Preparing for Teaching This Academic Year

As I prepare to enter my 19th year teaching at the University, I have had the privilege of watching several alumni from our program (students I have taught) go on to become professors and teach at other universities, colleges, community colleges and other academic institutions. It is awesome to watch someone whom I’ve had in class go on to lead their own class.

However, I do admit I was taken aback one day when a women came up to me and said, “I had one of your former students as my professor last semester.” Time travels fast. I am also constantly asked about my experience as a professor and how someone should prepare for being a professor.

So in the spirit of helping folks become professional professors, here are some courses I’ve authored at Lynda.com that I can help you prepare to teach. Each of these courses share some tips, techniques and hopefully a little wisdom I’ve gathered over the years as I’ve worked to teach students the art and craft of Instructional Design.

The good news is that most academic institutions have access to Lynda.com so the courses are free. Enjoy!

Here is a course called Core Strategies for Teaching in Higher Ed which covers everything from time management for professors to integrating alumni into your course to balancing the service, teaching and research commitments.

Here is a course to help you write successful grant applications for both higher education and in the K-12 setting. It’s called simply Grant Writing for Education.

Here is a “nuts-and-bolts” course. A fundamental course about the writing of a syllabus. It is an often overlooked element in preparing to teach. Learn “How to Write a Syllabus” with this course.

When you are in the classroom or teaching online, you may want to find new and interesting ways to engage students. Here is a course titled How to Increase Learner Engagement which provides ten great ideas for breaking away from the lecture and working toward engaging students on a meaningful level.

If you are thinking about being more adventurous in your teaching, think about gamifying some of your instruction. Start small and then add more and more game elements. It’s effective from a learning perspective and really engages students. If you are not sure where to start, check out “The Gamification of Learning.” It will help you think through the gamification process and to create meaningful gamified instruction. Here is a sneak peak.

Good luck with teaching this year!

P.S. I am also working on a course describing how to write the perfect syllabus. Look for that to be launched on Lynda.com within the next couple of weeks.

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