Dr. Nadine Wills : CILASS Academic Fellow Scheme Application (adjusted presentation on learning and teaching philosophy)
I gave the following presentation on my teaching philosophy for a Film Studies Professor position in Canada at the same time that I was interviewed here. For a number of reasons, I decided to accept this position instead but this gives you an excellent overview of my approach to learning and teaching. Original Interview Presentation Monday, June 25, 2007
Characteristics of effective teaching (Part 1)
Reflect upon her own practice.
Awareness of the diversity of the student population.
Understanding of equitable practice.
Providing examples of learning for students.
Characteristics of effective teaching (Part 2)
Effective teaching sessions
Clarity of explanations.
Effective use of oral questioning.
Stimulation/encouragement of student interest (that leads to independent inquiry).
Encourages of student involvement/participation.
Evaluation of student learning.
Variety of assessment methods.
Original Source: UK Universities’ Staff Development Unit (1994), adapted
Students as Professionals
Students are expected to:
Behave in an appropriate manner
(Casual and fun atmosphere based on mutual respect, purpose and support)
Take responsibility for themselves and their own learning (meeting deadlines etc.)
Progressively move into the mode of PROFESSIONAL (scholar, researcher, employer/employee)
9 Mantras for teaching
Students need to see the whole picture
Students are selectively attentive
Students are driven by assessment
Students often only memorize if they do not do not make knowledge their own
Students’ attention is limited
Students can be easily overburdened
Students learn well by doing
Students learn well when they take responsibility for their learning
Students have feelings Original Source: Gibbs and Habeshaw (1989: 15-38) (adapted)
Getting the balance right
Rigid and transparent framework
Deadlines important (no missed tests etc.)
Contrasted with casual tone/humour in class
Creativity/freedom encouraged in assessment
Constant negotiation of the learning process
Moving away from strict “lecture” mode
C = Clarity
I = Interdisciplinarity
V = VARK (Visual, Audio, Reading/Writing, Kinaesthetic Learners)
E = Empower and Evolve
S = Soft Skills
T = Technology
Learning outcomes (continuously come back to these)
Especially make connections what “real life” application is
Boundaries and goal-setting
Repetition (in assessment and terms)
Clear what they can expect from me and vice versa
Someone who makes connections
Problem-solver (focus on solutions rather than obstacles)
Students learn in different ways
Ex. 180° Rule
Body language and gestures, eye contact important
Translate theory into equations
Ex. Mulvey and “to-be-looked-at-ness”
Man=eyes=camera=desire, Woman=body=art=object of desire
Empower and Evolve
Choosing essay/subject (distribution of assessment)
Time needed to complete take (3 ½ minutes?)
Development from amateur to professional
Reflecting on development and practice
Sharing “Best Practice”
Skills vs. Knowledge
Knowledge and theory quickly outdated
Need to know how to use resources, research
Lateral rather than just linear connections
Students as human beings
Teacher as life coach
Technology is often used as a barrier to learning
Use of technology routinized
How to incorporate it into the classroom/learning in a spontaneous and innovative way?
Main Strategy for making Film Studies relevant at the School of Community and Liberal Studies
Achieving Learning Outcomes
Development of student judgement
Self assessment and peer feedback alongside course evaluation
Group work (learning from each other)
Engaging learning tasks
Success measured on a series of different levels
Source: Gibbs (1992: 44)
Providing Examples of Learning/Feedback
I give this to students before they do their first one-on-one peer assessment (we also “playact” it out once with me in front of the entire class to model “skilled” and “unskilled” ways of doing this)
Gage how much criticism the person can handle.
Start off with what you liked best about the piece.
Be considerate with your criticism (constructive and brief)
Be specific with your criticism and praise
Problems with Assessment
Overload of students and staff
Fuzzy or non-existent criteria
Undue precision and specificity in marking schemes
Students do not know what is expected of them beforehand (give precise examples of what they must do to get precise marks)
Inadequate or superficial feedback provided (when it is given, usually after marks which is too late)
Finding alternatives to presentations and exams to test knowledge:
Partner Feedback form (student creation)
Participation Form (and evaluation of my feedback of their work)
Teaching Demonstration “ El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001): Rape as Dance/Editing as Audience