SoTL in 10 minutes
The First Day, Setting
Who are you?
important on the first day, for that first impression, for students to get the
best sense of who you are. This is especially important for first
semester freshmen as they begin their new chapter in life. Start their
education with letting them get to know their professor, both philosophically
(difference between a teacher and a professor) and personally (are you married,
hobbies, research interests).
blog post by John Warner
Context: Professors and Teachers
Who are your students?
as it is for your students to quickly get to know you, you need to know your
students – their hopes, dreams, aspirations and especially their challenges.
Appreciate them as complete individuals. I distribute the attached
“Student Information Sheet” and read them a couple of times over the first
couple of weeks of class. Below, the first bullet is a bunch of ice
breaker ideas – learning basic personal facts. The second bullet provides
for activities to help understand what kind of students they are.
other really good ideas in the comments as well.
CATs: Classroom Assessment Techniques
Some of use
CATs throughout the semester as a way to check what is getting through clearly
and what topics might need a do-over. But consider using them on the
first day. What do they think they know about this course? What
misunderstandings or misconceptions do they bring?
What’s the principle
For a brief
description of each, and more, see http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/assessment/cats/
the CTL has the following books in its library on CATs
TA Angelo and KP Cross, Classroom Assessment
Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed., 1993. Jossey-Bass,
L Suskie, Assessing Student Learning: A Common
Sense Guide, 2004. Anker Publishing, San Francisco.
SA Ambrose et al., How Learning Works: 7
Research Based Principles for Smart Teaching, 2010. Jossey-Bass, San
SD Brookfield, Teaching for Critical Thinking:
Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions, 2012.
Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
Does it really matter?
first day doesn’t matter, these professors from Georgia State would disagree.
Day of Class Affects Student Motivation: An Experimental Study
and SB Wilson, Teaching of Psychology 34(4):226-30, 2007
What NOT to do!
says it all:
not to do on your first day of class”