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Efficient, Effective Teaching

Students learn best when they actively participate in the learning process, when they are engaged and motivated to learn, and when they can build on their existing knowledge and understanding (NRC, 2000). New faculty members are most successful when they work moderately, even on their teaching (Boice, 2000 ). The pages and resources below will help you to become an effective teacher, efficiently.

Jump down to Effective Course Design * Teaching Efficiently * Building Your Teaching Case for Tenure * Learning Styles * Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit * Teaching Large Classes * Keeping Research Seminars Lively and Engaging * Assessing What Your Students Are Learning


Students in Carol Ormand's Structural Geology course measure folds in the southern Appalachians. Photo courtesy of Carol Ormand.

Effective Course Design

Effective teaching begins with effective course design. Effective course design takes advantage of the growing body of research about how people learn.


Teaching Efficiently

As a relatively new faculty member, you may find yourself spending every available minute on teaching. Good news: there are proven, effective methods you can implement to become more efficient in the time you spend on teaching-related tasks.


Building Your Teaching Case for Tenure

As you begin your career in academia, be sure to document your teaching successes, while also reflecting on those areas of your teaching you would like to improve. If you are on the tenure track, your teaching development over time will be an essential component of your tenure case.


Learning Styles

Every individual has learning style preferences, and most of your students probably have learning styles very different from yours. Understanding the variety of learning styles present in your classroom is essential to addressing those learning styles effectively. Learn about several spectra of learning styles and how to use them to your advantage.


Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. While most students learn best through active participation, most of us have been taught primarily through lecture. Learn how to incorporate active learning strategies into your teaching, in the classroom and beyond.


Teaching Large Classes

New professors are often assigned to teach large enrollment, introductory level lecture classes. Use proven techniques to gain and keep your students' attention, make technology work for you, and get students to work effectively in groups.


Keeping Research Seminars Lively and Engaging

All too often, research seminars fail to live up to their potential for lively, intellectually engaging discussions about exciting research projects. By applying active learning methodologies in graduate-level appropriate ways, all of the seminar participants can be engaged in a discussion about the day's topic.


Assessing What Your Students Are Learning

To be an efficient, effective teacher, you need to know what your students are learning, as well as what they are struggling with. Assessing their learning, early and often, allows you to attend to any difficulties, or any misconceptions, as soon as they arise, before they become impediments to future learning.



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