Teaching Tips

How to prepare a good syllabus

}  Instructor’s name, office number, office hours, office phone, email, name and the number of the course.

}  Prerequisite for the course.

}  Brief description of the course.

}  Learning objectives and assessment techniques.

}  Required, and recommended texts or readings.

}  Listing of the subjects to be covered.

}  Quizzes, tests, term papers, projects, assignments.

}  Grading policy.

}  Policies (attendance, incomplete, late assignments, and plagiarism).

How to handle your first day in class

}  Be warm, and be yourself.

}  Show that you are knowledgeable and confident.

}  Get acquainted.

}  Icebreakers/ humor.

}  Show your enthusiasm.

}  Show your helpfulness.

}  Explain the syllabus (make sure what will the course cover, and how this relates to other courses).

}  Have a strong command.

}  Be clear.

}  Make sure students understand what you expect.

}  Watch the time.

How to get students to read

}  Introduce the required books and that they will have to read and write response papers.

}  Explain why you chose the book and why it is relevant to this course.

}  Link class activities with the readings.

}  Frequent use of phrase like “as you read in your reading assignments today”.

}  One-minute paper to write about the most important ideas of the reading.

}  Announce that there will be a brief quiz on the assignment.

How to generate classroom discussion

}  To know how to direct conversation.

}  Friendly approach to students.

}  Learning students’ names early.

}  Facilitating the discussion.

}  Supplementing the discussion with relevant exercise and reviews.

}  Play devil’s advocate.

}  No forced participation.

}  Posting the discussion topics to the class before the class-session.

How to make great lecture

}  Organization and outlines are essential.

}  Give handouts.

}  While speaking, try to pace the speech to fit the speed of note    taking audiences.

}  Pause for clarification.

}  Include interaction techniques.

}  Repeat the key points.

}  Have a final recap.

}  Watch the time.

How to assess student learning

}  Encourage students to take an active self-reflective role in their learning.

}  Using self assessment techniques.

}  For critical reflection and self-awareness use journals and research papers.

}  Peer assessments (students evaluate one another’s work in hard copy).

}  Assessing group-work (each group members write individual reports and discuss each other papers before submitting it.

How to facilitate group/experiential learning

}  Starting discussion with the common experience of all students or an issue on campus.

}  Constructively use the disagreement method. Ask students to switch sides and arguing the opposite point.

}  Use factual questions to check background knowledge.

}  Stimulate interpretation question (how does the idea that_ apply to _?

}  If the students cannot come up with a solution, rephrase the question.

}  Causal, comparative, evaluative, or critical questions.

}  Group can be more effective if they tackle one aspect of a problem at a time (breaking a problem into sub-problems).

}  To get non-participants involved in class room discussion.

}  Getting acquainted.

}  Sitting in a circle.

}  Contributing in a problem in which they have special knowledge.

}  Asking general questions which have no wrong answers.

How to handle challenging situations in the classroom

}  Familiarize yourself with university policies.

}  Document all problems.

}  Don’t ignore the problems.

}  Make your expectations clear to the class.

}  Deal with individual problem in private.

}  Take advantage of struggles to learn.

}  Avoid taking the situation personally.

}  Avoid false assumptions.

}  Consider cultural differences.

}  Understand the source of student’s stress.