Drive-Thru Pedagogy

Pick up something practical.

Improve Student Writing with Peer Feedback

Peer feedback makes assignments more social and collaborative, creating opportunities for students to learn from one another. In conversations about shared assignments, students can make connections to lectures, readings, and other course elements. They can also use time in feedback groups to clarify the goals of the assignment and discover varied methods for fulfilling those goals. Collaborative learning helps mitigate the isolation some students feel when working independently. ...

The Power of a Good Story

Many of us rightly emphasize “critical reading” in our courses, helping students hone the tools they need to unpack and evaluate the storylines they encounter, whether in historical or contemporary texts, written or visual sources, scientists’ data or politicians’ campaigns. It’s also important, though, to get students thinking about what’s involved in producing the best possible stories, and this is something I’ve begun devoting more attention to in the COLL 100 course I regularly teach, “Things: Objects and Their (Hi)Stories.” The better a storyline, the greater an author’s chances of getting what s/he’s after, but it’s important to be clear about what we are—or should be—aiming for when we attempt to produce a good story....

Connecting with Students: Seeing Through a Performance Pedagogy Lens

Principles of Performance Pedagogy provide fundamental support for learning in any discipline. Performance Pedagogy values harnessing students' pre-existing strengths and their own collection of knowledge and unique experiences. In this post I discuss different perspectives we can bring to how we engage with students....

Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Statistics is an extremely practical tool used in many business applications ranging from quality control in manufacturing, Netflix recommendations to Google ads. However, it is also an abstract topic that intimidates and frustrates many students. To help students learn and apply statistics more effectively, I asked them to go house shopping. Well, they just needed to pretend to buy a house. ...

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Websites, podcasts, videos, even the dreaded Powerpoint presentation, I’ve helped instructors develop assignments around all of these modes and more. When I first started, I admit that I didn’t quite know what I was doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the theoretical principles involved in getting a particular multimodal assignment to work . It was that I’d never tried to implement specific methods in an actual class before. But, thanks to a few early adopter faculty members, I learned very quickly what worked, what didn’t work, and what had potential....

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Many in education have seen the various equality vs. equity graphics circulated throughout professional development sessions. One has various animals that are all expected to climb a tree despite their differences in mobility. In another, children of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence but the crates they stand on to gain a viewing advantage are all the same height. ...

Reframing accommodations on your syllabus

The syllabus sets the tone for the course from the very first day -- this is our opportunity to welcome all of our students! Welcoming students with disabilities reflects the William & Mary values of belonging, flourishing, and respect, but it can require reframing our stock legalistic language about accommodations....

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 2: How to think about Technical Skills

What skills do you want your students to develop when they create a multimodal project? If you’re assigning an essay, you’re probably hoping students will improve their writing. That same expectation should apply to a multimodal project. At some level, you want the students to be better producers (and consumers) of whatever medium they’re creating. There are many skill sets at play in any multimodal assignment. ...

Developing Confident and Responsible Writers in the Digital World

Teaching and learning in the digital world brings the dual possibilities of promise and peril. Digital tools and expanded connectivity afford instructors a wide array of instructional possibilities. Learners benefit from access to information and the ability to more easily collaborate with peers. These affordances are balanced by several constraints as well. One particular challenge is ensuring academic integrity in digital spaces....

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 1: A Study in Communication

One of the hardest things for many instructors to do is to create a non-paper-based or multi-modal assignment for their students. We get so much of our information from videos, podcasts, websites, and other multimodal sources, so it’s only natural that instructors would want to help students understand these communication modes critically. There are appealing assignment options out there like student-created websites, podcasts, or student-produced videos....
Improve Student Writing with Peer Feedback

