Research Informing Teaching in the Classroom – Brad Mannell

One of the premises of good teaching at the University of Waterloo is that professors who are good researchers as well as good teachers can provide a richer learning experience in the university classroom.  What are the strategies that professors can use to translate their experience of being a researcher into enriched learning experiences for their students?

As an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo, I have found that professors have not always brought their research experience into the classroom, although in classes where they have done so and made it part of the curriculum, I feel students have benefited.  For instance, professors have presented interesting case studies that were derived from their research and conveyed insider insights into the research underlying basics course principles. Also, I have had professors who were extremely excited about their research and brought that enthusiasm to their teaching, which has got me excited about discovering new knowledge as well as the course content.

I understand that a professor’s research and research experience will inform different courses in different ways.  However, at the university, I do think it is imperative for professors to integrate their research experience into their courses as much as possible.  If this is to be the case, what approaches and strategies can professors use to accomplish this task?  What are some good examples from the courses of professors who have done this well?

The Centre for Teaching Excellence welcomes contributions to its blog. If you are a faculty member, staff member, or student at the University of Waterloo (or beyond!) and would like contribute a posting about some aspect of teaching or learning, please contact Mark Morton or Trevor Holmes.

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