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Back to Basics: Principles of Teaching That Will Never Expire

Summary

Professor Mike Christiansen's address at the 2018 Empowering Teaching Excellence conference at USU focuses on four principles that will always improve teaching even in an ever-changing academic environment. These four principles can help your teaching to stay relevant and is helpful to students as online courses and other alternative methods become more popular.

  1. Avoid Baffling Jargon - Fewer, more effective words can often convey information or answer questions more effectively. Confusing vocabulary can discourage students. One suggestion is to practice teaching your most difficult concepts so that you can further avoid confusing topics or words. 
  2. Do not fear change - Be willing to learn new methods and use new tools. Practice this by making sure you are consistently learning new things and challenging old beliefs. 
  3. Love your students, love your job, and act accordingly - Take time to thank your students for being your students. Remind your students that the grade they recieve is not a reflection of how you feel about them. Speak positively about your work around your collegues and your students. 
  4. Get to know your students and modify lessons to connect to their interests and goals - When you learn things about your students, it is much easier to modify lectures and questions to make them applicable to the lives of your students. 

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