Building on the work of Frank C. Pearce, who identified the seven characteristics of an effective adult educator (see post here), Colorado Mountain College (CMC) has provided a list of seven characteristics of a “good educator.” In the earlier work, Pearce stated:
The teacher’s foremost concern must be the adult student, and his effectiveness in this concern must be judged on his ability to help the student to develop and maintain self-confidence. The ideal teacher could be described as people oriented, more interested in people than things, more interested in individuality than conformity, and more interested in finding solutions than in following rules. He would be considered a mature, integrated personality that had chosen his own role and relationship to society and coveted for everyone else the same privilege.
The updated list by CMC of “A Good Educator” is as follows:
- Listens – Listening is as important as effective speaking. It is an important aspect of effective teaching because much learning takes place when the student is expressing an idea.
- Helps insecure learners – Learners who lack confidence in themselves are common in adult learning. A secure environment is important and positive reinforcement keeps the desire to learn alive.
- Uses Humor – Humor is good therapy. It puts people at ease, allows them to relax and lets tension disappear. Humor helps promote learning.
- Maintains a positive climate – By carefully bringing in each member of the group, you can create a good climate. By welcoming diversity and encouraging the expression of cultural differences, you can enhance the learning environment. By positive reinforcement and by welcoming disagreement, you can promote learning and the stimulus to learn.
- Offers a genuine friendship – This can be effective if you know your students and allow them to know you.
- Changes approaches – Using a variety of teaching methods will increase interest and help to eliminate boredom. This takes careful planning and knowledge of available resources and media.
- Gives regular feedback – This can be in the form of positive reinforcement or evaluations such as tests or oral communication. Continued feedback helps the students understand their progress and can be a tool to help you understand how well the needs of the students are being met.
Colorado Mountain College. Faculty Manual 2012-2014.
The CMC Faculty Handbook is available here.
The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and Cengage Learning recently held a webinar on using active learning in the classroom. The video is the latest in the Striving for Excellence series.
Description: During this fun and interactive webinar, participants learn icebreaker activities and active-learning strategies that increase student engagement, encourage higher-level thinking, enliven classroom discussions, and enhance learning in the classroom. Participants leave with practical strategies they can implement immediately to move students from passive observers to active participants in their education.
Shawn Orr sees some of the characteristics of the Koala in her students, and she does not want to cultivate those qualities. She is interested in turning her students into learners who more resemble Kangaroos (actually that possess the characteristics of Kangaroos). She provides eighteen useful applications for active learning techniques that you can apply to your classes. She defines active learning as anything that involves the student in their own learning. Needless to say, she does think “Koalas” are involved in the learning process.
The slide deck is available here.
[Please Note: Although there is audio, there is no video image until about the 5 minute mark in the webinar video.]
Providing students with lecture outlines provides greater student engagement than finished lecture notes or or finished presentation materials like PowerPoint slide decks. Faculty often report that they tend to stay more on track and follow a more logical order in their lectures when they hand out lecture notes to students. There is great educational value in this form of handout. Mel Silberman recommends providing prepared form or skeletal outlines that prompt students to take notes during the class. While there are a number of note-taking methods, the simplest are to fill in the blanks or fill in the outline. And, to do that you must be engaged in the class to pick out the appropriate material for those blanks.
Please Note: These lecture outlines need to be handed out in class or made available prior to the class if they are distributed though an online platform.
Mel Liberman. Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996).
Cengage Learning recently conducted two studies identify the different types of students in STEM Education and three different types of educators that teach them. Continue reading
Cengage recently posted an infographic describing what STEM students are looking for from technology. The infographic shows that students want the following things from technology:
- Help preparing for tests/exams
- Support completing required assignments
- Due Dates for assignments and exams
- To get back on track when struggling
- Personalized resources
A PDF of this infographic is available here.
The Original Cengage Learning Blog post is available here.
Essie Childers, Professor at Blinn College, made a blog post entitled “The Value of 5 Minutes” on the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Cengage Learning Striving for Excellence site and uploaded a podcast about the interviews she does with her students. She spends 5 minutes talking with each of her students during the semester. She has varied the time in the semester when she does this. She is looking to see how the students are doing, discuss their progress in her class, encourage them, and to get valuable feedback on her class. She has come to the conclusion that there are a lot of things she can do in just 5 minutes, and this is one of the most valuable.
The blog post is available here. The video is available below.