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In my experience, there are three kinds of teachers in college: (1) super-committed educators who prepare for courses meticulously and seem baffled that anyone else can go into a classroom without having done 20+ hours of prep, (2) educational minimalists who seemingly start thinking about the day’s material 10 – 15 minutes before class begins, and (3) the spookily productive who seem both deeply committed but utterly stress free when it comes to teaching, and who — as far as I can tell — seem to spend just a little more time preparing than their minimalist counterparts. Since you’re reading this blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you aspire to be in category (3). In the remainder of this post, I’m going to reveal and unpack a pedagogical tip that will move you one step closer to that goal.

I first started thinking about drawing on existing educational resources when my wife, who is a second grade teacher, introduced me to “Teachers Pay Teachers,” a platform where primary and secondary school educators sell and share resources they’ve created for their own classrooms. My first thought was, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a platform for college educators?!” Well, it turns out, there is something like it — platforms that collect and curate “Open Educational Resources,” materials that have been created for college coursework with the idea that anyone anywhere can access and use them for free. (Thus, these resources don’t include things like trademarked images, and use Creative Commons or public domain materials.) Merlot II is one such platform. Other, similar sites, include OERCommons, OEConsortium, Open Textbook Library, and OpenStax.

A second type of online resource that can help you cut down prep time is what I’m calling “educational reviewers.” There are a number of people who spend vast amounts of time and effort sifting through all the technological educational resources that are being released on an almost daily basis, and their reviews can introduce you to effective new tools and help you avoid wasting time on ineffective or glitchy tools. One of my favorite educational reviewers is EduFlip, which also has a YouTube channel devoted to helping educators use technological resources to create “flipped classrooms” (a concept they also introduce on their website if you are unfamiliar with it). Similarly, ProfHacker is a blog that regularly hosts discussions of up-to-date pedagogical tools, techniques, and theories.

The teaching tip above is a example of the generally good idea to “work smarter, not harder.” There are only so many hours in the day, and you’re just one person with certain pedagogical strengths and weaknesses. It helps to remember that you can leverage your strengths and help neutralize your weaknesses by finding and utilizing resources in the broader community of higher-ed.

 


Thanks to Chris Clark for pointing me toward several of these resources, and to Chris and Kristi Rudenga for suggestions on a draft of this post.

At the start of the semester, we give our students a lot of information to help them succeed in our courses.  We distribute and explain syllabi, we introduce ourselves and our academic backgrounds, we share helpful outside resources with our students, and many of us distribute tips for success in the course.  But communication at the start of the semester should go in both directions.  What can you do to learn about your students academically and personally?

 

  1. Collect surveys

Collect surveys to learn information about your students.  One question you should always include is “Is there anything else you’d like me to know about you?” This space allows students to share their particular experiences, circumstances, or struggles with you, if they so wish.  In addition, you might ask about students’

  • Personal background
  • Past experience in the discipline
  • Expectations for the course
  • Interest in the subject or discipline
  • Concerns about the course
  • Career or personal goals
  • Outside interests or hobbies

Tailor your survey to target the information you find useful.  You can find an example student survey on p. 11 of this handout.

I read through my surveys on a few different occasions, with my Online Photo sheet out in front of me.  (Find Online Photo on InsideND or ask the primary instructor of your course if you do not have access).  This strategy of matching students’ names and faces with some personal details is one of the best ways I’ve found to learn student names.  See more of our suggestions on learning student names here.

 

  1. Ask what students expect from you

I make talking about expectations a two-way conversation when I introduce my syllabus. I begin by asking what students expect from me.  (Hint: The most common thing I hear is the desire for clarity in my expectations and communication.)  We then talk about what I can do to meet those expectations.  Often, I can explain how I then explain how my policies address their concerns.  Occasionally, it requires us together thinking about how we can address a problem. Be transparent with your students about what you can and cannot change.  Be willing to experiment or make small changes.

Even if you have already talked about your syllabus, you can still ask students about their expectations.  You might plan to address or re-address student concerns at timely moments in the upcoming weeks, such as before the first exam or the first time you have a difficult discussion planned.

