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Anticlimax (teaching)

Exam number two was yesterday. It took me a while to realize that the conclusion of this teaching gig was going to be anticlimactic. Something about exam day also leaves me feeling quite braindead - one of those times when I need to be patient with myself while I transition back to other academic activities.

Reflecting on the experience overall - I really enjoyed getting to teach this subject matter to students. On the other hand, these parts of physiology are challenging to teach because one must both learn and remember the names of a bunch of moving parts, AND understand how changes to parts of the system will affect other aspects of the system. If I were to teach all of this again, I'd be happier working with a whiteboard/chalkboard in combination with a projector so I could write and draw out key ideas, and then show videos where appropriate. Videos make a huge difference for this subject matter because of the emphasis on processes.

It would also have been helpful to have developed more methods to assess understanding on-the-fly. On the one hand, I did have clicker questions embedded into my presentations. But on the other hand, the clicker questions I used were often one step above and beyond the step of simple comprehension. And from talking with individual students, they were getting stuck at points that I wouldn't have necessarily anticipated.

There are a number of aspects that are naturally going to change when I switch over to my new job in New York. For one thing, classes will be capped at 32 students instead of 280. I'll also be shifting over from Animal Physiology to Comparative Physiology, which has traditionally taken a different approach to the subject matter.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1208575.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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