5 September 2014

Thinking about library inductions (Part 3) - making sparks fly

As we plan for this year's round of library inductions, this is just one of a series of short posts on things that I'm pondering. Apologies for it not really going anywhere - just throwing it out there!

The NSS may have its faults as a tool for assessing the worth of universities but, at the start of the year, it's good to be reminded what university teachers (that's us too) are being judged on:

  1. Staff are good at explaining things.
  2. Staff have made the subject interesting.
  3. Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching.
  4. The course (or, in our case, class) is intellectually stimulating.
It struck me those are pretty good aims to have when preparing any form of teaching. No.1 is pretty basic (explain things well) but the other three are things I think about a lot. The last point is perhaps the one not often at the forefront of my mind when planning a class - it can be easy to worry about overwhelming or overcomplicating but this shouldn't be at the expense of challenging students and making them think, not in a superior or patronising way, but hopefully stimulating ideas and creativity and inspiration in how they can tackle their assignments and research. We want to make lights go on. Too often I worry I'm turning them off!

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