A number of the University’s professors and teaching assistants gained some valuable tools as they learned to reshape their teaching methods at the UH Effective Teaching Practices showcase Friday at the UC Houston Room.
The initiative brings together keynote speakers, organizes teaching table sessions and presents teaching strategy workshops led by instructors respected in the field for their contributions to education.
Veronique Tran, director of Learning Through Discovery and one of the organizers, said the event’s main purpose was to give faculty a valuable opportunity to learn effective teaching methods.
“It really benefits the students,”Tran said. “The instructors that come share an informal discussion with others. It’s like the faculty is going back to school.”
Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, Faculty Development and Instructional Support and UH Learning through Discovery, this is the second year the event has run.
“The main message here is that professors are continually learning and updating their teaching methods. These innovations translate to the classroom for the student’s benefit,” Tran said. “There’s a move from a ‘boring lecture model’ to involve a different, more interactive learning environment for students.”
Participants, usually professors and teaching assistants looking to hone their skills, took notes and studied the presentations with hopes of adapting some new techniques and ideas into their own curriculum.
“It’s for college level professors and teaching assistants — really, for any UH faculty that wants to be informed about the new teaching methods that have been developed,” said Srithish Somalinga, a UH masters student in electrical engineering working at the event.
Lorraine Stock, an English professor and one of the keynote speakers at this event, is well known in the academic community for her ability to engage students with her lessons. She has earned numerous awards, including the 2008 UH Teaching Excellence Award for Innovation in Instructional Technology.
Though her presentation focused on effectively mentoring graduate students, she said that the overall showcase was a great way for all instructors to update their knowledge.
“It’s a very good opportunity for faculty to share some of the University’s excellent faculty support. It spurs the development of new strategies for teaching,” Stock said.