 

  1. Collect written work

Collect a short piece of low-stakes or no-stakes work, such as a pretest, short paper or written reflection, from students in the first week or two of the semester. Choose an assignment that incorporates the kinds of skills students will be using and building on throughout the semester. Seeing what the students produce will help you diagnose common strengths or weaknesses, allowing you to target later lessons to your students’ needs.  In the event any of your students have major problems, such as missing requisite skills for the course, you can get them connected to the necessary resources immediately.  For more on the benefits of assigning work early in the semester, check out this previous post on the topic.

 

Learning about your students not only provides you with information you need for a successful semester, but it also helps your students feel welcomed and valued in your classroom.

Once the semester has ended and you have had time to rest and recover, go back to any notes you have made throughout the semester, as well as student comments on the course. Make sure to make any necessary changes to assignments or other documents as soon as possible so you don’t forget to do so later.

When you being to plan the next semester’s course, use the feedback you have collected to think more consciously about your course goals. Make sure that your course goals are clear and realistic, and that they are varied in terms of skill level. Bloom’s taxonomy (featured below) is a helpful tool for creating a diverse set of course goals.

 

 

 

Of course, your goals will vary widely depending on the type of class you’re teaching.  A general rule of thumb is to articulate  one or two course goals corresponding to the lower tiers (remember, understand, apply) of Bloom’s taxonomy and one or two course goals at the higher levels (analyze, evaluate, create).  Below are some examples of course goals from two different disciplines:

 

  • Intro to Chemistry: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Identify components of chemical formulae
  2. predict simple chemical formulas and geometries.
  3. understand the reasoning for the periodic table’s structure as well as be able to predict trends involving ionization energies, electron affinities, and other chemical properties.
  4. be able to describe and solve problems involving the ideal gas law and simple thermodynamic relationships.

 

  • Writing and Rhetoric: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Identify rhetorical strategies and understand the way they are used in our everyday lives.
  2. Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of textual and visual arguments.
  3. Create your own visual and textual arguments that demonstrate an awareness of your audience and effectively construct a truth about yourself and/or the world using rhetorical techniques.

 

The idea is to make sure that students are being challenged to tackle difficult problems and questions but that they also have basic knowledge provided by the lower level learning goals in order to accomplish these higher level tasks. After you have created your course goals, you can begin planning lesson plans and assignments around them.

This blog post is a preview of what will be covered in The Foundations of Teaching workshop series next semester. If you are not already on our mailing list, please email kaneb@nd.edu in order to sign up so that you are notified when workshops are open for enrollment.

 

Further Reading on Backward Course Design

Jo Handelsman, Sarah Miller, and Christine Pfund, Scientific Teaching

Therese Huston, Teaching What You Don’t Know

Adapted from the Kaneb Center workshop titled “Building Better Bookends: Making the Most of the First and Last Days of Your Class”. This workshop was offered by Kristi Rudenga, Assistant Director of the Kaneb Center on November 15, 2017.
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“For many, the last day of class comes and goes without ceremony, yet it provides an opportunity to bring the student-teacher experience to a close in a way that students appreciate and enjoy” (Lucas and Bernstein, 2005).The last day of class is the favorable time for students to reflect on what they have learned so far. So it’s important to have a good closure for courses so that students can synthesize and retain the knowledge they have gained thus far.

Below are a variety of useful techniques that can make sure that the last class day is a finale and not a fizzle.

[1] Reinforce long-term learning

  • Revisit course goals
  • Suggest strategies for effective studying for final
  • Activity:
    • Working in pairs, have students answer: “You’ve got an interview for your dream job. The interviewer, who may become your boss, is looking at your transcript and says, ‘Oh, I see you took “insert course name”. Tell me what you learned in that course.’”
    • Refine your answer together and share as a lead-in to a class discussion and review of important concepts

[2] Reflect on content and process

  • Ask for some reflection as preparation for last class
    • Activity: ask students to share a “Performative Reflection” (Hull), in any format other than an essay, with the rest of the class.
  • Have students write letters to future students
  • Collect feedback for yourself: Discuss aspects of the course that were most and least conducive to learning.

