Brainstorming activity helps us develop agreed-upon list of topics to challenge us during semester

by Julie Dodd

In starting the semester for a class like Mass Communication Teaching, hearing from you (the students in the course) about topics you are interested in covering is a good way to match what my plans for the semester are with what you hope you will be learning about.

From brainstorming with a partner, here are some of the topics the you said you hoped we’d discuss:

  • Fairness in grading
  • Motivating students to complete outside-of-class activities, like reading the course syllabus and reviewing rubrics.
  • Technology use in class — and keeping technology from being a distraction
  • Establishing guidelines to promote appropriate conduct in class, especially in group discussion

  • How much personal information to share about yourself when you’re the instructor
  • Getting students engaged and participating in class
  • Common problems and challenges in teaching
  • How to design a course
  • Process for having a new course approved
  • Having the necessary knowledge of content to create or teach a course
  • Selecting the appropriate teaching resources — textbooks and handouts
  • Effective communication with students (i.e., one-on-one conferences, email, etc.)
  • Knowing different teaching methods (i.e., slides, lecture, group activities) and when to use them
  • Assigning and grading homework
  • Understanding the job process for obtaining a faculty position
  • Obtaining a teaching position if you haven’t had previous teaching experience

Those are topics that I hope we’ll discuss, too. Some of these topics will be addressed in assigned readings, and some will be the topic for your teaching presentations.

I’ll be checking this list during the semester to see how we’re doing in terms of addressing those ideas. And as we discuss some of these issues, we’ll then have other topics we will want to discuss.

I look forward to a good semester.

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