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Teaching methods

I taught for 2 years before quitting and work as Graphic Designer for about 4 months and decided to make a come back Smile I would really appreciate for any ideas and suggestion for teaching from either who has some profession as mine or as students who experience a range of various teaching method. It would be great if the suggestions can be given as '"DO" or "DON'T" and "WHY" to support the statement, if possible 'SUGGESTION'

for example:

DO : Start with introduction in the beginning of the semester / term
WHY : It will make all the member in the class at least know how to greet each other
SUGGESTION: Introducing not only name, but background, favorite movies, music would probably give opportunity for anyone who has the same interest to get to know each other better. Probably not to good for big class as it will take very long tiem to finish and make the other member dormant

DON'T: Read from book when teaching
WHY: Eye contact cannot be kept and communication is very limited
SUGGESTION: Using point to point slide show will help to remember what is needed to teach and giving away the fully explained lesson as printout
So i take it you're teaching a 'design' class yea? Maybe Studio?
I had some pretty good lecturers teaching design basically because they knew what was important ...

DO : Set design assignments, if possibly weekly.
WHY : It helps keep the students in class and make them learn what their supposed to do with what they study. My lecturer used to say
" If i help you think outside the box, what do you see? The box itself "
SUGGESTION : Give your lesson and from there generate an assignment that has something to do with it. Like teaching them about 'Lines', and then petitioning for a design of something that helps one define the meaning of 'Line'.

DO: Drive them to achieve something more
WHY: Because if you don't they'll easily/complacently/blindly/effortlessly get through your lessons and homework
SUGGESTION: Show them that you're interested in their efforts. But never show them that you're amazed by their work. Set your standards high. However, never dish out a submission that is truly genius. Be cool about that.
Thanks a lot sbel

that's what really helpful and good suggestion. I do like the word of your lecturerthe helping to think outside box will actually just to direct student to see the box itself Smile

That's very true advice.

Do you think the set of assignment and lecture notes will be better if available online or offline. Online here means students have access to the notes, download and print them by theirselves? Or will it be just available when the lecturer teaches and the notes are distributes at that time?
I actually read another forum on this website on "taking attendance" subject. Obviously making class interesting is another "requirement" to make teaching learning process running succesfully, but I do want to know, what word "interesting" does mean as different people will have different definition of "interesting". I have done:

DO: Slip in related game into the teaching learning process
WHY: To spice up the teaching learning process as well as measuring how well the student has become
SUGGESTION: Make sure the way to moderate the game, especially rule is clear enough. by having simulation before the game is actually done will give better idea to student as well as moderator to manage the game. Sometimes, there would be "clash" inside the team (If it is teamwork game) as the score is getting very competitive

But, if there are more ways to make class interesting, of course I will really appreciate them and widely open to every single suggestions and ideas

I can't give you any advice from personal experience, but I highly recommend the book Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen. It's about his experiences teaching creative writing in settings ranging from university to maximum security prison. He does an amazing job of getting outside the box to avoid the usual "teaching at" and instead use his classes to draw out his students' individuality and creative life. Lots of great examples of activities, philosophies, and approaches he took to his classes.

Also good doses of examining how the teaching system is part and parcel of civilization, acting as the brainwashing and indoctrination required to cram individuals into their cookie-cutter roles as consumers and producers.

hi Scrub,

thanks for the advice for this particular book. I will definitely put this book in my "must read" list Smile
DON'T: talk too fast.
WHY: It takes a longer time to absorb new material, especially those with technical jargon, than to listen to conversational-type speech.
SUGGESTION: If you're lecturing about as fast as you converse normally, that's a bit too fast. Breeeeathe.

DO: If it's a lab-type class or a discussion-type class, walk around class and spend time with each student going over their projects.
WHY: You'll get to know each student and their class-related problems better. Even if it's just saying 'good job', your students will more positively of you (as someone who knows their stuff and as someone who cares).
SUGGESTION: Wear comfortable shoes and hope the room you teach in has carpetting, because kneeling for extended periods of times HURTS.
Hahahah ....

totally agree .... walking too much with uncomfortable shoes will just disturb the teaching learning process.

