What My Favorite Professor Told Me
What My Favorite Professor Told Me avatar

He said that if we (TA’s) are working harder than the students, we’re doing something wrong. I appreciate the reinforcement of student-centeredness in Tony’s video. Being a bit old school and a product of lecture-heavy instruction when I was a student has influenced my pedagogy and classroom practices to a small degree. Fortunately, my graduate school classes and instruction were far more student-centered and have provided that model to integrate with my earlier influences. I still advocate for the value of a solid, well-intended lecture, but I am excited about deconstructing that mode of teaching into an online platform. I am equally excited about creating the sort of opportunities Tony notes ala Friere for students to discover and create their own knowledge with careful (though not microscopically managed) instructional guidance.

Soooo..Google Docs and Discussion Board will likely be my go-to tools to achieve the aforementioned. I will practice creating Group Sets using the People tool in Canvas- I’d like to hear/read more about how my online-teaching colleagues set up groups online and how their students like doing online group work. I will be honest, however: if I were a student today taking an online class, I’d likely do some eye-rolling about the prospect of online groups because I’d anticipate the logistics of it might be complicated. I’d want, as an instructor, to be sure that the outcomes for such exercises would be well worth the extra trouble for students.



Ch 4: A few takeaways for me:

  • Present content in chunks, modules perhaps. I think I planned on doing some version of units that will likely look like modules.
  • Use books. I may ask students to buy a writer’s workbook and a novel or two. I generally include two full-length books in my classes. Currently I use novels (actually one memoir, one novel), but I have been planning to use one non-fiction.
  • Use chat. I learned the terms synchronous and non-synchronous in the context of communication in online classes in the reading, and will try both. I like the idea of scheduling group chats and one-on-one chats for conferencing. I may use video chat for conferencing, but I’m less inclined to do this. I’m not sure students would like this mode of discussion. If I were a student taking an online class, I think I’d be sort of horrified by having to video chat with my professor and frankly I anticipate feelin the same way chatting via video with students.
  • I would like to see what Whiteboard tech is…soon as I get time :/


Other notes:

From the Higher Ed link “Taking a Learner-Centered Approach in Online Courses”:

Students have a variety of learning styles. I will absolutely factor this fact, as I always do in my onsite classes, in an online class by assigning exercises that require not only reading and writing, but also hearing and viewing ala music, visual art, and film. Asking students to visit places or do something outside of class “mixes things up” a bit and keeps course material fresh. For example, I have had an exercise asking students to “read” the night: go to some specific (SAFE!!) place at night, observe, listen, and record what they see, hear, smell, feel, and think and then write about the experience. We read various pieces of literature in which authors write about or describe the night.