Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What I learned about teaching

Original Post: Tuesday, December 1,2009

Well, this has been an interesting second half to the online teaching course. So much to learn, so much to process and so much to do but we are done. I feel like my picture, is it the software or the printer driver I still don’t know but I am learning. The amount of information I have been exposed to and processed is really overwhelming when I think about it.

The Seven Principles For Good Practice in Undergraduate Educationby Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson was an interesting article to ready and learn to teach by. Their statement “Apathetic students, illiterate graduates, incompetent teaching, impersonal campuses-so rolls the drum-fire of criticism of higher education. More than two years of reports have spelled out the problems. States have been quick to respond by holding out carrots and beating with sticks. There are neither enough carrots nor enough sticks to improve undergraduate education without the commitment and action of students and faculty members. They are the precious resources on whom the improvement of undergraduate education depends.” is so true. When I stop and look at the students coming to the community college system and the level of math, reading and writing they are testing into it is really scary. As a faculty member this article really hit home and made me realize just how important my role is in our future.

Chickering and Gamson listed 7 principles for good undergraduate practice. They are:

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty
2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.
3. Encourages active learning.
4. Gives prompt feedback.
5. Emphasizes time on task.
6. Communicates high expectations.
7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
When I look at this list and read what is meant by each guideline and the suggestions and examples presented I realize how important they are.  Many of these I do all the time but, to see them and read about them makes them all the more important.  I don't feel like I might be able to use them,  but must use them in developing any course online or face to face.  In setting up the shell for you class, syllabi, calendar, general information, and communication section you need to utilize the 7 principles in order for the course to run smooth
and the students to be active  participants in the course.

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