TEI Launches with Presentation on Engaging Students
The college’s new Teaching Excellence Institute (TEI) launched Jan. 20 with a presentation by Erik Christensen on “50+ Ways of Enhancing Student Engagement in the Classroom and Online.”
The program lived up to its title, as Christensen threw out technique after technique that he uses to motivate his students and solicit feedback about their understanding of course materials and the effectiveness of his teaching style. Although some of these techniques were gleaned from professors across the nation, most came from day-to-day trial-and-error or, as Christensen put it, “by throwing things out there and finding out what sticks.”
What doesn’t stick? Windy lectures and wordy PowerPoint presentations that stupefy students into a haze of complacency and disinterest. What does stick? Activities that balance lectures with interactive learning exercises, that clearly relate to the real world, and that foster relationships between students, their peers, and their instructor.
“Lecturing alone reinforces the negative views students have of the classroom,” Christensen emphasized. “Students resort to academic bulimia, and memorization is boring. They don’t want to be told. They want to be engaged.”
Christensen’s complete PowerPoint presentation and handout materials are available on the R: Drive, in the folders “Teaching Excellence Institute” and “Engaging Students – Christensen.”
The TEI offers workshops that are open to all college employees who have instructional responsibilities. As part of SFCC’s Guide to Personal Success (GPS), these workshops ensure that instruction in the First-Year Experience (FYE) Seminar is consistent between instructors and that instructors teaching the course will be well versed in current methods of active student engagement. The workshops provide participants with tools and opportunities to enhance their teaching, learn about the latest pedagogical strategies, apply theory into practice, and share best practices.
TEI continues on Feb. 17 with “Facilitating Effective Classroom Discussion” by Dr. Theresa James and Adam Martin and “Think Critically! Strategies and Resources for Developing Critical Thinking Skills.” Room locations and meeting times will be announced at a later date. To register for workshops, call Joann Kramer at ext. 7104. For more information about teaching the FYE Seminar, contact Dr. Chris van der Kaay at ext. 7413.