Monday, March 22, 2010

Research based teaching practices

I teach at a university that has a heavy teaching load. This semester I'm teaching four courses with three preps. One of the things that I am constantly trying to do is improve my teaching. I am always willing to innovate in my classroom. Some things have worked, some things haven't. I try and be up front with my students about why I am doing what I am doing, and let them know that I am trying to implement the results of research that I have read in the scholarship of teaching and learning. I think it is good for students to see professors grapple with research and new ways of learning. It encourages them to see the importance of having research and things that you learn actually affect the way you think and behave, and not just be filed away in that part of your brain that only gets checked during games and when watching Jeopardy.

I'm contemplating using a reading journal in one of my theory courses next semester. When I tried it last time, it flopped greatly. I couldn't see how to make it not appear to be busywork. So, I'm turning to the blogosphere. What journaling practices have you seen work in your academic career, either as faculty or student? And what journaling practices haven't worked?


kenandbelly said...

I've found electronic journal forms work better than physical notebooks that have to be handwritten (usually illegibly), handed in, carried around, handed back. They never seem to be in the right hands at the right time. Have you thought about setting up a course blog and having them post their responses to it? The public audience aspect (or semi-private, if you restrict access to just your students) helps keep it integrated with in-class conversations. I like course blogs for theory courses in particular because it gets them thinking about the material in different ways and lets them see how others are responding to it.

Ruth said...

Have you found a platform that worked particularly well for this? I was wondering about the grrading aspect as well, amd having it online would help a lot with me being able to grade when I needed to, without keeping students from being able to work on them.

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