The Trending Prof

Anita Woods Ph.D., University Educator

Professor Problems: Best way to teach a topic?

It seems depressing but this long August weekend is not for fun…it is the last push before our printing deadlines for all our course pack notes.  I am currently creating notes for 18 lectures for one of our large third year courses. I am feeling the pressure! The biggest struggle I have had is trying to find ways to structure my lectures to keep the same topic areas fresh since I teach at three grade levels of human physiology. And no, it is not as simple as just making each level more content heavy.

In our third year course, I still have to teach the basics of the organ system because a number of students have not taken any physiology before.  But at the same time, I have repeat students who have decided to take my second year course as an elective prior to this particular third year course.

When I teach an organ system, I teach it in the way that makes the best logical sense to me, and provides the best story/flow.  Everyone has a different view so each teacher will generally approach the exact same topic from a variety of angles, and that is great for the students to hear.

But I have become the lone expert in two areas of physiology in our department so I teach all levels (where other organ systems have different teachers delivering lectures for the different grade levels).  Although I think I have developed the best angle for teaching these topics to my second year students, I can’t repeat the structure with more details for the third years due to approximately 200 students who have just had me last year…snore….

So the dilemma I am working on is developing two great ways to deliver the same topic. I am basically splitting my teaching personality to develop the content in two different ways at two different levels and creating two distinctive visual note sets.  I have to say I am exhausted.  But I think it will all be worth it in the end.  Who knows, I might even become a better teacher in the process.


Fun Summer Reads:

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