This intensive one-week experience has been invaluable for re-invigorating my commitment to teaching excellence. After 15+ years of teaching at the undergraduate level, it was so important to step back and revisit the importance of learning goals and the latest pedagogical research in best practices. Being surrounded by faculty from a variety of disciplines was essential for understanding how learning is experienced from multiple perspectives – I learned so much, and connected with colleagues I would never have engaged otherwise.
The emphasis on technology for the classroom was eye opening. While I use a variety of media in my teaching (presentations with embedded videos, D2L, and media streaming), this workshop brought me up to speed on the latest technologies. Further, I learned how to create websites – this was something “on my list” to learn for the last several year, and I’ve just never found time to do it. The instruction of how to use social media (specifically, google communities) to foster engagement with course material outside the classroom prompted me to reimagine entire assignments to better connect concepts to students’ lives.
Overall, the institute was helpful beyond all expectations. The stipend is also appreciated – it made the decision to commit a week to teaching development feel valued by the university.