Trust in the classroom: is it something we really need? — Plinio Morita

On July 5th, we hosted a CTE graduate student workshop on the topic of Trust in the Classroom. My goal was to foster discussion around the topic of trust in a collegial and safe environment. Based on the feedback that I received from the participants, I decided to devote a blog posting to it as it was highlighted as an important, but unusual topic in teaching development workshops.

This observation is supported by the lack of literature about trust in the classroom in higher education. The literature on trust is extensive, ranging from engineering, to social sciences to business. When it comes to education, the focus has been on secondary and elementary education, as many authors discuss activities and techniques to develop trust and create a trust fostering environment. However, a post-secondary classroom is quite different. When looking for literature on trust in higher education, I was able to find only a handful of studies on this topic. Continue reading Trust in the classroom: is it something we really need? — Plinio Morita

Videotaped Microteaching Sessions – Plinio Morita

Over the last two terms, I’ve been scheduling and running CTE microteaching sessions for graduate students. Our  microteaching sessions (MTS) focus on providing feedback to the participants on their teaching skills. A series of three microteaching sessions is structured as a developmental cycle in which participants are presented with an opportunity to practice their teaching skills in a safe environment, having the opportunity to focus on their weaknesses and try new teaching techniques. The feedback is provided by 3-4 peer graduate students who participate in the microteaching, plus one Graduate Instructional Developer who facilitates the session. However, the feedback provided is constrained to a few components that we, as observers, have the capacity of noticing and writing down. There are still numerous other aspects of teaching that either go unnoticed, or fall outside the standard observation items in which most of the feedback is grounded.

At CTE, we are constantly trying to improve the quality and impact of our graduate development programs. This term we will offer video recorded microteaching sessions. Based on the experience of other teaching development programs that include a videotaped teaching component, video feedback provides one of the most effective, solid, and comprehensive tools to raise awareness of individual teaching strengths and weaknesses.

Starting on April 10th, 2012, we will offer a number of video recorded MTS  as an additional  tool for teaching development. These sessions will be available for all participants of our Fundamentals of University Teaching program and can be scheduled the same way as regular MTS. Each participant will receive a video of their mini-lesson  at the end of the session.

This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to do a self-review of their teaching after the event. Check out the the dates of upcoming sessions that will be video recorded by going to our website and schedule yours.

The safe environment of a microteaching in a peer group  presents the perfect opportunity to try new methods and improve teaching. See you around at upcoming sessions!