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Finding the Time to Teach Part 4 – Encourage Active Students

Posted by on Monday, April 4, 2011 in News.

Finding the Time to Teach Part 4 – Encourage Active Students is the fourth of a series of posts written by CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow, Lily Claiborne. These blog posts are intended to share ideas for prioritizing, planning, working efficiently, and avoiding procrastination – resulting in a more balanced, successful life in academia.

In my GradSTEP workshop on Finding the Time to Teach, we focused on the four main steps in managing your time well as an overcommitted graduate student and TA in order to be a successful teacher:

  1. Prioritize
  2. Plan
  3. Work Efficiently (Preparation, In Class, Grading)
  4. Avoid Procrastination

This blog is the fourth of several focusing on how to achieve these four items, resulting in a more balanced, successful life in academia.  The following strategies will help you better manage your time and get more done.

The best answer to the question, “What is the most effective method of teaching?” is that it depends on the goal, the student, the content, and the teacher.  But the next best answer is, “students teaching other students.” – Wilbert J. McKeachie (author of Teaching Tips: Strategies, research and theory for college and university teachers)

A great way to reduce your preparation time and make your classroom and more effective experience for your students is to encourage sutdents to take an active role in their learning, and even in running the classroom! Think of class time as an opportunity for students to learn, not for you to teach.  Rather than lecturing, fill class time with student activities, formal and informal presentations, student-led discussions, etc.  Let them do much of both the learning and the teaching.  This requires less preparation time on your part, and research shows improves student learning over traditional teacher-centered methods!

Below are some online resources with ideas and tips for incorporating active learning into your classroom.

Coming Next:  Finding the Time to Teach Part 5 – Grading More Efficiently


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