TA/GA ISW December 2014

Congratulations to the graduates of the TA/GA ISW for December 2014!
ISW Group Photo
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During the course of the ISW, the following ideas were generated during discussion:

What is effective teaching?

  • Active learning
    • Engaging students by asking questions
    • Activities – group work, one minute papers, etc.
  • Well-structured, organized, following a step-by-step order
  • Using different delivery methods
    • Student presentations, slides, white boards
  • Accommodating different levels of learning
  • Student-centred
  • Clearly defined expectations
  • Clear classroom policies
  • Fun
  • Clear learning outcomes
  • Continuously checking student understandings
    • Questions, quizzes during lectures
  • Reiterating points/summarizing learning
  • Sharing slides or notes from class
  • When giving feedback:
    • Providing a breakdown of marks, providing students with comments
    • Providing students with relevant resources, references, places to improve themselves
    • Appreciating what was good about an assignment or presentation
    • Providing timely feedback
    • Giving students a rubric to show how their marks are determined
    • Following a scaffolded feedback cycle
    • Being fair, consistent and constructive
    • Being open to feedback from students – not defensive

How do you know when students are engaged?

  • Asking questions
  • Not distracted by technology
  • Participating in class discussions
  • Successful in pre/post assessment
  • Poster/facial expression – body language
  • Catch instructor’s mistakes
  • Answer assessment questions as expected
  • Not sleeping, alert

Activities to Engage Small Classes

  1. Calling students by their name
  2. Asking questions
  3. Forming discussion groups
  4. Quizzes
  5. Encouraging participation with words like “Great,” “Perfect,” “Very good.”
  6. Icebreakers
  7. Value lines.

Activities to Engage Large Classes

  1. Think/Pair/Share
  2. One minute papers or other deliverables created in groups. These can be assessed by TAs or through peer evaluation
  3. Learning Management System – quizzes, surveys, discussion board questions
  4. Group work in Google Docs
  5. Clickers
  6. Social Media – Twitter, Facebook

Strategies to Encourage Reflection

  1. Blog
  2. Twitter
  3. Small projects
  4. Presentations
  5. Bonus marks
  6. Weekly readings to encourage discussion
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