Before the Christmas break in December 2015, a number of colleagues were invited by Dr Jane Tobbell to get together to informally discuss what they thought good teaching was. These are some of the main points that were raised that day.
- is about making students think
- enables students to ask good questions (and what constitutes a good question may depend on disciplinary traditions/methods of inquiry)
- challenges students and makes it clear what learning is and that students need to take responsibility for learning
- is about good course design – including assessment (and communication of this design to students)
- sets out clear expectations for what students can and should contribute
- creates an environment where peer learning is central and embedded
- is shaped by student feedback
There was some really interesting discussion around how you know a teaching session has been successful in terms of student learning. Some further thoughts were:
- A focus on content delivery can be counterproductive.
- Although good teaching is not about performance and entertainment it is about engaging students through enthusiasm and passion (and humour/silliness depending on the person teaching).
- Good teaching is developed by shared practice and freedom to innovate. Promoting team teaching and informal peer observation are ways to develop mentoring relationships between colleagues
- There is value in doing pre-entry and post-University research to determine outcomes
Successful teaching is about transformation not satisfaction and is therefore a matter of longitudinal effect. We all agreed that we need to think about what the things/actions/activities/reflections are that indicate transformation.
Posted by Kathrine Jensen, Research Assistant at the Teaching and Learning Institute @kshjensen