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The College Classroom Fa15 Meeting 9: The First Day of Class

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Peter Newbury
Center for Engaged Teaching,
UC San Diego
Published on Dec 31, 2015

Published in: Education
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The College Classroom Fa15 Meeting 9: The First Day of Class

  1. 1. The College Classroom Meeting 9: First Day of Class December 1 and 3, 2015 Peter Newbury Center for EngagedTeaching UC San Diego collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu commons.ucsd.edu Unless otherwise noted, content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Non Commercial 3.0 License.
  2. 2. By the end of the first class, you want students to have a good sense of First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu2  why the course is interesting and worthwhile  what kind of classroom environment you want  how the course will be conducted  why the particular teaching methods are being used  what the students need to do to learn the material and succeed in the course Also,  you respect them  your want all of them to succeed (CWSEI, [1])
  3. 3. By the end of the first class, you want students to have a good sense of First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu3  why the course is interesting and worthwhile  what kind of classroom environment you want  how the course will be conducted  why the particular teaching methods are being used  what the students need to do to learn the material and succeed in the course Also,  you respect them  your want all of them to succeed (CWSEI, [1]) Is that all? C’mon, you’ve got 50 minutes!
  4. 4. The First Day of Class[1] First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu4 1. Establish motivation 1. personal relevance and interest 2. choice and control 3. sense that one can master the material 2. Personalize the learning experience 3. Establish expectations 4. Don’t go over the details
  5. 5. The First Day of Class[1] First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu5 1. Establish motivation 1. personal relevance and interest 2. choice and control 3. sense that one can master the material 2. Personalize the learning experience 3. Establish expectations 4. Don’t go over the details Wait, when do you welcome them? When do you tell them your name?
  6. 6. Why is this necessary? First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu6  You want every student to leave the first class thinking, “Thiswillbeagoodcourse,I’m okbeinghere.Ihavesomething tocontribute.”  If you don’t do it,“students who are most likely to see the subject as worth learning are those whose backgrounds, and corresponding attitudes, are most like that of the instructor. Those students whose backgrounds are different, which by definition (usually) includes most members of under- represented groups, will be less likely to understand the appeal of the subject and consequently more inclined to put their efforts into pursuing some other discipline.” (CWSEI, Motivating Learning)
  7. 7. First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu7
  8. 8. First Day of Class collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu8
  9. 9. First Day of Class collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu9 If you don’t have time to do everything, perhaps start with the items in the middle that support all three components.
  10. 10. Tuesday AM meeting First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu10
  11. 11. Tuesday PM meeting First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu11
  12. 12. Thursday meeting First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu12
  13. 13. When you're the instructor, what do you want your students to call you? First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu13 Don’t want “Professor”,“Dr”, “Instructor” without a name
  14. 14. friend students? class twitter acct professional /personal acct follow students? class pinterest class flickr acct link to students? Social Media First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu14 Which of these social media channels will you (do you) use to connect with your students?
  15. 15. First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu15  make the icebreaker useful – introduce students to an authentic task they’ll learn and practice during the course  use to create a learning community in LARGE classes
  16. 16. Think-Pair-Share First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu16 What’s the difference between academic misconduct and academic integrity?
  17. 17. Course details: don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu17  Don’t go into details during first class: give links to more details on  course syllabus  detailed schedule  detailed learning outcomes  academic misconduct integrity  deadlines  rules/policies (eg, late assignments, missed exams…)  Could give an assignment involving reading these.
  18. 18. Microteaching Presentations See blog for details collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu/fa15-microteaching-experience/ First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu18
  19. 19. First class do’s and don'ts First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu19
  20. 20. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Check out classroom before the first class  clicker hardware?  podium computer?  lapel mic (“lav”)?Try it.  presentation remote works from back of room?  assume you’ll be able to figure it out at the time.  let a technical problem ruin your only chance to make a first impression. 20
  21. 21. First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Start the class on time. (establish expectations)  arrive late (what expectation does that establish?)  have “intimate” conversation with students in the front rows while you wait for others to wander in. This doesn’t “personalize” the class. 21 Do Don’t
  22. 22. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Tell students you think they can all succeed if they put in the effort. Fine to say the course is challenging as long as you also express it is  interesting/worthwhile  do-able with appropriate effort Say threatening things like  telling them you expect some to fail  telling them that students don’t usually like the course  telling tell them that students find the course extremely difficult 22
  23. 23. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Give them an authentic experience of what the class will be like.  If you’re going to use peer instruction, do it even if some don’t have clickers yet.  email pre-reading assignment 2 days before the first class Use teaching practices that are inconsistent with how you’ll teach the rest of the time:  don’t use clickers if you’re not (really) going to use clickers 23
  24. 24. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Involve students during class Talk the entire class time 24
  25. 25. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Address academic conduct in context throughout the course:  talk about plagiarism when you give out a writing assignment, not now Emphasize rules and penalties on the first day:  sends a message of distrust  they’re not listening anyway 25
  26. 26. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu End class on time with a slide containing info:  your name  office hours  contact info  course website  homework  important thing End class early (establish expectations) 26
  27. 27. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Repeat vital info at the beginning of the 2nd class  your name  contact info  course website Assume everyone was there in the 1st class. 27
  28. 28. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Reinforce all of these messages (motivation, personalized learning, expectations,…) periodically throughout the course, at the appropriate times. 28
  29. 29. Do Don’t First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu Have a growth mindset: You must believe all of your students are capable of learning your course’s content. If you don’t, you may inadvertently deny your students learning opportunities. Have a fixed mindset about your students’ abilities, including  your job is to find 5% who will be like you  your job is to filter out students from advancing to the next course29
  30. 30. Thank-you… First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu30  for your enthusiasm for teaching and learning  for your commitment to this class  for generously sharing your expertise I have a better understanding of teaching and learning and I’m a better instructor because of what I learned with and from you…
  31. 31. References First Day of Class - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu31 1. CarlWieman Science Education Initiative (2009). First Day of Class – Recommendations for Instructors.Available under Instructor Guidance Resources at cwsei.ubc.ca 2. CarlWieman Science Education Initiative (2013). Motivating Learning.Available under Instructor Guidance Resources at cwsei.ubc.ca

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