Monday, January 9, 2012

Answers to some questions from affiliate faculty members

Earlier today I facilitated the workshop "Introduction to College Teaching at Metro State for New Affiliate Faculty." We were able to respond to some questions during the panel discussion, but not all.

Here are responses to some more of the questions submitted by participants in their "minute papers":

  1. "How do you deal with students who complain about requirements?" If this question is referring to assignments that students are required to complete in the course, I think the best way to preempt these kinds of complaints is to show early and often how the assignments align with the course learning objectives. Then your answer can be, "you're required to do this in order to master the learning objectives of the course." It's when students don't see that alignment, I think, that they're more inclined to complain about a required assignment.
  2. "Are faculty software downloads or discounts available (e.g. Adobe or Word)?" Yes! All affiliate faculty are entitled to the Microsoft Office suite of applications, which includes Word. Contact Information Technology to find out where to pick up the CD-Rom (you'll need to show your Metro State ID, and you can only receive one CD-Rom).
  3. "I would like more teaching examples." Observing others' teaching is a great way to get ideas about your own teaching. One helpful resource (which I mentioned during the workshop) is Merlot. Specifically, look for the Elixr Case Studies of teaching for some great examples. If you're interested in seeing live examples of teaching, consider taking part in this semester's Peer Instructional Coaching cohort offered by the Center for Faculty Development. I will email a call for participation within a couple of weeks from now.
Several people mentioned that they would have liked to hear more about active learning and strategies to engage students. This will be a topic featured at the Spring Forum on March 30 In addition, because so many people mentioned it, I will offering a stand alone workshop sometime during the first half of the semester. Check the Faculty Development Events Calendar and this blog for the latest updates regarding workshops, etc.