Podcast: How to Keep Your Teaching Fresh

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Magna publications released this free podcast by Maryellen Weimer called “How to Keep Your Teaching Fresh.”

Mary Ellen Wiemer, PhD, has been the editor of The Teaching Professor newsletter since 1987.  She is a professor emerita of Teaching and Learning at Pen State Burks and won Penn State’s Milton S. Eisenhower award for distinguished teaching in 2005.

Her published works include: Inspired College Teaching: A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning: Professional Literature that Makes a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 2006),  Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2002).

The practices are simple and straightforward. Most importantly, they don’t require a large investment of your time.

Dr. Weimer covers proven practices for:

  • The do’s and don’ts of implementing new teaching strategies
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of new instructional methods
  • Grading listening as part of participation
  • Ensuring students complete the readings before class
  • Reflection methods to help experienced instructors stay fresh
  • Plus, Maryellen gives you an example of an intellectually robust extra credit assignment that will help other students and save you time.

The podcast is available here: http://info.magnapubs.com/maryellen-weimer-on-how-to-keep-your-teaching-fresh


Ken Bain, Engaging Students

Ken Bain, Testing Is Better Than Rehearsing

Ken Bain discusses how formative assessment (what he refers to as “testing in a non-threatening environment”) is actually better for students than just just studying over the information repeatedly (what he calls “rehearsing”).  He points out that there is actually a large body of research supporting this.

Ken Bain, Begin With A Story

Ken Bain talks about beginning your first class with a story.  He references Professor Michael Sandel, who teaches a course on ethics at Harvard University.  Sandell’s begins his first course with: “This is a course on ethics and we begin with a story.”   A video recording of that class session is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY.

Ken Bain, Expanding Student Thinking

Ken Bain, Doing the Discipline

Ken Bain discusses the fact that we do not have to “stuff the student’s brain full of facts” before they can start “doing” the discipline they are studying.  His example is the piano teacher.  The teacher does not tell the student they cannot play the piano until they learn to play the piano.

Ken Bain, Concepts of Intelligent

Ken Bain addresses the concepts of fixed versus growth mindsets.  [Bain does not use the term growth mindset, he used flexible or expandable.]

Ken Bain, Learning for Life

Ken Bain, The First Day

Ken Bain discusses the way students tend to take a surface, strategic, or deep learning approach to learning.  According to Bain, people are most likely to take a deep approach “when they are trying to answer questions, or solve problems, that they, (the learner) have come to regard as important, intriguing, or just beautiful.”

He describes how you can use the first day of class to cultivate an interest in  your students that can lead them to taking a deep learning approach.

Ken Bain, Developing the Learning Environment