Teaching Seminar

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Spring 2020 Teaching Development Fellow: Fiona Young

The Teaching seminar is organized by a graduate student who has been designated as the Teaching Development Fellow for the department. In addition to organizing the seminar, the Fellow also coordinates peer oberservations among the recitation and instructional TAs, and works on an additional project to foster teaching excellence among the graduate students. 

Graduate students interested in facilitating a seminar should contact the Fellow. Below is a list of potential topics--the Fellow will have copies of the three print resources listed below. 

Potential Topics:

  • Video Cases for College Mathematics Instruction
  • Boston College Mathematics Case Studies, Solomon Friedberg
    • "Changing Sections" (expectations regarding prerequisite knowledge)
    • "Emily's Test" (suspected cheating while proctoring exams)
    • "Fundamental Problems" (addressing understanding of fundamentals during a last-minute review session)
    • "Making the Grade" (grading sample student solutions to problems - examples for college algebra, calculus I, and multivariable calculus)
    • "Making Waves" (providing motivation/applications of topics being covered)
    • "Order Out of Chaos" (managing student-led discussion when a lot of students have the wrong idea)
    • "Pairing Up" (managing group work on practice problems)
    • "The Quicksand of Problem Four" (recitation plans being derailed by practice problems taking more time than expected)
    • "Salad Days" (handling a student who is over-committed and not on track to get a passing grade in the course)
    • "Seeking Points" (responding to a student who thinks grading is unfair and is more focused on earning points than understanding the problem)
    • "Study Habits" (motivating students to work harder in a course after they do worse than you expected on an exam)
    • "Studying the Exam" (constructing an effective, appropriate midterm exam - examples for college algebra, calculus II, and multivariable calculus)
    • "There's Something about Ted" (adjusting expecations and plans when teaching at a large state university)
    • "What Were They Thinking?" (coping with poor exam results as a first-time lecturer)
  • How Teaching Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, and Norman
    • How does students' prior knowledge affect their learning?
    • How does the way students organize knowledge affect their learning?
    • What factors motivate students to learn?
    • How do students develop mastery?
    • What kinds of practice and feedback enhance learning?
    • Why do student development and course climate matter for student learning?
    • How do students become self-directed learners?
  • What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain
    • What do they know about how we learn?
    • How do they prepare to teach?
    • What do they expect of their students?
    • How do they conduct class?
    • How do they treat their students?
    • How do they evaluate their students and themselves?
  • Other topics, as suggested by the particpants. 

Past Teaching Development Fellows

  • Lila Greco, Fall 2018
  • Matt Hin, Spring 2019
  • Ryan McDermott, Fall 2019