- Prepare students – set expectations.
- Keep pre-class assignments reasonable.
- Be intentional about pre-class assignment media. If there is a reading assignment and a video, are they equivalent or do learners need to use both?
- Pre-class quiz should be conceptual, meant to ensure learners are prepared to interact in class.
- In-class activities should be aimed at higher order skills.
- Revise the assessment to steer toward integrative questions
- Show students you are invested in them as individuals
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for your material
- Prepare class materials and your plan to navigate the material ahead of time
- Organize your room to foster discussion and collaboration
- Set expectations with your group
PEARLS—MANAGING THE CLASSROOM
- Facilitate discussion rather than lecturing
- Redirect questions you receive to the group
- Plan questions and questioning strategies
- Allow students ample time to respond to your questions
- “The Dominating Student”: Redirect, avoid engaging, reiterate all expected to participate, meet privately
- “The Quiet Student”: Ask a question you know they know, pair-share, reinforce contributions, meet privately
- Plan use of the white board—sketch it out—use a “parking lot”, note key points.
- Ask students for feedback before the end of the course.
» Facilitating Small Groups—Summary (PDF)
- Learner-centered teaching is an approach that seeks to develop independent learners by encouraging students to become aware of how they are learning and to make learning skills something they want to develop.
- Learner-centered teachers are guided by 2 questions: “How can I best promote learning?” and “How can I balance guidance and independence?”
- The critical features of learning can be grouped into Skill (content), Will (motivation) and Meta-skill (learning strategies).
- The goal of education should be shifting students’ expectations for external guidance (from the teacher) to achieving self-guidance (by the student alone).
- We can balance the friction between guidance and independence through shared guidance - maintaining a dialogue with students that allows us to adapt our instruction to their individual needs.
- Be timely with written feedback
- Consider the learning outcomes and expectations of both the program and the learner
- Begin with a brief summary
- Focus on no more than three areas of improvement
- Include reasonable detail for the learner to act on
- Echo what has already been discussed verbally
- Create a balance between appreciating, coaching and evaluating
- Suggest a plan for improvement with the learner
- Establish feedback as an expected, frequent educational routine
- Link feedback to the learners’ goals and to external objectives
- Observe with efficiency—short, targeted observations for data collection
- Focus on specific, modifiable behaviors
- Conduct timely conversations
- Utilize ADAPT: Ask–Discuss–Ask–Plan Together
- Plan future performance improvements
- Test items should map to specific course objectives and should focus on important concepts.
- Items should assess application of knowledge, not recall of isolated facts.
- Item stem/lead-ins must pose clear and focused questions.
- Avoid trivial or overly tricky/complex questions.
- Avoid technical flaws that cue students to the correct answer, or introduce irrelevant difficulty.