Improve Student Writing with Peer Feedback

Peer feedback makes assignments more social and collaborative, creating opportunities for students to learn from one another. In conversations about shared assignments, students can make connections to lectures, readings, and other course elements. They can also use time in feedback groups to clarify the goals of the assignment and discover varied methods for fulfilling those goals. Collaborative learning helps mitigate the isolation some students feel when working independently. …

read more
The Power of a Good Story

The Power of a Good Story

Many of us rightly emphasize “critical reading” in our courses, helping students hone the tools they need to unpack and evaluate the storylines they encounter, whether in historical or contemporary texts, written or visual sources, scientists’ data or politicians’ campaigns. It’s also important, though, to get students thinking about what’s involved in producing the best possible stories, and this is something I’ve begun devoting more attention to in the COLL 100 course I regularly teach, “Things: Objects and Their (Hi)Stories.” The better a storyline, the greater an author’s chances of getting what s/he’s after, but it’s important to be clear about what we are—or should be—aiming for when we attempt to produce a good story….

read more
Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Statistics is an extremely practical tool used in many business applications ranging from quality control in manufacturing, Netflix recommendations to Google ads. However, it is also an abstract topic that intimidates and frustrates many students. To help students learn and apply statistics more effectively, I asked them to go house shopping. Well, they just needed to pretend to buy a house. …

read more
Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Websites, podcasts, videos, even the dreaded Powerpoint presentation, I’ve helped instructors develop assignments around all of these modes and more. When I first started, I admit that I didn’t quite know what I was doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the theoretical principles involved in getting a particular multimodal assignment to work . It was that I’d never tried to implement specific methods in an actual class before. But, thanks to a few early adopter faculty members, I learned very quickly what worked, what didn’t work, and what had potential….

read more
Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Many in education have seen the various equality vs. equity graphics circulated throughout professional development sessions. One has various animals that are all expected to climb a tree despite their differences in mobility. In another, children of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence but the crates they stand on to gain a viewing advantage are all the same height. …

read more
Reframing accommodations on your syllabus

Reframing accommodations on your syllabus

The syllabus sets the tone for the course from the very first day — this is our opportunity to welcome all of our students! Welcoming students with disabilities reflects the William & Mary values of belonging, flourishing, and respect, but it can require reframing our stock legalistic language about accommodations….

read more
Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 2: How to think about Technical Skills

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 2: How to think about Technical Skills

What skills do you want your students to develop when they create a multimodal project? If you’re assigning an essay, you’re probably hoping students will improve their writing. That same expectation should apply to a multimodal project. At some level, you want the students to be better producers (and consumers) of whatever medium they’re creating. There are many skill sets at play in any multimodal assignment. …

read more
Developing Confident and Responsible Writers in the Digital World

Developing Confident and Responsible Writers in the Digital World

Teaching and learning in the digital world brings the dual possibilities of promise and peril. Digital tools and expanded connectivity afford instructors a wide array of instructional possibilities. Learners benefit from access to information and the ability to more easily collaborate with peers. These affordances are balanced by several constraints as well. One particular challenge is ensuring academic integrity in digital spaces….

read more
Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 1: A Study in Communication

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 1: A Study in Communication

One of the hardest things for many instructors to do is to create a non-paper-based or multi-modal assignment for their students. We get so much of our information from videos, podcasts, websites, and other multimodal sources, so it’s only natural that instructors would want to help students understand these communication modes critically. There are appealing assignment options out there like student-created websites, podcasts, or student-produced videos….

read more
One Word Entry Into Class Discussion

One Word Entry Into Class Discussion

Many of us have been there. You’re trying to facilitate a discussion over Zoom, you pose a question, you wait the appropriately awkward amount of time and …crickets. Perhaps students aren’t sure what they want to say — it may be that they are tired — or they could just be shy. Whatever the issue, discussion falls flat when students don’t engage. In the education courses I teach, I need students to read and respond to various pedagogical case studies. My goal is that students read the text and dig deeply into how the ideas espoused in the texts can transfer to their classroom practice….

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Building Your Course Around Design Principles

Building Your Course Around Design Principles

When you’re designing a new course or doing a major syllabus revision, where do you typically start? If you’re like me (and probably most instructors), you begin with the content. What are the key concepts, ideas, and understandings that I want students to take away from my course? Then, lay them out on the calendar and identify readings, activities, and assessments. …

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Welcome to Drive-Thru Pedagogy

Welcome to Drive-Thru Pedagogy

Educators live in a world of competing priorities. We know the stress that accompanies our responsibilities for preparing lessons, providing students with feedback, designing assessments, maintaining office hours, and so much more. …

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