Teaching Academy Addresses 5th and Final Challenge
By Vanessa Shirley
Teaching an introductory course to 300 students is challenging enough, but giving personalized feedback to all those students can seem downright impossible to many faculty. A group of UW faculty presented how technology can help during the Teaching Academy's 5th and final Teaching Challenge titled "Giving Prompt Feedback" on Thursday, May 6th.
Faculty from psychology, chemistry, entomology and the medical school presented their own methods for giving feedback. Psychology professor Dr. Jeff Henriques uses clickers. These handheld devices allow students to answer questions during a lecture and give instant feedback on students' understanding of the material. "It encourages students to engage with material earlier than the night before a test," explained Dr. Jeff Henriques.
Other presenters included Dr. Bob Jeanne (Entomology), Dr. David Abbott (Obstetrics & Gynecology) and Dr. Mike Hanson (Chemistry). Each spoke about how Moodle, an online course management system, helped them give personalized feedback to students in large lecture courses.
The Top 5 Teaching Challenges are a series of events focusing on the Top 5 Teaching Challenges identified by UW Madison faculty and instructors. Past topics discussed include: "Making lectures more interactive", "Demonstrating complex concepts", "Providing students with practice or reinforcement" and "Focusing students on real world problems or tasks."
The events are an opportunity for faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students to learn, and share ideas on how to improve teaching and learning excellence at the University of Wisconsin. The Top 5 Teaching Challenges events are a collaborative effort between DoIT Academic Technology and the UW Teaching Academy.