Poster Theme: Teaching is More than Telling
Our new poster theme emphasizes the truth that teaching is more than telling or presenting. Alone, telling and showing do not automatically result in learning. Learning is most likely to occur when 1) the information presented meets a learner’s needs, 2) when learners adapt the knowledge to their context, and 3) when learners get to practice and demonstrate their new skills or knowledge.
A good teacher always tries to see things from the learners’ point of view… He or she may picture one of their students (a real client) as they prepare presentation materials and activities, but doing this can be challenging.
Too often, the only time we really reflect about teaching is when we encounter poor examples such as an ambiguous question, a confusing example, or text on a slide that is too small to read, etc. This is why–in an effort to become more learner-centered–I often undertake a task that puts me back in a (formal) learner’s shoes. I might force myself to take an online class or webinar (just like my students), or simply be more reflective when attending a presentation. During such a webinar or presentation I might ask myself:
- What am I doing as an audience member?
- What is this presenter doing that is keeping or loosing my attention?
- What behavior could I adopt or eliminate in my course to help learners stay appropriately engaged?
It’s good practice to write improvement ideas down in a notebook, in your phone, anywhere–just pay attention as lessons are everywhere (and free!). You’ll also likely want to make the changes/edits very soon after your event since you’ll never remember those good ideas in a year when you teach the class again.
By being a bit more reflective, you *can* get a better feel for what activities might help your your clients learn. You’re also more likely to (re)discover the simple truth that teaching is more than telling. The TLS team and SOG colleagues can also help you by providing you with feedback on your teaching, your learning activities and/or your materials. Come see us to get some ideas on where to start. To repeat a familiar Home Depot slogan. You can do it. We can help.
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