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  1. A Workshop on College Teachingand the Teaching of Psychology Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Texas A&M University May 14-17, 2012 http://people.tamu.edu/~lbenjamin

  2. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” George Bernard Shaw

  3. “Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” Woody Allen

  4. 14-Teaching resources 14-Goals 14-The syllabus 14-First day of class 15-Lecture method 15-Active learning 15-Discussion methods 16-Evaluation methods 16-Grading 16-Class management 16-Advising, mentoring 17-Writing 17-Computer technologies 17-Media 17-Large classes 17-Team teaching 17-Evaluation of teaching A Whirlwind Tour:17 Topics

  5. My Goals for This Workshop • Make you familiar with the multitude of resources on teaching psychology • Acquaint you with some of the dos and don’ts of various teaching and evaluation methods • Provide you with some tips on classroom management issues • Add to your repertoire of active learning exercises • Expand your confidence as teacher and your commitment to your students • Save you time in teaching preparation, grading, and dealing with classroom problems

  6. This Workshop Should Help You If • You teach courses as a graduate student • You pursue a career as an academic • You are required to make case presentations (as in clinical psychology) • You are required to sell your management, research, or organizational ideas to industry • You have a job interview where you have to sell yourself • You have to communicate your ideas in any setting

  7. Research 1 universities (60-30-10) State universities Private universities Liberal arts colleges Two-year colleges Professional schools Teaching loads Teaching expectations Who teaches Class size Student expectations Student abilities College and University Settings

  8. Teaching is Important • Most of us are in academia because of a teacher • We work in a privileged environment • We have obligations to our students • Making a difference in the academic world • Teaching skills are not genetically based • There is a teaching literature • We should want to get better at what we do

  9. Four-Day Outline May 14: Literature of Teaching, Goals, Syllabus, First Class Day May 15: Lecture, Active Learning, Discussion May 16: Evaluation, Grading, Classroom Management, Advising/Mentoring May 17: Writing, Computers, LGI, Team Teaching, Course Evaluation

  10. May 14 – Monday 9:00-10:15 A Teaching Literature Goals – Part I 10:35-11:50 Goals – Part II The Syllabus First Class Day

  11. I. Teaching Resources • Generic college teaching books • Specialty books, e.g., construction of exams, grading, lecturing, teaching large classes • Teaching of psychology books • Psychology activity books – general and specific • Teaching of psychology journals • Teaching of psychology conferences • Society for Teaching of Psychology website • TAMU Center for Teaching Excellence (GTA)

  12. II. Course Goals: This Is Always Where You Start

  13. Goals: Overview • Learn the academic culture • Goals should determine everything you do in your course • Selecting, implementing, and assessing your goals • An exercise in choosing course goals • Two examples of implementing goals

  14. Learn the Culture • Every college/university has a culture • There is also a departmental culture • Are there multiple sections of the course you will teach? • Is your course a prerequisite or postrequisite for another course? • Student expectations for your class

  15. Course Goals Should Determine Virtually Everything That You Do in Your Course • Determines textbook selection, or whether you even use a book (topical, chronological, theoretical or philosophical orientation, breadth/depth, etc.) • Other reading assignments • Writing components • Evaluation methods • Classroom instructional methods

  16. Course Goals • Selecting them • Selling them • Implementing them • Measuring them

  17. Course Goals: An Exercise

  18. College Professors’ Responses 11 Content 3 Scientific Processes 2 Psychology and Society 1 Educational Preparation 8 Scientific Values 15 Critical Thinking

  19. Introductory Psychology Students’ Responses 12 Self Knowledge and Understanding 10 Study Skills 9 Social and Interpersonal Skills

  20. Goal: Integration of Introductory Psychology Chapters Create a mini-course within the introductory psychology course A few examples

  21. Sleep and Dreaming Biopsych – Neurotransmitters in sleep Perception – Awareness of stimuli by sleep stage Learning – Debunking sleep learning Memory – Dream recall Personality – Long vs. short sleepers Abnormal – Night terrors, sleep walking, depression Developmental – Ontogeny of sleep & dreaming Social – Cultural effects on sleep

  22. Industrial/Organizational Psych Biopsych – Circadian rhythms and shift work Perception – Attention and vigilance in workplace Learning – Training Cognition – Teaching creative thinking Motivation – Job satisfaction, burnout Development – Older workers, retirement Personality – Management and leadership styles Social – Organizational climate

  23. Goal: Help Marginal or New Students • Improve attendance • Help students keep up with the reading • Help students regularly review their notes • Help students learn what is important to know • Help students study throughout the course

  24. The Kingsfield Procedure • Class should not be larger than 50 students • Index card for each student • 5 to 10 questions each day • Point system • Cheating! (to make it fairer)

  25. Kingsfield Outcomes • Professor learns names • Attendance is excellent; students are not tardy • Students do their reading on time and regularly review their notes • Students learn what the instructor considers important • Students learn some critical thinking skills • Grades are higher • Student opportunities for questions vary • Students rate the procedure quite positively

  26. III. The Syllabus: It’s a Contract This agreement is entered into this 14th day of May, 2012 by and between Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., hereinafter referred to as the Professor, and _______________, hereinafter referred to as the Student. Whereas the Professor has covenanted and agreed with Texas A&M University, Department of Psychology, to utilize his experience, training, education, and best efforts towards instructing the Student in the subject of Introductory Psychology, and whereas the Student is desirous of gaining as much knowledge, training, insight, and understanding as possible; NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of mutual promises contained herein, the parties promise, covenant, agree, warrant, and make the following representations…. (from Stanley Freeman, U of South Carolina )

