Thoughts on Teaching

Tips for Successful Teaching

Lecture-Style Courses


  • Ultimate goal is student learning
  • Fluency in the course material well beyond course’s end
  • Critical thinking <=> problem solving

Before the course starts…

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation
  • Syllabus
  • Test timing

Before class…

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation
  • Gauging how much material fits into a lecture
  • Lecture notes must be ready for the immediate and the succeeding class

In class…

  • “Coming attractions”
  • “Where are we?”
  • Pace
  • Asking questions
    • Voting
    • Pizza
  • Enlivening class
    • Historical context
    • “Why are we doing this?”
    • “But what does this equation mean?”
  • Using PowerPoint…be careful

Outside class…

  • Homework should be “interesting” and challenging
  • Group work
  • “Open door”
  • Electronic support
    • Course web page
    • E-mail
    • Blogs?