Teaching Notes: August 2007 Archives

Instructor: Teach Thyself

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I'm prepping for a course (along with many other of my ITS collegues) and I'm noticing with a certain amount of chagrin how hard it is for me to break free of the old lecture model. If I'm an instructional designer and am stuck in this mind set, how hard is it for other instructors to move beyond the lecture model they grew up with?

But I am starting to rethink my methods

* At one point I was trying to figure out to explain a bunch of new vocabulary terms for students, some of which are actually categories. And then I remembered this thing called the CONCEPT MAP which lets you show relations between different items (such as categories). This is the semester I finally opened Omni Graffle and created a concept map for a class I teach. I even did it twice!

* Then I was trying to explain different tongue positions for different sounds (it's a linguistics course). I had done these images for a homework assignment last time, but what about INCLUDING IMAGES IN THE LECTURES? Oh my goodness, that might actually help student visualize the concepts.

* And last night, I was fretting that my lecture notes on dialect differences and was so long, I might not be able to have my students do some practice readings from some cool phonetic transcripts I found. But then it occurred to me...why don't I skip some of the details in class and jump into the practice exercises and discuss features as we encounter them. Maybe it would put the information in context. Maybe the students could read the rest before or after class. Could this be JUST IN TIME LEARNING or AUTHENTIC LEARNING?

This last one I am curious about since many students prefer a structured presentation, but I think the reading weird accents aloud might be more entertaining than my usual lecture.

This instructional design stuff is really very exciting when you think about it. I hope the students appreciate it as much as I do.