Your department will provide you with administrative support, course outlines, resources, and information about other supports within your department. However, you may still have questions about how to teach effectively and develop your teaching style.
As you get started teaching, you may wonder:
In addition to the ideas on this page make sure that you also check out the New Employee Portal for general helpful information to get you started at Camosun.
Your course outline guides you and your students throughout the term. Dedicate some time before classes start to develop a comprehensive course outline.
Plan your weekly/daily lessons
Everyone is a bit nervous on the first day. This is a great opportunity for you to set the tone, establish rapport and involve learners from the start.
Setting the tone is reflected in how you:
Establishing rapport starts off with introductions, getting to know your students’ names, sharing a bit about yourself, and letting them know your teaching style. The following links have some ideas and icebreakers for first day of class activities that are fun and also help to create a climate for learning. Some can be used throughout the term to re-energize the classroom.
Ideas for first day of class activities
Use your course outline to guide your first class. Discuss assignments, expectations, and finalize key dates.
Involve learners by engaging in content right away, don’t leave it for the next class. There are various activities, pre-assessments, and reflective exercises you can run the first day to assess prior knowledge. Start building your community of learners on the first day.
Juggling the mechanics of teaching - content, assignments, assessments and feedback - also includes building a community of learners. Here are some items to consider:
Just as the beginning of the term often feels stressful, the end of the term can feel equally chaotic.
Rather than ending the last class with only administrative details (e.g. due dates, exam schedule, course evaluation), consider the following:
Use the course outline as a review device
Ask students to share some lasting thoughts on what was most relevant to them.
You could either:
Use the last class to prepare for the final exam or assignment
Thank your learners for the opportunity to share your knowledge/expertise with them
In this article, faculty talk about the importance of closure and offer some hands-on techniques to bring your course and community of learners to a close at the end of the semester/quarter.
Student engagement and learning: Engaging students in meaningful experiences through strategies focusing on successful student learning. This part of the journey is focused on an educator making changes to practice that result in changes to student engagement and learning through a set of new strategies, methods, and/or activities.
Design of learning experiences: Designing classes and courses that provide students with authentic and deep learning opportunities. This part of the journey is focused on the educator making changes to practice that result in significant changes in student learning through innovative design of a course or many courses.
Scholarly reflection and inquiry: Demonstrating excellence in scholarly teaching practices, critical reflections on practice, and inquiry into enhancing student learning. this part of the journey demonstrates development of self and an enabling of colleagues to engage in continual professional learning and scholarly activity.
Leadership and community: Engaging in leadership, community engagement and contributions to teaching and learning across the institution and to the discipline while working to create more inclusive and engaged classrooms. This part of the journey is about influence and dissemination of new knowledge to peers and to the wider campus community.
Explanation: Faculty have a journey that is much like an infinity circle: often looping around and around as they progress through the various stages of their career. Many faculty begin focusing on engaging students in learning about course components. Engaging students requires making changes to their practice and trying out new strategies, activities or ideas. After sometime, faculty members may look at the design of learning from a larger point of view. They may focus on how their course fits within the program or consider redesigning parts of or all parts of a course. The student engagement and design of learning stages might continue for several years oscillating back and forth. At some point, faculty members start looking at their practice from a scholarly reflection and inquiry point of view. They may invite colleagues in to their classes for a peer observation activity or they may begin gathering evidence of student learning and consider publicly sharing their successes and failures. Scholarly reflection sometimes leads to faculty taking on leadership roles to onboard and mentor new colleagues, lead a program redesign initiative, or undertake an institutional role in enhancing teaching and learning. This is often characterized by faculty wanting to share and learn beyond their own program. They also might take on leadership roles in provincial and national teaching and learning communities.
Creative Commons License: CC BY-SA 4.0 | Liesel Knaack, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning | Vancouver Island University (2017)