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Statement on Teaching Development

As facilitators we are not exempt from learning. We need to constantly work to improve our teaching techniques. Some of this development comes from professional courses and workshops, and some must come from personal reflection and evaluation. However, to meet the needs of students, the best development can be derived from accepting critique from those who see our performance every day - our students.

Each semester I have a new group of students. This means that every semester the background knowledge, experiences, and learning style of the class changes. As a result, my teaching style must adapt slightly to meet their needs. To help me meet the needs of my students, I ask for feedback at the end of every lecture. I have a mailbox where students can drop anonymous notes to comment on my classes. If they find a class particularly engaging I ask that they tell me. Additionally, I want to know what I'm doing that should be changed. Students are told time and time again, that they may put their name on the note with fear of their grade being impacted positively or negatively, but in my experience, most prefer to remain anonymous.

The types of feedback that I have received in the past have varied from simple things that I can fix to changes that will have to occur more slowly. For example, in one class I asked to talk slower while in another I was asked to speed up the pace a little bit. This type of change is quick and easy to make during a lecture. Near the end of a course, one student suggested that some of the topics be presented in a different order. This type of change takes longer to implement, but is certainly some advice I took into consideration and tried to adopt the next time I was involved in that course.

Last Modified: July 10, 2002 - Barry E. Mapen