[3] Make large-scale connections among course topics

  • Spend time explicitly building connections
  • Activity: Minute thesis:
    • Develop brief theses connecting different aspect of course content
  • Activity: Connections Web
    • As a class, determine 3-4 main themes that ran through the whole class.
    • Distribute a circle of course topics; Have student pairs draw and label as many connections as possible on paper circle
    • Take turns sharing connections on a blackboard with brief explanations
    • Have each student write a way they saw themes play out on a color-coded sticky note
    • Stick notes on the topic they refer to.

[4] Make large-scale connections with other classes, life, and careers

  • Ask students to situate skills and content from your course within their larger curriculum and goals
  • Point them to resources that may serve them well in the future
  • Activity:
    • Have students create concept maps of what they know in their major so far, highlighting contributions of the current class

[5] Bid Students Farewell

  • Thank them for their engagement
  • Acknowledge what you’ve learned from them
  • Don’t be afraid to show emotion if you’re so inclined
  • Time of celebration and ritual

Citation
Lucas, S. and Bernstein, D. (2005). Teaching Psychology: a step by step guide. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Further Reading
[1] Love, B. (2013). Finishing Strong: End-of-Class Review to Improve Relationships, Measurement, and Learning Outcomes. College Teaching 61: 151-152.
[2] Uhl, C. (2005). The last class. College Teaching 53(4): 165-166.
[3] Maier, Mark H. and Ted Panitz. “End on a High Note: Better Endings for Classes and Courses.” College Teaching 44.4 (1996): 145-148.

The following post is by Michael O’Hare, and it was posted on April 6, 2016 on the Berkeley Center for Teaching & Learning website http://teaching.berkeley.edu<http://teaching.berkeley.edu/> . This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License 2013 (may be reproduced with credit for non-commercial purposes.<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en_US> Michael O’Hare’s blog: http://www.samefacts.com/

Adapted from “Tomorrow’s-professor” Digest, Vol 113, Issue 2

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This note describes a method for critiquing student work that greatly increases the efficiency of the process compared to written comments.  I discovered it by accident, when I graded a bunch of papers on a portable dictating machine while traveling, back in the day when professors didn’t have laptops but did have assistants. I gave the tape to my assistant to transcribe. I asked the next day whether she had finished, and she said “Are you kidding? Do you know how long this is?” The updated system described here has the advantage of using a technology familiar to students (mp3 audio).  An intermediate stage involved cassette tapes that were tedious to keep track of and exchange.

Process:

(1) Obtain a headset such as you would use for Skype (earphones and a mic).  Also get this software http://stepvoice.com/index.shtml   (windows only) or this  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ <http://audacity.sourceforge.net/%20%0D (mac or  windows).  The voice recorder that comes with Windows is pretty rudimentary and makes only .wma files, which are less widely used than mp3?s. Here is a page of options for Mac audio recording – http://techchannel.radioshack.com/make-voice-recording-mac-1621.html

(2) Invite submissions in MSWord (or on paper); pdfs are quite tedious to annotate and almost impossible to edit (unless you use PDF Annotator<http://www.pdfannotator.com/> or an equivalent, with a tablet screen you can write on).

(3) Start a memo of general comments, with numbered entries.  It should begin with “Comments on your paper are on the attached mp3 files and keyed to letters on your original.  Listen to file 1 first. GN refers to something in this memo, RN to the Rhetoric Note distributed earlier.”

(4) Open student Smith’s paper and turn on Track Changes.  Under Track changes/Change tracking options, switch the colors for inserts and deletes to blue or green, anything but red (grownups do not write on other grownups’ work with a red pen,; it’s affectively very bad).  (Option: if you like to work from a paper draft, you may of course just write on it, edit with proofreader’s marks, etc.)

(5) Set the recording software to mono and a low bit rate, for smaller files.  Start a new file, which will be called  smith2.mp3 . Say  “Hi, Georgia. These are thoughts on your paper draft that came to me as I read it”, then pause the recorder.  Annotate the student paper with edits to the text as you see fit, to illustrate rhetorical issues and the like. But when you want to make a substantive comment, just put a key letter in the student paper (A, B, C, etc.) and dictate “At letter A: this is an interesting insight. Can you apply it also to your second alternative policy?”, “At letter B: shouldn’t the predominance of poltergeist manifestations  have been mentioned earlier?” etc.

