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EDCI 943: Observation #1- Spring 2017

Principles of College Teaching -EDCI 943

Observation #1 – Spring 2017

Here you and your partner can post your interview questions and the observed instructor’s responses to these questions. Please refrain from listing the instructor’s name in your post. We will discuss your observation and interview experiences during class.

5 thoughts on “EDCI 943: Observation #1- Spring 2017
  1. Ben and Esther – Observation #1

    Notes from lecture:
    – She started the classes with announcements (online quiz this week), questions on the quiz are old exam questions to help prepare students for the type of questions that might be asked on an exam
    – Provided an outline for the lecture that day. Not SLO’s but prepared students for what was to come during the lecture
    – Used videos, in-class assignments and asked questions to get interaction
    – Related the material she was presenting that day to current events

    Interview questions:
    Q. How long have you been teaching this course?
    A. Since 2004
    Q. How has the course changed since you started teaching it?
    A. She had to adjust the class to fit what a 200 level class is here at KSU. She was teaching the class at a much higher level for a class that only had a prerequisite of general psychology. The class is now an entry level course much more appropriate for a 200 level course.
    Q. What are your student learning outcomes for the course?
    A. The overarching goal for the course is to learn something that could be applied to another class or life in general. She has more specific SLO’s for each specific lecture. She also focuses on introducing students to the process of doing a literature search as well as familiarizing students to research methods used in psychology.
    Q. How do you assess your SLO’s?
    A. At the end of the course, she assigns an assignment that reflects on the entire semester. Throughout the semester, she utilizes in-class assignments and written exams to evaluate student learning.
    Q. What is your teaching philosophy?
    A. Here philosophy focused on creating building blocks for the future and engaging students. She mentioned that she had tried to use the flipped classroom some but did not have a ton of success with that. She will have students turn to a neighbor and teach each other a concept.
    Q. How do you engage your students?
    A. Today was a bad day in engaging students, but generally ask a lot of questions, using groups for the in-class assignments, and showing videos that supplement the material.
    Q. What is your note taking policy?
    A. She does not provide any of the notes online for this class, only the images she shows during class. For other classes she will provide skeleton notes but found that making the notes completely available statistically decreased test scores in her classes.
    Q. What is your policy for technology during class?
    A. Strict no cell phone policy. Students caught using a cell phone during class are deducted 15% on their next exam. And students could expect the same from here when it comes to using cell phones in the class, she would notify them if she was expecting a call during class.
    Q. Do you have any advice for future teachers?
    A. Be open to change and accept that you do not know everything. Do what fits your personality the best.

  2. Question 1: What are your broad goals for teaching in general as well as for this class?

    Answer 1: Making students aware of real U.S. history is extremely important especially because there is so much misinformation out there and so much that has been glossed over or left out. After this, showing how literature and history are intimately connected and how they work together. Pedagogically, keeping the students awake and involved is a big emphasis. Strategies to keep students involved are to keep students moving and chunking different types of activities: large group, small group, partners, class discussion, etc. Building a community is also very important so that students feel comfortable interacting with each other and so that they can all build upon each other’s knowledge.

    Question 2: What changes have you made over you time teaching this course?

    Answer 2: Less readings are now assigned so that students will be able to complete them, take ownership of the readings, and are able to discuss them on a much deeper level. Students being able to have engaged conversations about the readings is of great importance. When I started teaching, I was teaching the class as if it was a graduate level course in terms of the number of readings assigned but that caused students to be unable to complete the readings and to have only surface-level discussions of the materials.

    Question 3: What are the core assignments that make up grades for the class?

    Answer: Three short papers, about 6 or so quizzes, a midterm, a final, and a group presentation. Students are allowed to make corrections to papers to improve their grades. Quizzes are very open ended during class. Students get full credit for quizzes if they are able to demonstrate from their response that they have done the readings prior to class, however I will give quite a bit of written feedback on quizzes so that students know if they are on the right track. The presentation is very important because the students take over an entire class period and teach over a topic and readings. The students submit a plan before they teach and they get feedback long before their presentation so as to help ensure high quality.

    Question 4: How long have you been teaching?

    Answer 4: 11 years at K-State, 15 years as a professor, 6 years as a graduate student.

  3. 1. Any advice/best practices for future instructors?
    The goal of education should be motive learning and give the students why should they learn by inspiring students. Make a safe study environment and give them space to fail. We may also share some story of a “younger” me, who was stupid and give them chance to become better by dedicated study, work hard and try again.

