Month: January 2018

John Williams

Dr. John Williams, of WCU’s Forensic Anthropology programs, will be presenting two Science of Teaching and Learning sessions at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences based on his bone trauma class, Anthropology 401. The first will be a presentation workshop on “Innovative Teaching with Active Learning Methods – Implementation in Forensic Science Education,” and the second will be an oral presentation in a section entitled “Forensic Education Matters.” Dr. Williams has earned this great opportunity from the research he has gathered in his team-based directed classroom experiments in his bone trauma classes. Several years ago he became interested in active learning through bone trauma, specifically with bone fractures. Originally, these classes followed a straight lecture format, but Dr. Williams then developed an experiment involving deer bones that were used to demonstrate how various events, like fractures, could occur. With this came the want for specialized classes on bone trauma that other universities didn’t offer. From there, he decided to participate in the Coulter Faculty Commons annual Summer Institute of Teaching and Learning to further develop his practices. Dr. Williams evolved the course from simple activity-based to project-based learning, and refined his experiments, giving the students structure, but also enough flexibility to work on their own. He discussed the great “Ah Ha” moments that students would achieve through the project, and how he wanted all the students to have that...

Read More

Improving your SAIs: Looking Ahead

Improving your SAIs: Looking Ahead The SAI—student assessment instrument—is integral to how we are evaluated here at Western. It needs little introduction. How can we look back on that SAI just handed to us by our chair or director, while looking ahead to a new term, with an eye toward making changes that produce stronger student ratings at the end of spring? Let’s look at how you might address weaknesses with a look at each of the five main areas of the standard SAI course form. Organization and Clarity “Faculty preparation” is the way towards stronger course organization and clarity. Some tips: Maximize Microsoft Outlook. Create a recurring “busy” period in your Outlook calendar (not during your student office hour), then begin prompting your peers and colleagues to send you an appointment invite through Outlook, rather than saying “yes” to every informal or hallway meeting request. Then use that “busy” block in Outlook to do your class prep. Quit Outlook. Yes, this may seem to contradict the above, but quitting the email altogether when doing the heavy lifting such as course prep can provide the focus you need. Your brain will thank you. The emails can wait. Paper, paper, Blackboard. The standard course form contains four questions that students respond to related to your organization and clarity, and each of them can be addressed with a lesson plan document...

Read More

Subscribe to Resource Updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.