(6) After a few papers, you will have found that some comments apply to many; put these in the general comment memo, and then you just have to highlight or circle text and write “GN3”

(7) When you finish a pass through the paper, you have three options; the important thing is to be sure the student hears your general comments, which must begin with something positive, first.  Your passim observations will mostly be critical or questioning. Of course if you can catch students doing specific things right and (i) say so  (ii) say what it is, not just “good” in the margin, It’s valuable; I don’t do enough of this and am trying to  teach myself to do more.

  1. Type or write a few lines of overview evaluation at the beginning of the draft.
  2. If using Stepvoice, which doesn’t allow you to insert, start a new file, called smith1.mp3 and dictate overview comments.  End it with “now listen to the other mp3 file for specific comments keyed to letters in your draft.”
  3. If using Audacity, you can insert the general comments at the beginning of the mp3 file.  You can also open the first-pass mp3 file from Stepvoice in Audacity to do this, but then you have to resave it as an mp3.      

(8) Return the annotated Word file (or the scribbled paper copy) and the mp3 file[s] to the student, the mp3s as email attachments.  Students are quite accustomed to dealing with mp3 files.

Technical notes:  Stepvoice has VAS, which starts recording when you speak and stops when you are silent. This saves a lot of mouse clicks recording and pausing, and avoids long silences when you forget to pause;

Compared to comments on a final paper at the end of the course, I’d say it’s about twenty times as valuable per minute invested, especially effectively, because negative comments on a finished paper are just lost chances for the student to regret, but on a draft they are opportunities to seize.

With this semester quickly nearing its end, the Thanksgiving weekend offers a moment to reflect:  How have your classes been going lately?  Whatever your answer, you still have time to make some changes to end the semester on a high note.

  1. Flip back through your teaching notes. What were your learning goals, and have you stuck to them? Have you consistently focused on your course themes? Did you get back around to topics you promised your students you would cover? (If you haven’t been writing exam questions throughout the semester, this exercise can also be a chance to get a start on writing that final.)

    While you are looking back through papers that you gathered this semester, review notes and handouts you have kept from Kaneb Center workshops you attended (or check out any of our previous workshop materials). Are there any teaching techniques you wanted to try out before the end of the semester?  Trying something new can be less intimidating in November or December when you already have a rapport with your students.

  2. Think about whether there are current events you could incorporate into your teaching. Tackling real-world issues at the end of the semester can help students to synthesize material from previous weeks in the course and reengage their enthusiasm in the subject material. As you spend time this weekend with family and friends, notice what issues relating to your discipline interest non-experts.
  3. Remember why you do what you do. The holidays can be a time for reminiscence; use those recollections to get in touch with your younger self. Which teachers–of all kinds, from college professors to little league coaches–meant the most to you? What did your best teachers do that made such an impact on you? Why did you become interested in your subject area?

    You might also take this time of thankfulness to write a thank you note or email to a mentor or former teacher. Use the opportunity to reflect on how their teaching affected you and identify any techniques or aspects of their teaching that seem authentic for you to incorporate into your own classroom.

Giving Directed Feedback

The biggest grading mistake I made as a first time TA was to give the kind and amount of feedback that I, as a graduate student, wished I would have been receiving from my professors. I spent hours grading student work, sometimes handwriting twenty thorough comments on a single short essay, only to watch in horror as nearly half my students recycled their graded drafts immediately after receiving them back.

Students need to learn the value of comments and feedback, and, as grad students or professors, it can sometimes be easy to forget that. It can also be easy to forget how disheartening and overwhelming it can be to receive massive amounts of feedback, or feedback that is more appropriate for a professional journal article than a lower level college course.

Here are two rules I now adhere to in all of my grading and feedback:

1. Students should know what their grade means without my having to explain it.

For me, this means that I use a clear and detailed rubric to show them where, exactly, they lost points on the assignment, and what they can do on future drafts to make up for those shortcomings. This allows me to give more directed feedback (a specific example here or there detailing how a sentence could be improved, or what sort of argument they ought to be making), and it allows the students to make decisions about how best to spend their time in revisions.

2. I never give more than two big-picture critical comments, and four or five smaller comments.

While this might not seem like enough to a grad student who is used to getting multiple pages of feedback, I find that it is plenty for an undergrad who is still very much in the process of learning how to receive and incorporate feedback. I always encourage students to come see me for more detail regarding the comments I’ve given them, and to ask me for more feedback if they’d like, and I actually find that giving less initial feedback makes students more likely to take me up on this.

