Teaching Strategies

Have you ever thought about how you teach different types of content?  Do you do it the same way each time?  Or do you try other methods? Do you match the delivery method to the type of content and audience? There is always more than one way to deliver a class.

Something as simple as getting students to pair up for an exercise: how many ways could you do that?  Or to teach a class on the topics in a textbook, how many ways could you do that?

A lot of the time, instructors fall back on what they were shown or what they know, but is there another way to do it?  Try keeping track of all the different ways that you could do something and don’t be afraid to mix it up.  Reflect on your teaching strategies and see what you could do differently next time, what could you try?

Changes to the University’s Academic Misconduct Policy

The University announced small changes to the academic misconduct policy and procedures starting this month.

These changes are included in a revised version of the Academic Misconduct Instructor’s Guide, which is on the Nexus Instructor Communication Portal and the University’s main website.

In short:

-instructors are directed to use a template for the submission of reports of misconduct, a sample of which is in the guide

-instructors can now include information to the Committee on previous teachable moments with the student involved in both the current course and other courses – as long as those teachable moments came from the instructor filing the report (ie. first hand information only)

If you do encounter suspected academic misconduct in a PACE course, be sure to reach out to the Academic Program Manager for assistance.

Class not answering your questions? Maybe you are asking the wrong question.

Have you ever had the experience in the classroom where you pose a question to the class and no one answers?  Perhaps your question is too ‘big’ for the students to answer.

As you create your lesson plan, you should plan moments to pose questions to the class.  As you plan those questions, think about what you are asking and ensure that students will be able to answer.

For example, if you ask “what is your favourite movie of all time?”, that can be hard to answer.  Students will need a moment to think about it, to decide what is THE best movie, what constitutes a good movie, what kind of impression will they make on the class.

If instead you ask “what was the last movie you saw?”, there is no judgement involved, it’s easy to recall. Similarly, asking “what is one of your favourite movies?” reduces the struggle to get the one answer.

Plan your questions so that students can have an opportunity to formulate an answer based on the information you’ve presented and the words you use in your question.

Want more ideas on what to do when you cannot get a class to answer your questions?  Check out the Cult of Pedagogy podcast #128:


Nexus Tip – Unpinning / Pinning Courses

On the Nexus log in home page, you can choose which courses / programs show up and which are not readily visible.  When you first come on with PACE, your home page shows the first course or program you are assigned to, that program / course says visible until you choose to remove it from the window; as that window only fits a finite number of courses, it is a good idea to clean it up from time to time.

To remove a course or program from the home page, such as when it is all done, just click the thumbtack in the right hand corner of the icon.  Poof!  It is no longer visible.

It is not deleted, just not tacked to the home page.  Want to go back and see some material, look along the very top line of any Nexus page, the right of center is an icon that looks like one side of Rubic’s Cube, or a six sided die.  Click on it, a drop down list of all your courses appears; there is also a search feature to that list to assist in finding courses or programs.

If you want to add a new course to your home page, use that search feature to find it and to the right of the name within the search results you will see a thumbtack icon.  Click on the thumbtack to add the program or course of your choice to your home page.