T+L Workshops

The Cure for Death by Powerpoint

This is an edited version of the talk I gave in the Faculty of Arts Teaching and Leaning Workshop series at the University of Calgary on 20 October 2016.

I delivered it for university faculty, but I think it could apply equally to all classrooms — maybe even beyond.

UPDATE (28 November 2016): I’ll give another version of this talk to the wider university community on 20 January 2017. Click here for details

Here’s the abstract:

Most of us use slideshows like Powerpoint or Keynote to accompany our lectures and illuminate our points. But what principles and habits are we following when we write our slideshows? Are we showing students the right information, in the right way, at the right time?

In this workshop, you’ll design slideshows to match your teaching goals to students’ learning needs. You’ll critique some slideshows that just don’t work. You’ll learn about some features of these two programs, like text animations and embedded media. And you’ll learn how slides can tell stories and provoke conversations, not just deliver information.

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Engaging Large Classes: Notes from a Workshop

These are my notes from a recent Teaching + Learning Workshop on engaging large classes, with Patrick Finn (R, Drama) and David Dick (L, Philosophy).

I’m posting these notes here because far too often, events of this kind aren’t documented for those who had the misfortune to miss them.

This isn’t a transcript of everything that happened in the workshop; merely a cluster of impressions and ideas that David and Patrick raised today. (For the most part, I’m paraphrasing their words. My interjections are in italics.)

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Why Teaching Dossiers?

Why assemble a teaching dossier? The first time I ever heard of this document was when I was looking for an academic job right out of my Ph.D., nearly a decade ago – when the sum of my teaching experience was a series of Teaching Assistantships (Technical Writing, Survey of Major British Writers) and sessional-teaching appointments right. Job applications then, as now, asked for a teaching dossier to testify to your readiness to teach courses on day one of a new job, so I gathered up my syllabi and assignments, wrote a teaching philosophy statement, and sent it off.

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