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These Teaching Basics videos were created by Faculty Evaluation & Coaching staff to help new instructors prepare for on-campus teaching. Working with simplified content, these videos present clear strategies for three key elements of teaching: lectures, demonstrations, and assigning homework. As you watch, try to focus on the way the instructor presents his content, rather than on the content itself.

Engaging lectures

As you watch this video, focus on how the instructor delivers the content. Pay attention to how he...

  • Gets students’ attention
  • Ties lecture to homework assignment
  • Communicates ideas clearly
  • Keeps students engaged
  • Checks students’ comprehension

Notice that in the Comprehension section of the video, the instructor asks questions and has students work together to “fill in the blanks” by recalling the presentation material. He does this to see that his students have learned what he's taught.

Learn more: Delivering Class Content

Effective demonstrations

Again, focus on the instructor’s delivery rather than the content of this demo. As you watch, pay attention to how he...

  • Shows finished examples
  • Reviews materials and/or supplies
  • Breaks demo into segments
  • Describes and explains each step
  • Gives an immediate chance to practice

Learn more: Delivering Class Content

Assigning homework

New instructors tend to underestimate how critical it is to allow adequate time to explain and review assignments with students, and this leads to a common student complaint that “assignment expectations were not clear” or “were confusing.” Since we grade them primarily on homework and projects, students deserve considerable attention to this part of each class.

This third video emphasizes the importance of allowing enough time to carefully review the homework assignment with the students. Notice all of the instructor’s efforts to make sure that his students are thoroughly prepared to complete their assignment when they leave the classroom. Watch as he...

  • Focuses their attention
  • Provides written directions and reviews them
  • Reviews the assignment criteria
  • Discusses examples of the assignment
  • Checks student comprehension
  • Starts the homework in class

Learn more: Assigning Homework

Critiques that keep students engaged

During a critique, students' attention tends to flag, which makes the critique less productive. And critiques can be tie-consuming, often eating up too much precious class time.

This fourth video demonstrates how to run an efficient critique that provides individualized feedback without taking too much time. Pay attention to the way the instructor...

  • Asks students to display their work — pinning it to the wall or otherwise making it visible to all
  • Takes a few moments to review the assignment submissions on her own, making notes about what is working well and how the work might be improved
  • Asks students to prepare for the critique by answering questions about their submission and discussing with a classmate
  • Posts and reviews the assignment criteria before beginning the critique
  • Asks students to take notes on the critique 
  • Focuses the critique around the criteria
  • Illuminates common strengths and weaknesses
  • Encourages student participation in the critique
  • Asks students to set goals for revision

Learn more: Critiques that Keep Students Engaged

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