I read an article on the Faculty Focus new email, I get quite frequently. its focus was on the way students learn, written by Martellen Weimer, it got me thinking as I was updating my own slide set ready for Sept / Oct.
We teach, or Lecture, there is a difference, I hope I do a little of both, some days there is so much to get through, it tends to be a lecture, but as often as I can, I teach, that is I interact with the students, both during the attendance time and after.
I am currently also reading Whats the use of Lectures, by Dona;d A Bligh, it’s a little heavy in places, but worth it so far.
I care for the students, I want them to pass, but I expect some form of commitment, attendance at my lectures, come to the lectures prepared, that is having read my notes, and reading list, coming with sufficient paper pencil set, and detail paper, and a willing ness to talk.,,,,, oh and not to sit at the back so they can log onto the wifi and watch facebook or videos.
I have thought of giving a short lecture on how to learn, I wonder how many would turn up.
But back to the subject in hand, how do students learn, so far all I have commented on is my way of teaching, it seems that I should, perhaps sit back and watch how they learn, in my early years teaching, all I had to go on was my first hand experience at college, some excellent lecturers and great practical advice and training.
I would like to pass that experience on, but modern Universities seem not to have those facilities, lecture rooms or nothing. So perhaps friendly site visits are in order, at least there is a way to see a site working, but little chance to lay a brick or mix and test concrete.
Video is also a way forward, its so easy to use with electronic whiteboards and in-class projectors, but it still lacks the feel you get from doing it.
Some one once said to me teaching is easy,,,,,, how wrong they were, it’s not easy, knowing your subject is the easy part, getting it over so students learn is the hard bit, and once you loose them because your boring, thats it, finish, start again, change your ways, I can’t admit to being perfect, some days I come out of lectures with a real buzz, it’s worked, but others I feel just deflated.
Some times it in the preparation, you think your slide set works, but after, or even during the lecture, you know it’s not working.
Some lecturers it’s a class only thing, no out of class interaction, I can’t do that, Architecture and construction is hard enough, dealing with CAD and getting the materials to lay correctly is completely another thing, so I tend to say, always available and will give as much time as my good lady will allow, or you will be home on time tonight dear !, so I tend to be in Uni early to try to get that “out of class” interaction..
The ones who do interact like this, tend to be the ones who give more in the lecture, not afraid to question or ask me to stop and expand.