CDTLink, September/October 2015
Colleagues who attended the 3-day programme in January and August 2015 share their thoughts on what they found most useful and immediately applicable to their teaching practice:
“The PDP-T…came at exactly the right time for me–I was about to begin my teaching career and was feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of planning and managing modules, as well as the responsibility of communicating with students and managing their own expectations. The…programme taught me how to write my learning outcomes in a clear, concise way and to use them as the framework for my lesson plans. It seemed so logical when spelled out to me, yet I would never have been able to figure it out by myself! It also opened up my eyes to the many different ways to perform assessment.
I found the programme [overall] to be very informative and hope to incorporate many of the techniques and tools in my future lessons. It definitely inspired me to continue learning how to teach.”
[Claire Anne Taylor, Dept of Chemistry]
“I found [the session] “Teaching Large Classes”…the most useful as it covered…practical issues and tips for managing [a] large class. [The micro-teaching] was also useful in that I was able to rehearse a part of my lecture to a new audience and get feedback.”
[Oh Hyelim, Dept of Information Systems]
“I enjoyed the session by Prof Alex Ip most. [It was] not so much because he was a very good, effective and engaging presenter (that was a major bonus and he was an exemplary role model to us), but really, it was his insightful sharing on the importance of understanding how our students learn in guiding how and what we teach which struck me most. To me, this is the very first and crucial step to effective teaching and will definitely help me improve my future teaching!
The second session I enjoyed most was the micro-teaching. It was great to learn from colleagues from other departments and faculties–the content presented were really interesting, but what I appreciated most was the experience of seeing how they all presented and taught very effectively using different modes/styles to an audience who was clueless about the subject matter. After the session, I now have at least some idea on the variety of teaching modes/styles I can explore when teaching different subjects or concepts in future.”
[Chng Hui Ting, Dept of Pharmacy]
“The sessions on ‘Motivating Students’ and ‘Writing Learning Outcomes’ were most beneficial to me. Prof Alex Ip gave vivid ideas on how to create interest on any topic – even for those seemingly dry and academic ones – so as to motivate and engage the audience. I was instantly able to incorporate several of his suggestions in preparing my lecture content. His engaging style is one that I would like to emulate as well.”
[Yeoh Teng Kwong, Dept of Building]
“The program was useful and very well paced. Discussions around learning objectives, in terms of frameworks, taxanomy, and the hands-on exercises were very good in helping me to internalise what was taught…Most importantly I had an opportunity to be acquainted [with] colleagues from other faculties, which was a treasure undiscovered in my own backyard.”
[Ashok Kumar Seetharaman, Institute Systems Science]
“Overall I think most of the sessions were very helpful but if I had to choose two, it will be the following:
- Making a Start: Writing Learning Outcomes. This is one of the most important things I learned. I found it very useful as this is the base for a successful teaching course.
- Formulating Assessments for Your Module. To me, this hands-on session was important because you can share your opinions and thoughts with other colleagues. The fact that everybody was from a different field can help a lot to improve your assessment skills and learn from each other.”
[Massimo Lupascu, Dept of Geography]
“I found the hands-on session on writing learning outcomes very useful for me since I will be proposing a few courses shortly. It gave me much needed insight on writing effective learning outcomes for my modules. The micro-teaching session was also a great experience. Coming from a practice background, I found the session useful in garnering constructive feedback from colleagues who commented on my teaching. It also helped me to be more reflective about my teaching.”
[Sharan Mangalore, Institute Systems Science]
“Generally speaking I liked the interactive nature of the programme, which allowed the participants to get to know each other across faculties and departments. During the comprehensive 3 day programme a couple of sessions stood out for me personally. Since we are all human beings and different in nature, I think it was very good to see how different teacher personalities can capture the student (or, as in our case participant) audience. This came across very nicely in the two sessions on “Motivating Students” by Prof Alex Ip, followed by “Teaching Large Classes” by Assoc Prof Narayanan Ganapathy. These two eminent teachers demonstrated their own approach to teaching, holding true to their personalities. I learned that teaching styles in themselves may not matter as much as being able to capture the students’ attention and imagination by being true to oneself and passionate about what one is to teach.”
[Bettina Lieske, Dept of Surgery]