Active Teaching Lab

This past Spring, with the wonderful support of DoIT Academic Technology and the Teaching Academy, I launched a series of Active Teaching Labs — low-commitment, structured explorations of cool teaching tools and techniques to teach more effectively. The response to them was very positive.

GOAL: Capacity Building at faculty level; create deeply-embodied and socially-playful environments & experiences for learners — Lure with low-risk involvement. Inspire with stories. Motivate with hands-on success.

SUCCESS: Because it is a safe & playful, low-risk environment where faculty are affirmed for trying, the Active Teaching Program inspires a willingness to try new things, and those experiences generate new discussions and new ideas.

SPRING 2015 STATS:

  • invited 11 speakers to host 13 sessions that attracted 194 total participants (avg 18/week) from 11 SCIDs/programs
  • used simple tools to create & host 24 videos of sessions (instructor story video and Q&A video) with 541 YouTube views
  • garnered considerable positive buzz across campus
  • held first Active Teaching Showcase in SoN with 22 participants

Faculty tell us they like

  • light-touch: no commitment, low-stress, casual
  • environment: safe, playful energy
  • stories: by peers of pedagogical problems and solutions
  • hands-on: pressure to try
  • how-to sheet: to take home, get into more deeply later, or share
  • community: interdisciplinary
  • discussions: on mitigations/alternatives
  • videos: to share (or for when they couldn’t come)
  • awareness: where to go for more information, integration with other programs  

Faculty tell us they want

  • more offerings: different times for those who teach Fridays
  • training: deeper explorations of campus-supported tools & processes

local talks: facilitated pedagogical discussions with departmental colleagues

This is a short explanation, evaluation summary, and proposal for expansion:

I’m happy to answer any questions. Ping me.

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