From: on behalf of Karina Leonard []
Sent: August 13, 2007 10:13 AM
To: All_faculty
Subject: [All_faculty] 10 Tips for Teaching More Effectively and Spending Less Time Doing It

10 Tips for Teaching More Effectively and Spending Less Time Doing It:

Please be advised that the following information is based on the notes that I took at a presentation given by Prof. Virginia Nixon on  May. 15th, 2007.  Permission was granted to distribute this information.

1.) Reduce concepts to simple schema & imbed them in narrative and in  
                For example: 'Rupert the Bear' can be understood at several levels; 
                the pictures, the captions, and/or the full text.
Develop a five point checklist (means of analyzing the text/[piece of art]etc.)

2.) Keep readings short (max. 2 pages) Explore the literal meanings of the readings & expand upon the reading skills of your students.

3.) Grading: Consider the following: 1 long paper (6-8 pages - to be conceptualized as summarizing a thesis - lots of content but fewer words, you might also consider having students make pamphlets instead of papers, which are heavy on content in a concise way), 4 Tests (best 3 out of 4, using short answer questions, 1 longer interdisciplinary question) - provide students with a sheet letting them know what to expect, consider having students mark each others' work [be sure to have the marker write his/her student number on the test], 1 oral presentation (stagger presentations throughout the term - mark as you go - offer 5% bonus to first 2 presenters, incorporate student feedback), assignments (see #5).

4.) Peer Editing:  Have students edit each others work in class. Give them the same rubric you will grade from and have them use it to evaluate each others' work.  Have them include it with their final copy.

5.) Have assignments build on each other.  Have students come up with a research question near the beginning of term and design assignments around this theme, so that the final long paper/assignment demonstrates how this idea has been developed through class discussions, and mini assignments along the way.

6.) Let students do the work: Give assignments to students in pairs based on the development of concept maps, graphs, diagrams, metaphors/analogies to explain concepts and explain them to the class.  Be prepared to make supplemental commentary.

7.) If students complain about their marks, they must write a paper discussing how their work conforms to the specifications and submit it to you.

8.) Feedback on papers: 1.) A positive comment 2.) 1-2 things that need work 3.) Something you found interesting 4.) Statement: If you would like more feedback, please come to see me during office hours.

9.) Use the local and the particular:  Wherever possible, take students out of the class to examine their surroundings as it relates to your subject.

10.) Develop a late policy, introduce it at the beginning of term and stick to it. (Some examples:  1.) Students can submit one late assignment [up to one week] only.  Further late assignments result in a mark of zero. 2.) Students can submit late assignments (up to one week) but can not get a higher mark than the lowest mark earned by the students who handed the project in on time.)

Karina Leonard
Educational Consultant in Instructional Development
Office of Instructional Development
514-931-8731, ext. 1409