    If you assign assignments like notebook or journal, you may want to share the students some of your notebook or journal you had when you were in college, which still benefits you in your career. This can be a proof and motive method for their study, which also gives them a WHY.

    2. How to become a “crazy” instructor?
    You first need to know yourself and know your passion and where it comes from. And your goal is to recreate the condition for your students.

    3. How to overcome your nervous?
    –“If you love your students, and they will love you back!” Think of the students and the teaching process, the time in the class is about the students’ development.

    4. The technique he shares:
    Wrapping: Since the time in class is limiting, and we, as an instructor can provide the main point, and inspire the students and guide them to study the term related to the big point.

    I really enjoy the observation call, and appreciate that we have the chance to take the observation.

  4. Question: How do you get students engaged/interested in the class?

    Answer: Big Goal and Objective (build a community), Name quiz given at the beginning of class taken like a real quiz, but not graded it is given to build a community and practice the ritual of quizzes itself.

    Philosophies: Time in the classroom is about inspiring learning rather than learning itself. Not great atmosphere for learning stuff, but creating a desire to try new things and inspire them to be a better person. Ask great questions to take with them. Help them to formulate master questions.

    Motivate the learning (Inspire them to learn a lot). This is an initiation class building community. Within lecture not a lot of memorization. Lecture is for inspiration rather than information. Bring out the big driving ideas that are exciting and make the information interesting.

    Have to inspire the practice. Making it applicable and relevant to the students.
    Find and embrace a different sub-culture of teaching that allows you to flourish eventually something that is good and is an alternative becomes the norm.

    Provide some lectures (performance), visuals/videos (videos: Handmade) and use very few words on slides.
    Wrapping: Start lecture and have 3-5 main points (Change your life ideas, ideas that stay with you forever) Provide list or text and let them know they are expected

    Every lecture: What is exciting about this for me; Show people you’re excited and inspire them to be excited to.

    Question: What methods other than exams and quizzes do you use to assess your student outcomes?

    Answer: Students do the work and then have the student do a self-grade and then TA has them do it again. Offer them a do-it again option. Give them space to fail and try again.

    Sorting theory (Med School tract)
    His theory: More mastery…show me you’re going to have to work for it, but can master this.
    Half of the grade comes from objective side compared to subjective.

    Bonfire final “Crack the Code”: Decode the final exam to have a place where they have to show up and that is where they’ll hand in their notebook. Show up at the campfire ready to discuss the final exam and turn in their journal that has reflections and assignments.

    Additional Words of Wisdom:
    Build relationships w/ students…he does lunch w/ a student every day he is available. Sign up to have lunch together and discuss big questions (no small talk allowed).

    Figure out where your passions come from and for your students to flourish.
    Try to put yourself in the mindset that it is about the student and helping them not taking things personally and being judged, its about them and their own development. Let’s you stand back and see if the class is working and treat the class as a space that exists for you to and your students to flourish in.

    Just love your audience and they’ll love you back. It’s about going out and creating an experience for them and enjoying the experience and letting the love come back.

  5. Following are the observations for Dr. Lavis teaching style:

    In class:
    • She is hands on, she prefers making theory as much as practical for students. She brings pipes, elbows, sockets etc. to the class and lets students see them and handle them.
    • She acts the lecture out. It is so fun to watch her, her enthusiasm and energy makes you stay awake in her class
    • Strongly encourages interaction in the class. Every time the way she answers the same question is different. She gives new examples every time to ensure that students understand the concept.
    • She is very patient with the students learning process and no matter how much time it takes to explain a concept, she won’t move ahead to next point till the present concept is clear to one and all.
    • She knows students by their name. This as per her makes students feel responsible for their own work.

    • Students need to know you are a human too.
    • She prefers to show students that she can forget too. Students get comfortable to ask questions when they know that it is ok to not know something.
    • Students don’t know what they need to learn and what is important. Thus it is teacher’s job to give them what they need and not let them decide what to learn.
    • She makes a summary of every module with keywords and discussion questions which she gives to the class before beginning the module. Her quizzes are based on the keywords and questions mentioned in this summary.
    • During quizzes, if a student asks a doubt, she tries to give hints. If more than one student ask the same doubt, she asks the class to stop writing and teaches that concept once again during quiz. [ Learning is more important than grades and quizzes ]
    • 1000 yard stare – she uses to define the blank expression students have on their face. This can be handled by changing your voice modulations, making jokes [on herself] moving around in the class.

    Student’s interview:
    • She is really hands on
    • She knows what she is teaching
    • She is fun to watch, she is full of energy.

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