Teaching tips from the Teacher's Aide Newsletter.
From the 2012 Dec issue.
Get into the holiday spirit by paying homage to the people that have shaped your profession. Have students identify the key people who have impacted the profession and describe what they've contributed.
Follow this up with an activity where the students acknowledge the people in their lives that have gone out of their way to support them in their schooling (e.g., specific teachers, staff members, family and friends).
From the 2012 Oct issue.
Help ensure students do the assigned reading by requiring an "entry ticket" to the next class. Give students three index cards each with a different question on the reading. Students must bring the cards to the following class as their "ticket" to get in, and you can use what they've written on the cards to help guide the class discussion.
From the 2012 Sep issue.
Make sure that the pictures and graphics you use are truly open source. Many people type in a search engine, such as Bing, and think that all those images are freely available. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily the case. Sometimes it's obvious, as when there is a watermark copyright symbol on the image; most images are not royalty-free. You must get permission before you copy. There are numerous open source images available, although the search options for those images tend to be rather limited.
Wikimedia Commons is an example of a site that has 13 million images, yet only 9 on massage, 5 on acupuncture, and 142 on yoga.
Please share your favorite open source sites.
From the 2012 Aug issue.
From the 2012 Summer (Jul) issue.
Teaching students how to use social media to improve their job prospects can be extremely valuable. Explain the benefits of having a LinkedIn profile and show students how to create one. By the way, this could be a great homework assignment. Discuss how to find a job through other platforms, such as Twitter (and cover who to follow and why).
From the 2012 June issue.
In the August 2010 Teacher's Aide Newsletter we posted the following book as a resource: slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentation.
Jan Schwartz, M.A., co-owner of Education and Training Solutions, highly recommends this book and provides us with some tips from it:
From the 2012 May issue.
Place a citation at the bottom of your PowerPoint slides (or handouts) that reference the textbook where the materials were obtained. Do this even if the book is a required text in your course. Ideally include a page number if you use a direct quote, table, or definition from the text.
From the 2012 Apr issue.
Grab your students' attention when teaching an online course by incorporating video posts. Video posts are casual in nature, so you don't have to worry about being a brilliant film director or editor. You can summarize the key points of a class lesson or module, interview students about a topic, or interview an expert about the topic (see May 2011 TA for resources on online video).
From the 2012 Feb issue.
Do you ever assign class presentations? Deciding who goes first can be challenging. Consider using an online list randomizer that arranges the items of a list in random order.
Random.org claims to have a superior generator. The randomness comes from atmospheric noise, which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-random number algorithms typically used in computer programs. You simply type in the list (e.g., names, numbers, email addresses), press a button and the random list is automatically generated.
From the 2012 Jan issue.
Waiting till the end of a course is not always the most effective way to obtain useful student feedback. It can help in altering the next course, but does nothing for the students who took the current course.
In the November 2, 2011 issue of Faculty Focus, Susan Codone, PhD writes about a way to get immediate student feedback. The plus/delta evaluation is a brief, half-page form that she hands out at the beginning of class. She asks students during class to think of a "plus" — something they like about the class, and a "delta" — something they'd like to change (substantive feedback, not things out of her control). When class is over, she asks students to leave their completed forms (with no name) by the door. She usually gets good, solid comments that she can use to improve her teaching.
From the 2011 Dec issue.
An option for measuring student learning is to have students take the final exam during the first week in class, without grading them on it. At the end of the term give them that same exam again and compare the results. While letting students see their final exam makes some teachers nervous, most students won't remember any of the questions, and if they do, it will simply help them focus in on what you feel is important for them to know.
Visit Faculty Focus more information.
From the 2011 Nov issue.
From the 2011 Oct issue.
I recently discovered the Wordle application at the afmte conference in August 2011. We used it during the closing ceremony. Every person shared a word that summed up their experience of the conference. The wods were entered into a computer and then uploaded to the Wordle site to create a stunning visual representation of our thoughts. I posted it in the September Teacher's Aide. I've been experimenting with it and am having fun. I have copied chapter 17 of Business Mastery into Wordle and you can see how it appears below. I plan to do this for all the chapters of my books and make PowerPoint™ slides.
You can limit the number of words you want included, and once it's done you can remove words that you don't want, (e.g., "the," "and," "of"). You can also adjust the font, layout and color scheme. You could do this with course materials as an introduction to a course or a summary. Another idea is to have each person in class submit 3-5 words that depict the most important concepts they learned in a specific module.
Create the Wordle and have a short class discussion about it (e.g., which words had more impact, was anything left out).
From the 2011 Sep issue.
Engage students by designing activities that show how the class information relates to their lives or current events. For instance, if a student is a runner, have that student identify the major muscles and bones affected by running and what types of modalities would be the most beneficial. When teaching ethics, bring in an article or news story about an ethical problem and discuss how that affects their profession, or what they can learn from that incident that could be applied to their profession.
From the 2011 August issue.
Encourage student involvement by having them start a class. This could be a short presentation on how the material in the previous class relates to the current class, a review of the material that was covered in the previous class, or a highlight of the reading assignments. You could expand this to a longer presentation (15-20 minutes) on a specific topic.
This last example can work well when a student needs to make up missed classes. A side benefit of a student leading a class section is an increase in public speaking abilities and confidence.
From the 2011 June issue.
Contributed by Deborah K. Noppen LVN, LMT, MTI of the Milan Institute in San Antonio, TX
I assign students a project where they plan their own individual business which is a curriculum requirement to do as homework.
But more challenging and fun is I assign groups to form a partnerships. It really helps them learn the importance of working well with others. I give them basic parameters with as little information as possible, just enough to get them started, (e.g., your partnership will have 3 fixed locations, or your business provides mobile out calls and corporate wellness). From that point the rest is up to them to figure out their income, whether the other therapists are employees or independent contractors, what compensation is, what are the hours of operation, what are the start-up cost and monthly operating expenses. It is very eye-opening for them and they always think of a few questions that are out of the box!
Then they have mock visits to ask for money from a lender.
THEN! This may sound crazy but I have the groups sabotage each other's businesses so that the original planners can be aware of their businesses weaknesses. They love this activity and become quite animated as they work out their differences of opinion.
From the 2011 May issue.
Improve feedback in your online classes by incorporating audio and video commentary. In the March 23 issue of Faculty Focus, John Orlando discusses the four major advantages to voice feedback: improved ability to understand nuance; increased involvement; increased content retention; and increased instructor teaching.
From the 2011 April issue.
Make your class material meaningful by relating the material to your students' lives, lifestyles and future professions. Students learn things more quickly and easily when it relates to them. Also give your students opportunities to immediately apply their knowledge. This can be done in a practice session, lab, a written exercise, a small group activity or a full class discussion. Application reinforces learning, builds confidence and provides feedback.
From the 2011 February issue.
The test has you think about slides as being like billboards. He shows a series of slides where he asks you to imagine you are glancing at a billboard while driving and you have exactly 4 seconds for the image to make an impression. At the end you are asked about what stood out for you. While there are no right or wrong answers, this self-test helps you realize the importance of simplifying your slides and choosing appropriate images.
From the 2011 January issue.
Apply the principles of Feng Shui to your PowerPoint presentations. Here are a few tips that Yulia provides in the article, Feng Shui in your PowerPoint Presentation:
From the 2010 Autumn issue.
Be reassuring, frank, and practical when dealing with trauma topics. No subject is off-limits. This helps students feel safe and less isolated. Keep your boundaries. Discourage any attempt by some students to turn you into an instant psychotherapist.
From the 2010 Spring issue.