Category Archives: engagement

Visual Notes – Reflections on Teaching in a SCALE-UP Room – Nov. 24, 2014

Our last Talking About Teaching dealt with teaching in a SCALE-UP room. If you didn’t have a chance to join us for that session, then please check out the visual notes below. They are basically a graphically enhanced version of notes from the event.

Dan Furgason

Click here to view the visual notes.

Michael Stingl

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Luz Ospina

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Sobering Lessons Learned When Shadowing Students

In a recent article posted by Grant Wiggins (A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned), he posts the experiences of a former high school teacher who has entered a new role as a high school teaching coach. The article is a reflection piece that explores the experiences of the teaching coach shadowing 2 students for 2 days. What the teaching coach is exposed to, is an eye opening experience.

The post has a fully detailed explanation of the two day shadowing event, and although the experiences being talked about are in the context of a high school experience, many of the key learning experiences from the teaching coach are relevant to any level of teaching. Below is a summary of the key learning experiences the teaching coach identifies in the article, as well as some exemplars of how instructors here at the University of Lethbridge are trying to provide a more enjoyable and engaging classroom experience to our students.

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TED-Ed: Build or share video based lessons

Have you ever found the perfect Youtube video to illustrate a point in class? Has a TED Talk inspired you and you want to share it with your students? Do you want to take it a step further?

TED has an excellent online tool called TED-Ed that allows anyone to choose, share and expand on video content from Youtube, TED Talks or other TED-Ed lessons. Using the lesson builder, you can add review questions, follow-up readings and even group discussion topics.

TED-Ed makes it easy to leverage online video content in a quick and easy format. You can take a tour of the lesson builder at

Tyler Heaton

Submitted by Tyler Heaton
Educational Consultant – Technology


Horizon Report 2014 is out. Is the UofL keeping up with the trends?

If you are not familiar with the Horizon Report, it is a report on new trends, challenges and technologies in education. The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE work together to output this report every year. They follow trending strategies, technologies, and even challenges in the education sector. Not only is the report a wealth of information, but these two groups provide a forecast about which trends or technologies will be upon us and how far away they are from appearing in our educational institutions.

You can download the report in it’s entirety here.

Below is a brief over view of the trends that were identified in the report. These trends are often looked at as future trends, but often times they are considered future trends because we are seeing the changes occur in our educational environments already. It is important to keep that in mind as we read these trends and evaluate our own institution. Identified with each key trend below are examples of what the great teaching community here at the University of Lethbridge is already doing to address some of these trends.

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Why would I use Twitter in my course? And how would I implement it?

Twitter is a microblogging tool that has been growing in popularity for many years. It allows users to easily share photos, videos, comments and links. If you are unsure how twitter works, check out the links below.

So how can 140 characters posts in a social media tool be useful to you and your student?

Below are some ways you might think about integrating twitter into your course. This is not an exhaustive list, but there are resource links at the end of this article that provide some other options not explored here.

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One Professor’s Teaching Philosophy Inspired an Active Learning Manifesto

Active learning is often viewed as being a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage. However, a Chronicles of Higher Education article by Jason Farman seems to take a different approach to active learning.  In an article titled A Manifesto for Active Learning, Farman walks us through his teaching philosophy and some finer points about active learning, including the lecture.

[I] consider lectures as a component of achieving my first goal: teaching my students how to learn. If I can spark their intellectual curiosity about a subject and teach them how to actively pursue knowledge about that subject—and that’s all I’ve done in a semester’s time—then I consider myself a successful teacher.

– Jason Farman
Chronicle of Higher Ed, – October 3rd, 2013

Farman’s manifesto doesn’t just speak about what he does in the class to incorporate active learning, but he also speaks about the learning that occurs outside the classroom. The full article is available via the link below.

Fostering Inquiry

The Calgary Science School is a charter school in Calgary that does things a little differently. There goal is to get students to think about everything from a scientific perspective. In every subject matter they push understanding the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.

We focus on more than just science education. Rather, we’re trying to embed the disposition of a scientist into everything we do — we want everyone in our community doing research, critically thinking, and collaboratively building knowledge.

As these students progress into post-secondary I can’t help but wonder if they will have an advantage in answering the why and the how of certain subject matter, or if they will have an advantage simply because they have been educated to realize that the ‘why’ and ‘how’ is more important than getting the answer to #1 correct.

What do you do with your students to help foster a sense of inquiry?

Below is a link to an article that talks more in depth about the the Calgary Science School and what they are attempting to do with their students. Although this is not a post-secondary institution, there are some great lessons to be learned from this K-12 instituion.

Visual Review of Talking About Teaching – Disrupting Your Regular Teaching Program

If you were unable to make it to the last Talking About Teaching – Disrupting Your Regular Teaching Program it is okay because we took notes.

Below are visual notes that represent each presenters presentation. Click on each thumbnail to download a PDF of the visual notes.

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