Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Center for Teaching Excellence - Institute on Teaching & Learning

Last week I attended a 5 day workshop at VCU's CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence).  To say that it was an enlightening experience would be understating its immediate impact on me.  The ideas and techniques discussed in our sessions and espoused by the guest speakers demonstrated to me that I have a lot to learn about teaching and I need to change the way that I am reaching and engaging students, or not reaching them, as the case may be.

Of particular interest to me are the techniques for formative assessment.  I now realize that my techniques for evaluation are mostly summative.  When teaching CIS topics I guess it is easier to employ summative techniques.  What I immediately realized that I was missing was the proper feedback from my students.  The summative evaluations provide no feedback beyond the measure of how well students memorize.  I need to know if I am reaching them and keeping them engaged beyond the typical 8-10 minute attention span.

Should I teach in the Fall I plan to utilize more active learning techniques with particular collaborative learning activities.  I plan to use "Minute Papers" and JiTT to provide the feedback needed to direct my class and my students' learning towards higher levels.  My goal is to introduce meta-cognitive sessions by the Fall 2011 or Spring 2012.

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