This post suggests that the classroom should be considered as a model that students can use to achieve social justice in the world. This is a particularly urgent topic for those teaching at Notre Dame, since socially infused pedagogy is an integral part of its mission statement, which defines social justice in its promise “to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.” The University’s Center for Social Concerns even has a specific research area focused on Social Justice.

In Teaching to Transgress, one of the seminal texts on social justice in the field of pedagogy, bell hooks offers a strategy to obtain the above mentioned goals of “human solidarity and concern for the good” that harnesses learning as “service to justice.” In particular, hooks challenges teachers to be vulnerable in the classroom and not to ask students to do anything that they would not be willing or comfortable doing themselves:

Empowerment cannot happen if we refuse to be vulnerable while encouraging students to take risks. Professors who expect students to share confessional narratives but who are themselves unwilling to share are exercising power in a manner that could be coercive. In my classrooms, I do not expect students to take any risks that I would not take, to share in any way that I would not share (21).

Though in this specific example, hooks’ is talking about personal narratives, the idea of professors empowering students to take risks by doing so themselves is translatable to multiple contexts and disciplines. This quotation both confronts how neutrality might function as a barrier in the classroom and challenges professors to question how they might make themselves vulnerable and join difficult conversations, thereby demonstrating to students that they are also willing to take risks, without recreating hierarchical power structures in which students perceive the teacher to be the main voice that matters. This question is particularly important given that a professor’s race and gender expression or identity play a major role in how much respect they are given by students and that this strategy of vulnerability may be even harder for professors who do not fit most students’ narrow views of what a professor should “look like.”

Some strategies include:

  • To co-construct a participation rubric with your students at the beginning of the semester, in which the class talks about what a classroom aimed at social justice might look like. This group conversation should emphasize your role as a professor while also drafting a list or statement of ways to create a safe space in which everyone’s views may be challenged, broadened, and learned from.
  • To frame the class with a reading such as hooks’ and engage with their ideas as a group so that a social justice framework is built right from the beginning.
  • To consistently remind students that there is not one specific answer to every problem and that students are welcome to bring their own viewpoints into the conversation, even if they are in opposition to yours, as long as they are respectful when doing so and have an argument that will support their view. (This likely, though not exclusively depending on the topic, applies more to the humanities and social sciences than those in STEM)

Reflection

When attempting to model social justice in the classroom, it is important to constantly reflect upon our practices. This blog post itself is a reflective response to feedback from a recent Kaneb Center workshop titled “Teaching Social Justice,” which suggested that a clear working definition of social justice should have been identified before the topic was opened for discussion. I have therefore been more intentional in my framing in this blog post by using the University’s mission statement as a guide.

We as educators should consistently evaluate our teaching practices, pay particular attention to the feedback we receive from students and other participants, and implement that feedback in order to make our classrooms and pedagogy more inclusive, and just.

Further Reading

hooks, bell. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York, NY: Routledge, 1994.

The number of students with disabilities attending post secondary education in the United States has been steadily increasing. As a faculty member and as a TA you might need to know a few things about accommodating students with disabilities in a collegiate classroom. The following guidelines and suggestions have been adapted from George Washington University, Heath Resource Center.

What constitutes a disability?

A disability is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or ailments that may restrict a person’s mobility, hearing, vision, speech, intellect, cognition or mental function. A student may have more than one disability. Another challenge is that once students enter college they may be  reluctant to disclose their disability or self-advocate; thus, many students with disabilities may remain unknown because they are concerned about stigma, rejection or discrimination.

What legal mandates are relevant for the student in my course?

Several federal laws outline the rights intended for students with disabilities in colleges and universities: (1) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), (2) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504), and (3) The Higher Education Act (HEA).

What are accommodations?

An accommodation is a change or modification to the course, program, tests, assessments or exams that facilitates a student with disability to have equal opportunity to achieve a similar level of academic performance with students without disabilities. Accommodations may be  classroom modifications like enlarged copies of handouts or test-taking modifications like extended time on exams.

How does the student in my class obtain the necessary documentation?