Yup, experience is the best way to learn, practical approach will let students understand better in term of real life application
I have been teaching 7th & 8th grades students for 20 years. Here is something that may help.

Don't be afraid to say you made a mistake... The kids will know it anyway.

do: You need to find a way to contact all of your students
why: We all have a tendency to miss different parts of a room. We are also drawn to a particular type of student. You need to work at addressing the students you don't think like
Suggestion: Find your weakness, from a teaching/learning standpoint. Plan for the learning style you are most unlike.

Example: I am a non-liner out of the box teacher. I plan for the liner & "only sees the box" student because they are the ones I have the most trouble reaching.
Do: Read this book: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Why: Great book. It has some good ideas from educators on why certain ways of teaching works. They give one study where an general accounting class was taught from the point of view of a new business owner and all the exercises were based on this point of view. The students worked hard, but remembered more.

Do: Teach for different learning styles - visual, kinesthetic and auditory.
WHY: People learn different ways. Most teachers teach visually and the visual students excel but don't forget the other students who learn by doing and hearing.

Do: Give specific tasks for your students to have as objectives:
Why: State the goals for your class, for the day and for their assignments with action verbs. Don't say "Become familiar with ..." but say "Write four statements about...", "Describe ....".
Google for "action verbs objectives" without the quotes for lots fo lists of action verbs. Here are a few links for you to look at:

DON'T: Assign lots of work at the end of the week.
WHY: This causes excessive pressure on students, detracting from their other work, because they have to commit more time to a particular assignment.
SUGGESTION: Give students 3-5 days to finish larger assignments such as essays and term papers. Give students 10-20 days for graphics design projects. Worksheets and small assignments can be done in the course of 1-2 days. Also, make sure you notify students of any upcoming tests to allow adequate study time, and don't assign anything big right before a test or final exams.

If you're a good teacher, and your students put in some effort, you won't have a hard time teaching and your students won't have difficulty learning. Just make sure you follow these guidelines for assignments, because ultimately that is what determines a student's GPA, not what they actually learned. Make sure grades reflect what a student has done and knows or has learned.

Being in computers, your students should have an excellent time in class. Give some free time as a gift for being good and doing work once or twice a year at the least. Your students deserve it.
I don't know a whole lot about design, but I *have* been helping to teach a course on curriculum. We've been using Wiggin and Tighe's Understanding By Design. I'd definitely recommend it. We've tailored it a little bit for music educators in our course, but the basic foundation is the same. Based on some of the major points in the book:

DO teach towards understanding, and DON'T teach merely to cover content.
WHY: Students will not only be able to recall facts, they will by able to use them.
SUGGESTION: Use exercises that mirror real-world situations. If you're teaching music students the finer points of John Lennon's compositional process, ask yourself where they might use this knowledge. Perhaps they will be asked to write a pop song in that style in the future, so you can ask them to write such a song for this class. In this way, they will be using their knowledge, thereby proving that they understand it. They'll also enjoy the class more.
I totally agree with both Shake and Jessgetman

Assigning task must be within reasonable timeframe so students would not feel "being pushed" to do the task and of course, teaching to make them understand is more important than memorizing the materials, more over just covering the content without giving thorough understanding behind that concept

The next question probably regarding to assigning task,

If student complains for "too much work to do", should we just give them tolerance, or just say no, as credibility of school will depend on this decision as well, whether the school has strong rule to follow or not. Porbably, the better question is, how flexible we as teacher / trainer toward to request of students

I just found another suggestion in term of teaching method

DO: Use game to make variation of teaching method
WHY: Most of student likes to play game and by doing "correct" game, we might be able to insert the teaching material inside it without student realize it Smile
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