEWS:

•  REMINDER:  Our book: The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective, Rewarding, and Rigorous Teaching is on sale for only $12.99 (Digital)
•  Who is this book for?
Anyone looking to learn more about teaching in Higher Education.
Anyone who needs to improve their teaching evaluations.

If you are concerned about making tenure or getting hired as a full time professor, this book is for you.
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The Directors of the Student Caring Project bring 50 years of combined classroom experience to offer new and experienced teachers ways to thrive in today’s college classroom. Pecoraro and de Roulet focus on understanding the needs and challenges of today’s students, tested methods of successful teaching and class triage, and trends in education. The goal of the book is a rewarding, effective and rigorous experience for students and professors alike.

The first section of the book, Teaching 101, looks at student-professor interactions, discussing:

  • The changing landscape of higher education and why many students feel disconnected from their educational experiences.
  • A brief outline of the expectations of students today compared to the expectations of professor’s university experiences.
  • A look at the financial landscapes that confront students and interfere with learning.
  • Academic preparedness.
  • The difficulties of teaching in a culture in which negotiation sometimes replaces hard work.
  • The importance of establishing clear and wise boundaries with students.
  • Establishing and keeping connections with students in the classroom during the semester to improve student learning.

Teaching 102 discusses putting together and nurturing successful courses based on a foundation of care for your students’ academic growth and well-being. Subjects include:

  • Intentionally setting the tone and establishing rapport instead of letting the frenetic first days of the term set the tone of a course.
  • Reinforcing tone and cementing expectations during the first course meetings.
  • The art of effective record keeping to track student progress.
  • Learning-goal-oriented course design, organization, and reflection.
  • Recognizing symptoms and causes of a class “going bad.” The need to carefully diagnose symptoms, understand student perceptions, and reactions, and see how the symptoms can negatively affect a class.
  • Changing the trajectory of a class that has gone off track. Strategies include responding early, checking in with students, not allowing the class to drift from its goals, and building a community of colleagues who are willing to discuss course remedies in confidence.
  • Ending a class well. Ways in which students can be actively involved in the end-of-term assessments of their knowledge, understanding, and skills. Preparing for a final course meeting that leaves students both clear about how the course’s goals have been met and confident in seeing how the skills of a particular academic discipline may be applied to their education.

Teaching 103 presents advanced strategies and background for addressing trends and difficult situations in education today, and for helping students succeed:

  • Classes that encourage critical thinking and introduce students to the expectations of college academic life.
  • The stages of intellectual development most students will experience, and how to appropriately move them along that continuum in preparation for college work and life beyond college.
  • Caring for students in online settings, addressing online learning’s additional challenges in knowing one’s audience, fostering community, and keeping a course on track.
  • Strategies for addressing difficult student encounters.
  • “Career Directions and Your Students’ Daily Bread” introduces students to the idea of a vocation, and discusses practical aspects of entering the work force, internships and apprenticeships, and graduate work.

 

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 Teaching Techniques for Today’s Students
– An introduction to the next five podcast topics:

  1. A lecture for today’s students
  2. How to lead a good discussion
  3. Teaching in the lab
  4. Using homework well
  5. How to manage a college field trip

 

All Podcasts via This Website

Click this Link to Subscribe via iTunes

Click this Link to Subscribe via Google Play

Click this Link to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

 

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Dr. Daniel de Roulet   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Direct download: sc_pod_161.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 10:23pm PST
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SC 160 How to be a Happier Professor

SC 160 How to be a Happier Professor
Part Two of “Getting Behind” – Prevention
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How We Can Avoid – Getting Behind:

•  Don’t answer immediately to a request for a commitment to your time. Take a day and think it over.
•  Watch out for those committee members who will assign you some work if you are not at the meeting.
•  Politely reserve the rights to your time.
•  Divide up those big piles of work into bite sized tasks.
•  Don’t try to grade all of those papers in one night!
•  Are you the type of person who feels that you work better under pressure? Be careful.
•  Viewing your upcoming week, at all times, can help you gauge your workload.
•  Sit down, once a month to take a look at the month ahead, you’ll feel more in control.
•  As a last resort, you can call in sick for a day! This can provide a much needed stress relief.

How much work do I need to do to fulfill this obligation?
•  Sometimes the amount of work you put in (comments on papers) can overwealm the student.
•  Keep the amount of work that you give people, manageable.
•  Do good work, but do reasonable amounts of work as well.

All Podcasts

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Dr. Daniel de Roulet   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Direct download: sc_pod_160.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 9:09am PST
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SC 159 Getting Behind – Diagnosis and Prescription

Notes from the Student Caring Podcast for Professors

SC 159 Getting Behind – the Diagnosis and Prescription
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Getting Behind – Diagnosis:

How can we identify when we are behind?
•  You know….   that dark feeling that comes over us when we realize that the papers are piling up.
•  The notion that we are just feeling overwhelmed and we are not sure what’s going on – dazed and confused.

TIP: Never lie to a judge when you are on jury duty. (Listen to David’s true story)

Reasons why professors can get behind.
• The rest of the university!  Those items that are not under our direct control.
• Over stuffing your syllabi to teach as much as possible.
• Saying “yes” to an additional commitment. “What was I thinking?

What can you do when you recognize that you are behind?
• Hit the pause button and take a mini retreat so you can identify your priorities.
• But, I don’t have time for a retreat! Bad sign. (You don’t want to discover yourself, looking between your feet at the cars behind you approach as you peer through the back window of the paramedic van.)
• In the David Allen book, “Getting Things Done,” he suggest doing a review, once a week.
• Sometimes we don’t want to clear our plates. After all, I am better at this than others and no, not me – I am not egotistic.
•  Ask yourself: Say, “Self, is the project really that important that I can’t give it to someone else?”
• And: “Is my teaching suffering because I am doing these other things?”
• Clear your schedule for the next three or four days.
• It is important to figure out how you got behind and put into place ways to prevent them in the future. – our next episode!

Direct download: sc_pod_159.mp3
Category:Higher Education -- posted at: 12:56pm PST
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