Are you new to teaching college courses and lectures? Teaching at the college level can be very rewarding and more than a little daunting. Here are some tips for new professors when standing up in front of a lecture room full of students for the first time.
1. It’s OK to be nervous- Standing in front a room of people is always a bit nerve racking, but above all else you must exude confidence! Students need to know that you are an expert in your field, especially during the beginning of a semester.
2. Innovate- Sitting for two hours and listening to a lecture can be less than entertaining. More and more professors are implementing multimedia into lectures. Video, for example, will continue to play an important role in education.
3. Don’t over-prepare– Spending to much time preparing for a lesson may overwhelm you when the school year rolls around. Prepare your course outline and learning expectations early, develop an assessment standard, and take it one step at a time.
4. Be honest- If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t fuddle an answer. Instead, just say, “Let me get back to you.” You don’t want to lose credibility by giving a false answer.
Above all else make the lecture fun! Get creative in your lesson plans and make use of all resources available to you.
To find more tips for new professors and other resources, contact us at Labyrinth Learning to see how we can help you prepare for the school year.
Teaching is a complex process that entails much more than being an expert in a particular field. Teachers must engage students enough so the desired information can be transferred from the teacher to the student. This may require you to step back and evaluate your classrooms and teaching styles to determine whether or not you’re truly connecting with students.
To engage a tough student or silent classroom, utilize multiple learning styles. Most instructors teach the way they were taught, which often results in the traditional lecture hall format: teacher speaks and students listen. Unfortunately, this style only reaches the auditory learners in the room. Remember that there are seven learning styles:
Visual (they need to see)
Auditory (they need to hear)
Kinesthetic (they need to move)
Verbal (they need to speak)
Logical (need linear approaches)
Interpersonal (learns better in groups)
Intrapersonal (learns better alone)
Make sure your teaching approach alternates between different modalities to give everyone a fair chance.
Liven up your lesson plan by utilizing technology. Your students have been raised in a technologically rich environment. It is what they know and it is also their source of connection and entertainment. Take advantage of technology in the classroom to engage students and increase the relevancy of your lessons.
Reinforce old lessons on a regular basis. Students need to practice over and over. Create a curriculum in which each lesson connects to and repeats the concepts from previous lessons. It’s even better if you can create continuity between disciplines.
Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about teaching materials and software designed to engage students using technology and relevant, real-world curricula.
Online classes are creating more diverse “classrooms” than ever before. In addition to your traditional college students, class rosters may be peppered with high school students getting a head start, blue collar workers taking advantage of the flexibility of online education, or working professionals building on their current skill sets.
The right educational software. Look for software specifically designed for online classes. It provides a single destination for both students and teachers, like a veritable virtual classroom. In addition to slide lectures, blog-style announcements, and immediate updates, teachers can also create grade books, assessments and polls.
Webcams and headsets. The largest hurdle for online courses is meeting the need for person-to-person contact. Webcams can be used to make group projects, live lectures, or virtual office hours more personable. Headsets improve sound quality and allow students to attend classes or special study sessions in public places, such as libraries or coffee shops, without disturbing those around them.
Social Media. Social media platforms provide another way for you and your students to stay connected. Did you know you can set up private Facebook pages for your classes, giving students a place to discuss information and share relevant sites and links? Use a blog to keep students on track, share additional resources, or to address current course challenges experienced by their peers.
Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about eLab and other tools to equip your online classes for success.