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Summary and reflection

This week you have thought about and discussed some basic principles for teaching and explored a variety of teaching strategies for teaching in different modes.

It was interesting to see that in rating the characteristics of a good teacher many of you chose ‘share the love of the subject‘ as number 1 or 2 in your lists and noted that this was a characteristic of your favourite teachers. There were also strong relationships between the characteristics you chose and your ‘good’ learning experiences mentioned in Week 1.

David Perkin’s question about ‘What’s worth learning?’ inspired some discussion about how much of what (content) we teach is a waste of time. There was quite a lot of agreement with the claim alongside some nice points made about ‘what’ we teach being a vehicle for the development of ‘how’ we teach students to learn and to think.

In Strategies for effective tutorials Tim’s perspective on the role of the tutor as both learner and teacher sparked some discussion on how to find a balance in this approach. On the one hand some people mentioned wanting to create a safe space for students to learn and feel comfortable in making mistakes. While others pointed out that as the teacher is also responsible for evaluating assessments his/her role in the class needs to transparent to the students.

There were several excellent teaching strategies for large classes posted in Making lectures more effective and engaging including bringing authentic examples into the class for small group discussion to build confidence in contributing to the larger group. Others mentioned peer to peer instruction, quick quizzes done individually and in pairs and educational technologies such as Poll Everywhere and the Echo360 Active Learning Platform.

Thank you for taking the time to post thoughtful comments and share your experiences with others in the course.

In the final week of the course we look at the complex topic of assessment and hear from some UNSW students talking about their experiences of assessment and feedback in their faculties.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney