Teaching Ideas

Recommendations on Teaching
Dale Reed, UIC CS Department

1. Don’t be boring. 
Choose interesting examples and assignments, something students will want to show their friends. Better a poor joke than no joke at all. Consider games, puzzles and “magic” as assignments.  Don't be like the "Anyone? Anyone?" teacher in the classroom scene from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day off.
2. Peer Instruction and feedback.
Use peer instruction and inquiry techniques: Think-Pair-Share, Piazza discussion forums, clickers or "Fist-of-Five" feedback.  See also these peer instruction techniques.
3. Build mental models, don’t just tell facts.
Motivate each concept with a problem. Help students construct cognitive models in their heads. Ground concepts through concrete examples
4. Use multiple modes of interaction.
We don’t all learn the same way. Include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic interactions with the material. Leave them something in their head and something in their hand.
5. Give it all away.
Give away as much as you can: as much knowledge, as much information on grades/curve, web links, old tests, new technologies, everything. Post it for the whole world. Others will help fill your empty hands.

6. Be a coach, not an oracle. 
Coaches come alongside. Oracles have to be perfect.
7. Love your students!
You have the chance to change lives, perhaps more powerful and lasting than any research results you may discover. Loving your students covers a multitude of errors.