  27. The Syllabus: Overview • The syllabus as contract • What should be in a syllabus? • Syllabus contents • Distributing your syllabus to students

  28. What Should Be In a Syllabus? How Lengthy Should It Be?

  29. Syllabus Contents • Course number and title, instructor name, semester and year, office location and hours, office phone number, email and website addresses • Textbook(s) – required or recommended • Course goals • Assignments and evaluation policies; make-ups • Course outline • Attendance policy (def. of excused absences) • Class rules (on time, cell phones, respect for others) • Statement on cheating, including plagiarism • Required university statements

  30. From TAMU Rules (2012) Rule 10.1 – The course instructor shall provide in writing the following information to the class during the first class meeting: • A statement of the nature, scope and content of the subject matter to be covered in the course. • All course prerequisites as listed in the catalog. • All required course text and material. • The grading rule, including weights as applicable for tests, laboratory assignments, field student work, projects, papers, homework, class attendance and participation and other graded activities in the calculation of the course grade.

  31. Getting the Syllabus to Students • In class • In a course packet • Have them download it from your website • Emailing to them in advance of the course (it must be uploaded in Howdy re State law)

  32. IV. First Class Day • First impressions matter • Go over the syllabus – goals, rules, assignments, evaluation methods • Hook them on your material – get them excited for what is to come • Spend at least some time in that first meeting on content • Introduce yourself – professionally and personally

  33. The Autobiography Due 2nd class period, 1-3 pages • Name, email, home (cell) phone number • Where born and grew up • About your family • Interests in high school, both in school and extracurricular • Why you came to Texas A&M • Your major and why you chose it • Why are you taking this course and what do you hope to get from it? • Hobbies, jobs • Plans after graduation from TAMU

  34. Use of the Autobiographies • If it’s a small class – 2nd day introductions • Learn about my students • Use the material to personalize some classes • Personal emails back to the students • Re-read them before students come to see me • Assign paper topics based on that information

  35. Other First Day Activities Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make gurgling noises. Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a student and scream “YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?” Announce “You will need this” and then write the suicide prevention hotline number on the board.

  36. If someone asks a question, walk silently over to their seat, hand them the chalk, and ask “Would you like to give the lecture Mr. Smartypants?” Start the lecture by dancing and lip-syncing to James Brown’s “Sex Machine” Have a student sprinkle flower petals ahead of you as you pace back and forth.

  37. Stop in mid lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class whether your butt looks fat. Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN’T HEEEEEAR YOU!” by Alan Meiss (Indiana University)

  38. May 15 – Tuesday 9:00 – 10:15 The Lecture Active Learning I 10:35-11:50 Active Learning II Discussion Methods

  39. V. The Lecture Method Four Questions • Why lecture? • Should you lecture? • What should be your lecture style? • What are the components of a good lecture?

  40. Why Lecture? Lectures can provide integrative and evaluative accounts…(reducing an unselected vastness to a manageable form) that may not be available in any printed or electronic version. Lectures can be models of critical thinking and problem solving that can teach students higher cognitive skills. Further, lectures have motivational functions. By challenging students’ beliefs, lectures can motivate students to pursue further learning. (Benjamin, 2002; McKeachie, 1999)

  41. Should You Lecture? • Audience expectations • What is it you want to do? • The nature of the information to be communicated • Class size • Is lecturing a strength for you? • What can lectures do? Model, inspire, provoke, summarize, synthesize, evaluate, communicate cutting-edge work

  42. The Lecture and the Textbook • Textbooks are usually encyclopedic • TAMU students are typically bright and can read on their own • So why go over in excruciating detail the material they are supposed to have read on their own? • The lecture is about your freedom to choose • It is often a chance for depth

  43. What Should Be Your Lecture Style? • Your personality (UCLA Chemistry Dept.) • Formal or informal (more interactive) • Problem oriented “The most effective performing is not a contrived act, but a genuine, authentic presentation of the person involved. If the role to be played is the person you are, you don’t need to fear being false or not being up to the part.” MaryellenWeimer (1998)

  44. Components of a Good Lecture • Enthusiastic (maybe even passionate) about the material • Clear objectives for the lecture • Advanced organizers • In-lecture summaries • End-of-lecture summary • Clear organization • Good examples • Less is more (depth, rather than breadth) • Active learning • Allow for digressions from students

  45. Lecture Outline: Psychological Theories of Love 1. Overview of three theories 2. Attachment theory a. Supporting research b. Summary 3. Lee’s Six Types of Love a. Supporting research b. Summary 4. Sternberg’s triangular theory a. Supporting research b. Summary 5. Overall summary

  46. VI: Active Learning -- Defined Active learning describes an array of learning situations in and out of the classroom in which students enjoy hands-on and minds-on experiences. Students learn through active participation in simulations, demonstrations, discussions, debates, games, problem solving, experiments, and writing exercises.

  47. Active Learning – An Overview • What can it do? • What should good active learning exercises do? • Where can you find active learning exercises? • Some examples

  48. Active Learning… • is underused • is an excellent supplement to lectures • increases student involvement • increases cognitive demands • produces elaboration of meaning (deeper processing – better retention) • is excellent for experiential topics • can help problematic lecture or book topics • adds enjoyment to the class • can take a little class time or a lot

  49. Active Learning Exercises Should • be practiced • educate, motivate, perplex your students • involve all students • teach one or a few key points • be assessed to see if students are learning what is intended

  50. Where Can You Find Active Learning Exercises? • Your own experiences • Teaching of Psychology journal • Activity books (see my website) • Teaching conferences and symposia • On the Web (particularly STP website)