Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ALISE conference - sessions on teaching

I've attended two excellent sessions at ALISE so far both focused on teaching. The first was a three and a half hour workshop entitled "Launching a Teaching Career" given on Tuesday afternoon by Scott Nicholson of Syracuse University and the second was a ninety minute session this morning entitled "Interviews and Beyond...Negotiating your first Position". This one was sponsored by the ALISE Doctoral Special Interest Group and featured Heather Hill, Leigh Estabrook, and Melanie Kimball as panelists.

The first session focused on teaching and covered learning outcomes, classroom assessment techniques, course design, course design, and course evaluation. Each section of the presentation built on the previous ones and each involved participants responding to a very short assignment, talking with a few other participants about the assignment, and then sharing their discussion with the whole group (a technique Scott called 'think, pair, share' and meant to be a practicing what you preach type of lesson). By the end of the session, participants had a learning outcome, a way to assess students' success on that outcome, a way to integrate it into a course, and a way to evaluate it's effectiveness. It was an exceptional session that could (and actually may be in some places) be expanded to a semester long course for doctoral students.

The second session focused on preparing doctoral students for seeking and achieving success at their first faculty position. Also an immensely useful session. The two most important things I learned in this session were to begin thinking of myself as a scholar/teacher rather than a student and (more pragmatically) some very useful questions to ask at an interview about things that are important to me as well as when to ask them and who to ask them of.

If and when the session handouts, etc. are posted on the web I'll try to share them here.

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