Teaching is a Profession, Too
Our Remote Teaching course is unashamedly about improving student learning and experience -- It is about virtual learning, not teaching. What is teaching? Thoughtful decision making about how best students can “learn” skills and competencies. Our course is full of tips and techniques on how to how to motivate, engage, retain, and improve student experience. Simply put, this course is “The fastest path to effective remote teaching and learning.”
It is one thing to know how to fix a car, frame a house, or change out computer parts, and it is another to know how to effectively transfer knowledge. Just because a teacher has job skills, doesn’t mean he or she can effectively help students to transform knowledge into skills and competencies.
Your success as a remote teacher is dependent on the combination learning principles and selection of learning technologies. “It is not the technology it is how you use technology to enhance learning.”
Here is What We Do
Teaching remote students in virtual classrooms is an art and a science. It does not matter if the course is blended (hybrid) or online, student outcomes depend upon an instructor’s ability to motivate, engage, and provide confidence-building feedback. Faculty who complete our course will be able to:
• Combine learning principles with learning technologies to improve student motivation • Remove learning barriers
• Provide confidence building quality feedback • Create inspirational micro lectures and learning plans • Demonstrate skills to motivate students to engage with content and other students
Great Teachers Plan
Professionals never just wing it:
Doctors follow a treatment plan.
Airline pilots follow a flight plan.
Soldiers follow a military operation plan
How would you feel about engaging the services of any of the above professions if the practitioner were to say to you, “Don’t worry about the plan, we will just wing it?”
Great Teachers Remove Learning Barriers
Your job is to be a “guide” on the side, not the sage on a stage. Guides know the best way get there. Where is there? Answer - Students equipped with the skills and the knowledge they need to be successfully employed. The main learning barriers include:
Misunderstood words - Words are mental representations. A word like run has over 25 meanings according to Webster’s Dictionary. Effective instructors define words to clearly communicate concepts.
Too much information too fast – Ever wonder why so many guitars sit in a closet after the second lesson? Students become frustrated because they cannot play a bar chord in two weeks. Faculty should pace the delivery of content by carefully designing practice sessions that are guided, regular, personal, and provide confidence building feedback.
The lack of practicing with the real or simulated thing – Students need to touch, feel and or see how a concept and or idea connects the “why are we learning this” in order to develop a strong mental image of how and why something works. Deliberate practice develops skills by: • Taking a student out of his or her comfort zone. • Setting well-defined and specific goals. • Providing frequent feedback to modify efforts. • Produces and depends on effective mental representations. • Building on and or modifying previously acquired skills.
“College is a place where students go to “learn and practice skills” for future employment.” Most students do not want to study. Why do they study? Answer: they believe their training and education will get them to where they want to go. Your job is to guide them – you know how best to help them to get there. The main purpose of deliberate practice with a guide is to help students to develop mental representations or pictures of how to perform tasks and how to describe how something works. For example, when practicing a new piece of music, beginning and intermediate musicians generally lack a good, clear idea of how the music should sound, while advanced musician have a detailed mental representation of the music that guides their practice and ultimately their performance.
· Little or No Confidence Building Feedback --Stephen Covey said, “Next to physical survival, the greatest needs of a human being are psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, and to be appreciated.” “I believe a good pat on the back is one of the greatest encouragers we have,” said John Wooden. Feedback that builds student self-concept and confidence starts with words like: • You are right on track That is exactly right • You are doing fine That is a neat idea • Wow, that is incredible You make it look so easy • I have never seen anyone do it better You are good at that • I am proud of the way you … One more time and you will have it • You make my job fun That’s perfection • Well, look at you go! How did you think of that?
Nassim Taleb, author of the Black Swan, tells the story of a turkey who is fed by a farmer every morning for 1,000 days. Eventually, the turkey comes to expect that every visit from the farmer means more good food. That is all that has ever happened, so the turkey figures that is all that can and will ever happen. On day 1,000 the turkey is at the peak of its confidence! After all, it now has 1,000 days-worth of track record on which to base its confidence. But then day 1,001 arrives. It is two days before Thanksgiving and when the farmer shows up, this time he does not have food in his hand. Instead, he has a recently sharpened axe. The turkey learns very quickly that its expectations were catastrophically off the mark – that the good old days were not going to last forever. For well over 1,000 years, teaching has essentially remained the same. In times past, almost all the value of school was how teachers taught in physical campus classrooms. Look at what is happening today: • Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles • Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, owns no inventory • Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate Teaching has changed. It is time to decide to become great at delivering courses synchronously and asynchronously to distributed students. Our course will help faculty to motivate students, by effectively using the combination of learning principles and technologies. Above all, faculty will learn how to identify the 20% of content that equals 80% of what students need to know, and build student confidence by providing prompt, quality, confidence building feedback.