In the questionnaire, the question was asked:
Regarding your professional development, what aspects of teaching would you like to learn about in the TAF program? In other words, what main theme(s) are essential to teaching in general and should therefore be addressed here?
Here is a condensed version of your answers (thanks, Michelle!):
- Incorporating new & evolving technology to facilitate the entire teaching/learning process. Also, how to effectively engage the students’ attention & convey your thoughts/ideas
- To learn more about effective teaching practices for different levels of comprehension that have scientific evidence to support them.
- As I progress toward being a professor, I would like to know more about the differences in roles and responsibilities asa professor vs. as a TA. In addition, I think it would be useful to learn more about how professors rework their courses and teaching style over time in order to keep things fresh (for themselves & for students), as well as current (with respect to technology and the like-practices etc.) Last: creating courses.
- Lessons learned, involving students, bringing in multiple perspectives
- Developing a syllabus/test questions/dealing with difficult students
- The aspects of teaching that experienced teachers/mentors feel are the most important/essential for beginning teachers to be exposed to. Ideally, I would like to be exposed to a variety of perspectives on each of these aspects.
- I’m interested in learning more about how to teach in creative fields such as my own field, animation, because there is a significant difference in teaching sciences vs. fine arts.
- Motivational techniques, Making readings more experiential by incorporating media, exercises, pedagogical theory
- How can I become a stronger teacher? How will this teach me not to be just a TA, but a professor?
- Effective types of teaching for different types of learners, what not to do as an educator, presenting course material in a creative/novel/interactive manner, using Power Point effectively (not as a crutch)
- Engaging with students in the age of technology
- I’m very much interested in the science that goes into effective teaching/ learning. I would like to implement a learner-based strategy for my future classes & in order to do so I certainly can use the advice of others who have used such strategy before.
- It’s hard to tell at the beginning of the program (especially if you are not versed in pedagogical theory or familiar with the research) what the essential themes are. Feels a bit like walking in on the first day of class and asking the students what they want to learn. =) That said, the greatest challenge I’ve found myself facing as a TA and instructor at USC has been motivating students to put in the effort necessary to learn the material (I’m surprised at how difficult it is to get students to do the reading!). So I’d like to learn more about non-punitive ways to motivate students/make students more excited about learning.
Let's discuss them and try to come up with concrete programs we'd like to have.