Lesson Plans

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” ~Maya Angelou Many of us teaching in higher education don’t think about lesson planning. But creating a lesson plan can be important to a successful class and for student learning. Creating a lesson plan prompts instructors to identify learning objectives, organize course content, plan learning activities, and prepare learning materials. The process …

How much homework is too much?

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home and think about besides homework.” ~Lily Tomlin When you are choosing what students will do during the semester, have you ever wondered whether you are assigning too much or too little work? Finding an appropriate workload balance for students can be a real challenge. And surprisingly, little research about …

Designing with Students in Mind

“Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” ~Hans Hoffman When we design a course, we typically do so before actually meeting the students who will enroll in it. We have to determine how to best teach the particular content and skills to the students we will meet. Even if we design the best content and pedagogies possible, if we …

Teaching Styles

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” ~Rachel Zoe Teachers approach the task of teaching students in many different ways. Some of us emphasize our deep level of expertise and focus on challenging students to acquire detailed knowledge. Some of us try to model qualities of wisdom and virtue and may share stories as …

How do you know what you want them to know?

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ~Phil Collins Before each semester, we sit down to write a syllabus for the coming course, most often without having met the people who will fill our rosters. Most of us have to (or want to) include learning objectives in this syllabus, a task that can be simultaneously inspiring …

Got edumyths?

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” ―John Wooden Many “edumyths” exist, and unfortunately these can be harmful to students and even to teachers. What are we talking about? Edumyths are common beliefs about education. These myths often express claims about what practices benefit learning or learners. They typically have no basis of fact, however. Either …

How they learn.

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ~ Abigal Adams One of the most often cited works on learning, and one we refer to often, is John Bransford, Ann Brown, and Rodney Cocking’s 2000 work appropriately titled How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. The report, which was …

So many learning theories, so little time.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” –Leonardo da Vinci The question of how people learn has intrigued generations of scholars. It is perhaps no surprise then that many different theories about individual learning exist. Some of these theories stem from a behaviorist perspective, a view that suggests that learning can best be explained in terms of conditioning. Some of the theories …

It’s not always in the syllabus.

Creating or revising a syllabus can be fun. You get to think through what students should learn in the course, what content they will review, what skills they will practice, and what assignments they will complete during the term. One of the most tedious aspects of creating or revising a syllabus, though, is figuring out and filling in the dates …