My research and teaching group just celebrated its tenth anniversary, and I wanted to take some time to reflect on our teaching: What worked and what didn’t.
When I started as a university professor ten years ago, I drew on my experience as a student, as a teacher, as a practitioner, and as an entrepreneur, to define the basic principles of how I wanted to teach:
- Theory and practice should be joined at the hip; there should only be minimal delay, if any, between hearing some concept and applying it in practice
- Learning requires repetition and practice, so the theory and practice of something to learn needs to be drawn out over several iterations to become effective
- Learning is a marathon, not a sprint; therefore, learning and using the stick (grading) to direct learning should be continuous and not a fire-and-forget exercise
- Feedback needs to be immediate and connected to a student’s actual doing, and not come at the end of a semester or later
- Learning is holistic; while some concepts can be isolated, more often than not, concepts interact and require a realistic setting to be learned