Your students aren't reading. They aren't engaged in class. Getting them to talk is like pulling teeth.
Whatever the situation, your reality is not meeting your expectations. Change is needed. But who's got the time?
Or maybe you're just starting out, and you want to get it right the first time.
If so, Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students is the blueprint. Written for the early career college professor, this easy-to-implement college instruction guide teaches you to:
Think like advertisers to understand your target audience - your students
Adopt the active learning approach of the best K-12 teachers
Write a syllabus that gets noticed and read
Develop lessons that stimulate deep engagement
Create slide presentations that students can digest
Take charge of your college classroom management
Get students to do the readings, participate more, and care about your course
Secrets like "focusing on students, not content" and building a "customer" profile of the class will change the way you teach. The author, Dr. Norman Eng, argues that much of these approaches and techniques have been effectively used in marketing and K-12 education, two industries that could greatly improve how college instructors teach.
Find out how to hack the world of higher education instruction and have your course become the standard by which all other courses will be measured against. Whether you are an adjunct, a lecturer, an assistant professor, or even a graduate assistant, effective teaching is within your grasp.
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Good advice for post-secondary educators
This book was a great reminder of perspectives, tips, and strategies for teaching at the post-secondary level. Most of the ideas in the book are consistent with what I learned as a B.Ed. student (class of 2007), and with the professional development resources/training at the post-secondary institution where I currently teach full-time. Although I'm generally familiar with the material, I definitely believe that it was worthwhile to review the ideas in the book and reflect on ways that I could improve my teaching. The audio narration was well done and I truly appreciate it when audiobook authors provide links to resources! (I'd be in heaven if I could get digital access to illustrations from print copies of my audiobooks, via password protected web pages...)
Based on my own experiences as a post-secondary educator, I would suggest that you shouldn't feel like you need to follow all of the tips in this book (there are so many good ideas, it would be overwhelming to try to adopt all of them at once). However, if you follow at least some of them you will become a better educator. Even minor changes can result in major improvements (from a student engagement perspective). If you're as engaged with the students as you want them to be engaged with you, then you'll be able to detect what works and what doesn't work when you teach. Don't expect perfection right away, adopt a continuous improvement approach to your lessons, and enjoy the high that you feel at the end of a really effective class (it helps offset those days when students don't seem to find any of your jokes funny!).
Anyway, this book was an enjoyable read. Even if the material is familiar to some readers, it's never a bad idea to think about one's philosophy of teaching and consider how that philosophy translates into practice.
I provided my opinion in exchange for a complimentary copy of the audiobook from the author, narrator, or publisher.
- Christine Newton
Treating adults as teens and children