How Can I Connect Students' Interests to Course Content?
When students see a clear link between their concerns and your course content, teaching and learning improve. The trick is establishing those connections. Alice Cassidy, Ph.D., shows you how to get students to make a personal investment in their learning – no matter how large or small your class may be.
Improve Student Learning
When students see a clear link between their concerns and your course content, teaching and learning improve.
The trick is establishing those connections.
In How Can I Connect Students’ Interests to Course Content? presenter Alice Cassidy, Ph.D. shows you how to get students to make a personal investment in their learning – no matter how large or small your class may be.
Using examples from the literature and her own teaching, Cassidy shares three guidelines to help you reach students more effectively:
- Find ways to learn about students
- Connect assignments to students’ interests
- Use the value of feedback.
In this session you will learn:
- How in-class activities can help students discover the connection between their concerns and course content.
- How adapting your assignments can help students see the links between their world and your course.
- How to help students succeed through goal-setting activities and making time for student reflection.
- How to find new ways to strengthen student motivation by exploring cited resources.
You’ll see how in-class activities like poster sessions, student presentations, and flexible assignments can enhance student engagement. Tips on structuring feedback to help students connect with course content can be as simple as they are helpful, such as “the 1-minute paper,” brief statements on “the muddiest point,” and discussions prompted by the phrase, “I’m just wondering.”
Like all Magna 20 Minute Mentors, this session provides specific details and support to help you make a tangible difference in your teaching as soon as the session ends. Cassidy even encourages participants to contact her if questions develop after the session.
This comprehensive approach can be adapted to support teaching and learning in all disciplines.
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Product Code: PM12RA
Alice Cassidy is principal of Alice Cassidy In View Education and Professional Development. She has a B.Sc. (honours) from the University of Victoria, an M.Sc. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She coordinates first year courses in the Faculties of Science and Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She coordinates the Canada-wide 3M National Teaching Fellowships for undergraduate students. She has held leadership roles at UBC’s campus-wide teaching support centre and its associated scholarship of teaching and learning.
Since the mid-1980s, she has designed, directed, facilitated and/or taught a wide variety of educational programs, including the award-winning Shad Valley Program for high-school students; university courses in biology and education for undergraduate and graduate students; science education and natural history field classes; teaching and learning seminars for instructors at post-secondary institutions in BC, Ontario and China, and customized workshops, both face to face and online for educators.
Her areas of focus include active and participatory learning, professional development for organizations, use of self-directed learning, problems and cases in real-world settings, instructional and narrative skills, sustainability education and leadership and students as active collaborators in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
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