Challenges are questions about your teaching and learning that require deep reflection. We aren’t asking for an answer as if there were one response, but hope you will seek your own answers to these questions as part of reflective practice. If you do wish to respond in writing or to propose a new challenge question, just send us an email and reference this page in the email.
April 4, 2013
Describe your 3 greatest strengths as a teacher? Record a story about teaching of when you were at your best.
March 3, 2013
List three ways of encouraging students to keep going when the going gets tough for them that you can add new to your courses.
February 11, 2013
Could you redesign your semester topic plan as a graphic image? What would it look like? See this website with 3 graphic syllabi for examples of the concept mapping approach.
January 2, 2013
In the new year we customarily make great plans for change in the future. Instead ask yourself, what are the best parts of my teaching from the past year? What will I carry forward?
December 4, 2012
Think of 3 very different students in your class. If that student's life were a movie, what role does your class play in that movie? Is it the role you want it to play? Would you answer differently if the question were "what role do you play in that movie?" --based on speech by Michael Wesch "The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever, 10/26/12, POD Conference Seattle, Washington.
November 2, 2012
In a presentation on facilitation at a recent conference, the speaker suggested starting a discussion by asking persons to write on one side of a paper what they fear or loath about the topic. On the other side they write what is a hope or what creates enthusiasm for the topic. You could use this with your students but here I am asking you to reflect on teaching from those two perspectives. And then to reflect on learning for the same two points of view.
Sep 4, 2012
Pick a lesson. What if you had to teach it entirely without words, only images? What interesting challenges would that present to you? Can you convey some things better without words? What sorts of ideas?
July 4, 2012
Describe power in your classroom. Who has it, who doesn’t, how is power expressed, how would you like it to be expressed?
May 4, 2012
If you knew your students would remember only one idea, concept, principle or lesson from your class, which one would you pick for it to be and why?
April 1, 2012
Do you ever feel like you are in an arms race with your students over the syllabus: You write more but they are reading less? What are some ways to combat that effect?
Would it work to do a "visual syllabus" introduction in which you use images to convey the essence of the syllabus and then refer them to the document? What other ideas do you have?
March 1, 2012
Libraries have undergone radical changes in the last decade. We have a series of questions for your consideration:
- What are the advantages of libraries over Internet sources?
- What role(s) do libraries have in today’s classroom?
- How have you used or would like to use library resources in your teaching?
- Who can you contact to find out more about new possibilities?
February 2, 2012
Today is 2/2/12 so in the spirit of "twos" what are the two most important concepts covered in your course and in what ways a) do the students know they are important b) do the students get to practice that knowledge and c) do you assess those two concepts?
December 4, 2011
If your course materials disappeared today, how would that alter the way you teach your course, for good or for ill?
November 4, 2011
What is your area of greatest passion in your teaching and why? It may be a topic, an activity, interacting with students, anything about teaching.
How can what you teach in your courses impact the daily life of
- your students?
- your community?
- your region?
- your country?
- your world?
The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching
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