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain necessary documentation and to inform the professor about the need for any academic accommodations. However it is a good practice to include a statement in the syllabus and to make announcements on the first day of class about accommodations for students with disabilities. You can share the web link / phone number / location of University of Notre Dame’s Sara Bea Disability Services . The staff at the Sara Bea Disability services will determine the eligibility and type of accommodation needed by a student.  

What should I do when a student provides documentation of the disability and requests accommodations?

Once the student submits the proof of disability, you and the student should outline a plan to implement the accommodation.  

Students with disabilities should be held to the same evaluation and grading standards as those for all students. Accommodations do not give the student with a disability an unfair advantage. Rather, ‘reasonable’ accommodations are intended to give students with disabilities an equal opportunity to achieve the same results that other students have the opportunity to achieve (Embry, Scott, and McGuire, 2004).

Online Resources:

Numerous websites provide additional information about students with disabilities in the college classroom.

  1. https://www.cornellcollege.edu/academic-support-and-advising/disabilities/disability-accommodations-faqs.shtml
  2. http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/counseling-and-advising/disability-support-services.html
  3. https://thinkcollege.net/
  4. https://ldaamerica.org/educators/
  5. http://www.washington.edu/doit/academic-accommodations-students-learning-disabilities
  6. https://www.heath.gwu.edu/students-disabilities-college-classroom

Citation

Embry, P., S. Scott, and J. McGuire. “The legal context for postsecondary students with disabilities, institutions of higher education, and faculty members.” Storrs: University of Connecticut, Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability (2004).

 

In this post, I’m going to offer three very specific tips that I use to maximize the use of this technology in my teaching.

First: I think of my slides as a way of visually organizing my knowledge, and structuring the content I want to present. In addition to serving as a visual aid for students, slides can help structure a well-organized presentation. Take, for example, these two consecutive slides:

 

I know exactly what I want to say when it comes to distinguishing the three main branches of philosophy, so the first slide just reminds me to do so. It also reminds me to do so in an order that will help me set up for the point I’m about to make. By simply highlighting the relevant branches, and adding the label “Philosophy of disagreement,” I use the second slide to seamlessly explain a second point that builds on but extends our knowledge of the first. Note that, by doing this, I’m reminding myself of prior knowledge that it will be helpful to communicate to the students, and that I’m able to do this without writing out cumbersome paragraphs in an outline that I would have had to read or skim (interrupting the flow of the lecture, and risking the loss of my students’ attention).

Second: I use slides to build in breaks, discussion points, and comprehension checks. One of the most valuable skills I’ve picked up in teaching is learning when (and how) to slow down the process of learning. It can be incredibly hard for experts to gauge where students are at without checking every now and again. While I could just ask my students, “Does that make sense?” I find that this question is too general and too vague to be helpful. Instead, I tend to include slides with questions that are either very basic comprehension checks (e.g., “What is one assumption at play in Stroud’s argument for rational biases?”), or more open-ended discussion questions (e.g., “Is Stroud right in her descriptive claim that we do tend to be biased in favor of our friends?”). These slides, like plateaus on the path up the mountain, provide a break in the action where I can gauge student comprehension, collect my own thoughts, and continue to ensure that the information being presented is landing and resonating with the class.

Third: I use slides as an opportunity to present the content in a new way. Content connects with different students at different times and for different reasons, so I try and make sure that the point I’m making on a slide is made in a different way than they would have seen in other course materials. When I present from slides, I almost always have a handout as well. Often, I’m also presenting some content  that students ought to have seen before, in a previous class, in their readings, in discussion with peers online, etc.  This doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m disguising the points, or making them unnecessarily complex, I just like to use small differences (say, in the kind of case I use as an example, or in the particular premise I focus on in an argument) to help students who may have missed an earlier point, and to expand the contexts and situations in which students who are already high-achievers will be able to apply their knowledge. Sometimes, this can be as simple as having handouts with the same structure as the slides, but that paraphrase various important points, or that offer different (but obviously related) examples.

The decision to use slides comes with various risks, like information overload, but also presents pedagogical opportunities, and it’s important to keep in mind the various ways these technological tools can be used to enhance and build on lecture-based models, even in the context of flipped or participation-heavy classrooms.

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