The following notes are things that are useful for me to remember or experiment with while teaching.
- Emote and use dynamic tone!
provide bonus "merit" points, as nominated by peers (e.g., for Class Tasks). (Did not work well; students tried to game/weasel.)
- experiment: provide other bonus opportunities for meaningful activities, such as getting an Op/Ed published.
- always check syllabus for next 2 weeks
- maintain ongoing list of upcoming milestones in class notes
- at the start of the term, provide prompts for readings with key questions and concepts in the syllabus
- stress I have specific expectations that are documented and part of their task is to read, comprehend, and apply them.
- do an assignment checklist before major assignment
- if I'm stuck with a required text that is lacking, rather than lament this fact, be more precise in readings, highlight the good, and supplement.
- review previous class with a quiz or activity
- start current class with learning objectives and motivating question
- tell students what they will know by end of the class
- End of class exercises (e.g., write to learn)
- provide enough time for activity debrief
- keep a running list of concepts; that are reviewed in subsequent classes (i.e., spaced repetition) and the basis for exam reviews.
- time management: declare time limit for module; ask students to remind me (e.g., "okay, let's talk about this until 11, let me know if we go over")
- before leaving unit, don't ask if there are any questions, require two questions before proceeding
- ask students to divide into teams to document concepts and questions
- present images, comics, and video clips and ask how them might relate to the topic; ask a student to document with a mindmap on the white board
- ask at least 3 open-ended or higher-order questions
- go meta, how would we even answer this question?
- challenge students: move up Bloom's Taxonomy: why, how do you know, always?
- instead of prompting student anxiety about transcribing my slides; ask for a volunteer to read aloud and highlight the relevant material in the text; this will help with the pacing.
- if on the same topic, ask student N-1 what she thinks of student N's thought
- ask students who haven't spoken yet to raise their hands.
- don't review syllabus on first day, rather get discussion and argument going; make provocative claims germane to or that preview the class content.
- set my expectations clearly at the beginning of course; touch on them in subsequent classes.
- complement with student created ground rules
- give provisional participation grade early
- encourage students to learn one another's names
- on first day do a name mnemonic (and interesting fact) exercise (e.g., "Joseph the Jedi" because I like sci-fi)
- use interesting facts as pre-class warm-up/schmoozing.
- encourage students to contribute events in the press that are relevant to the course.
- ask a student who is packing early to consult their syllabus and remind the class what is coming up next in terms of readings and due dates.
- quiz: ask students to identify main question/purpose, key concepts and cases/examples.
- "The purpose of a quiz is to prompt and test the acquisition and mastery of critical reading skills, including your ability to identify key argument(s), concepts, cases/examples, and interesting factoids that support the argument."
- note: if quizzes are intended to make sure students did the reading, if they did the reading and do poorly, they will be upset.
- experiment: ask a selection of students to front of class as a panel to facilitate discussion
- ask students who ask about material that is in the syllabus to read the syllabus and make a checklist which I will give feedback on.
- give rationale for exam: endowment, acquired, knowledge, attention, acquired skill
- use student generated exams to review
- wean them off reading prompts, ask them what do they think was important?
- ask students to include an appendix listing who provided feedback according to my assessment rubric
- ask students to reflect on how it was useful?
- permit students to elevate grade by revising and documenting changes they made for improvement.
- experiment: include composition and concision exercises on a quiz?
- have students create checklist based on rubric and specification
- ask students to reflect upon their performance (i.e., writing, participation, exam) and how they hope to do well in the future
- "What can students do to improve the class" - ProfHacker
- experiment: in addition to small surveys focused on specific issues (e.g., preferred platform for discussion or class formats) administer occasional survey replicating questions from final teacher evaluations.