Thoughts on teaching and learning by Owen Guthrie

Instructor Voice

The Voice Behind the Curtain

The other day I asked an emeritus faculty member where he derived his teaching style from. Looking back on a stunning 35 years of instructional experience, he said he had a great mentor instructor in undergraduate school and thought, “I want to be like him.” As we look to the semester ahead and dust off our seasonal affective disorder prescriptions, consider your voice. Where do you speak from and where […]

By |October 7th, 2014|Design, Pedagogy, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

Discussion Prompts II

Timing is Everything

Last week we talked about how designing some tension into discussions can yield a more engaging student experience. This is often my first suggestion when I hear from faculty that student discussions seem lacking. This week the inquiry centers around timing. Just like hosting a dinner party, timing the various course elements is critical when designing student interactions.

Structure the Discussion
Carrying on the analogy from last week, students need time to absorb and […]

By |July 8th, 2014|Design, Pedagogy, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

Discussion Prompts

Fertilizing the Garden of Ideas
Designing quality discussion prompts can be a challenge whether building an online discussion forum or trying to better engage the classroom learner. As instructors, we’ve all asked questions of our students that failed to lead  them to our verdant garden, blossoming with student ideas. Instead, at one time or another, we’ve led students to deserts of superficial or pat answers that lay shriveled in darkness with only the chirping of […]

By |July 1st, 2014|Design, Pedagogy, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

Role Play

Explicit roleplay has a rich history in education. Law students use mock-trials to hone their craft; counsellors roleplay client contact sessions, and many disciplines require students give presentations or perform project work while acting in the role of the professional they hope to become. In fact, the dialectical method of Socrates is a form of roleplay, wherein participants adopt an aspect for an argument not necessarily their own.
There is also a great […]

By |May 13th, 2014|Design, Gamification, Role Play, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

Practical Gamification

In our last teaching tip we talked about the power of play and how celebrating successes, while minimizing the consequences of failure, can foster an environment of experimentation and discovery. In short, these are key elements that help make learning more fun. This week, we’re going to look at a practical examples of this principle applied in classrooms here at UAF.

This semester Dr. Kriya Dunlap, CITE Fellow, was searching for a way to encourage […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Design, Gamification, Pedagogy, Role Play, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

The Power of Play

What is gamification to you?

At the beginning of the 19th Century, Prussia was repeatedly and humiliatingly defeated by Napoleon. In response, General Gerhard von Scharnhorst instituted numerous reforms; chief among which was a renewed emphasis on education for young officers. A new learning activity, the wargame “Kriegsspiel,” created by Baron von Reiswitz, greeted young cadets at the academy. Students played the game on a table covered with sand and used wooden figures to represent […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Design, Gamification, Pedagogy, Role Play, Teaching Tip|0 Comments

The Oxford Tutorial Method in the Digital Age

Presenter: Owen
Location: Google Hangout
Date: March 25, 2014
Time: 1:00pm AKDT

How does Oxford University, historic educational institution of renown, adapt centuries old teaching and learning models to take advantage of modern technologies? They teach online. And they educate their online tutors with a program called “effective online tutoring.” I’ve just finished this curriculum and am excited to share and discuss their secret methods for developing great learning experiences. In this thought provoking session we will discuss […]

By |March 25th, 2014|Design, Pedagogy, Teaching Tip Live|0 Comments

Badging Economies – Part 1

I’ve recently participated in four “badged” events where badging was used to reward participants and presenters alike. There were clever and creative badges awarded for a variety of behaviors and achievements. It took a lot of work to create the badges and manage the accounting of who earned what. Kudos to those who spent the time and energy to do so. Initially, the experience was novel and exciting. Earning my first badge for doing […]

By |July 12th, 2013|Badging, Pedagogy|0 Comments

Our Role in the Revolution…

As we toil along in our trenches, it’s easy to keep our attention focused on the tasks before us and on what is being done by those immediately beside us. Sometimes, it is interesting to take a moment to look around and see what else is happening elsewhere, even overseas and on distant shores. I recently found a couple of articles regarding international eLearning efforts and they helped me to check my perspectives on […]

By |July 1st, 2013|International eLearning, MOOCs|Comments Off on Our Role in the Revolution…

Coursera and the MOOC Frontier:

Nearly two weeks ago, (old news in the rapidly evolving MOOC universe) Coursera announced  that they have begun working with ten additional US state university systems. Some of these systems contain more than 21 universities on their own, and according to the NY Times, these institutions contain more than 1.2 million students. This little addition comes on top of Coursera’s  71 existing institutional partnerships. Wow. For a company that is only 18 months old, they seem to have mobilized […]

By |June 11th, 2013|MOOCs|0 Comments