Page 18 - In_at_the_Deep_End_Document
P. 18

1. Always link lectures to assessment. Give students cues and clues about how this particular lecture ‘counts’ in due course. Whenever you say “You’ll need today’s material for exam questions like so-and-so (or for your project, or for your next coursework)” you’ll notice students’ attention and interest increases!
2. Make sure you’re both seen and heard. If available, always use voice ampli cation systems when available, as students with aural impairments may be relying on using hearing loops and other students are likely to bene t too from your increased audibility.
But avoid if possible being tied to a podium: use a radio mic if at all possible. Don’t just say ‘can you hear me at the back?’ - ask someone in the back row a question and  nd out! And don’t dim the lights too low to show your slides at the expense of students no longer being able to see you or their notes!
3. Don’t rely too much on the technology! Power cuts happen. Projectors and computers can fail. Connections can break down. Access to the internet can be interrupted. When such things happen, it’s really useful to have something else you
can do with the session without the technology - or until it’s restored. Some discussion tasks for clusters of students can be one way of keeping them busy, rather than watching you struggle with the technology.
4. Don’t keep slides up too long. Students will keep looking at the screen, even when that screen is quite  nished with. Get them to look at you now and then. Gesture, body-language, tone of voice and facial expression can all help to bring a topic to life.
5. Avoid death by bullet point. Make different slides look different - include some charts or pictures, where possible. If you’re con dent with technology, put in some optional short video clips now and then - but nothing which would matter if it didn’t work straightaway.
6. Remember kindness is important. Smile. Be human. Look at them. Some of them might feel nervous or anxious, far from their previous learning context or a long way from home. Respond to them. If they can relate to you as a person, and not just feel like an anonymous number in a mass of students, they’re more likely to come to your next lecture too.
7. Develop a positive classroom environment. A positive classroom climate feels safe, respectful, welcoming, and supportive of student learning. Developing relationships by sharing stories and experiences with the students is important. Encourage students to participate, ensure they feel safe, encourage risk-taking, encourage genuine and authentic conversation where students can make mistakes and learn from each other, foster trust and respect in a supportive way.
8. Give students an opportunity to build a relationship with you and with each other. Part of our problem in the  rst few weeks of term is getting students to attend classes, if they develop good relationships and bond with classmates this can greatly increase the chances of them attending. Providing opportunities for students to turn to and talk with each other in class gives them a chance to build relationships and ‘test the water’ so to speak in a safe manner. Putting up simple icebreakers like “Turn to the person on your left and ask them where they are living and how they travelled this morning” can be a safe way to open conversation.
9. Think of what students will be doing during the lecture.
Don’t worry too much about what you will be doing, plan to get your students’ brains engaged. Get them making decisions, guessing causes of phenomena, trying out applying ideas, solving problems and so on. They’ll learn more from what they do than from what you tell them.
10. Don’t put too much content into the lecture. It’s better to get students thinking deeply about a couple of important things, than to tell them about half-a-dozen things and lose their attention.
11. Bring in some appropriate humour. The odd funny slide, or amusing anecdote, or play on words can work wonders at restoring students’ concentration level. Students love stories! Then follow something funny up with an important point, while you’ve still got their full attention. But don’t use humour if it’s not working and be really careful it might be interpreted as sexist, racist or in other ways inappropriate, especially if you have international students for whom the humour might not translate easily!
12. Keep yourself tuned into their ‘wiifm’. ‘What’s in it for me?’ is a perfectly intelligent question for any student to have in mind. Always make time to remind students about why a topic is included, and how it will help them in due course.
13. Make the learning relevant and accessible. This continues on from the ‘wiifm’ idea.  nd out what the students know already;  nd out what the students want to learn or what they think they will learn in this course; Ask them how they have learned in the past, what teaching approach do they  nd useful. All of this will set the scene for you and the students, it is good to manage the students’ expectations also at the onset so
that they and you have a clear and collective view of what the course will entail.
14. Teach something new in the  rst class. We often start our lectures teaching the basics and this is understandable as we argue that students may not understand more dif cult concepts and we are probably right! However, the point in the  rst lecture is to keep the students’ attention and hence teaching them something new that they might not fully understand yet is important, it gives them the appetite to work and learn more
as they get a glimpse of how what they are learning can be applied.
15. Be interactive. Early-career lecturers can often feel they have
to keep talking for the full allocated period, but it’s much better to break up the time available into manageable chunks, with
a clear idea of what you expect students to be doing in any particular chunk. They might be just listening, making personal notes, re ecting individually for 30 seconds, asking or answering questions, talking to a partner, undertaking a quick quiz, applying theory to practice, checking understanding, working on a problem, reproducing a list of pros and cons and so on.
16. Start as you mean to go on. If you are going to incorporate active learning into your session, then do so in the  rst lecture. Rather than tell students what you are going to do, show students what you are going to do. Teach students what to expect from you and show them what they will miss if they miss your class - make it so they do not want to miss it!
17. Don’t over-run. At least some of your students are likely to have something else important to go to after your session, and perhaps with not much of a margin for error. If you come to a good stopping place and there are 15 minutes left,  nish with your closing section and stop. Students actually like lectures which  nish early now and then.
18. Pave the way towards your next lecture. After reviewing what students should have got out of the present lecture, show (for example) a slide with three questions which will be covered in next week’s instalment. Whet their appetites to come back.

   16   17   18   19   20