First day of class!

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The first day of class can set the tone for the semester and is a chance to engage and motivate your new students.   I am always excited with a mix of adrenaline and butterflies to greet students (whether face-to-face or online) and preview course content and expectations.  After a brief warm welcome and introduction,  I usually kick off with a "fun" activity, video, or poll that is intended to demonstrate the significance and scope of nutrition - and to possibly challenge preconceived perceptions.   If using PPTX, I created a slide with a variety of snapshots about me and my life to provide some personal and professional insights - and also slides with photos about the teaching associates for that semester to put a personable face with their name.   If online, can create this as separate narrated VOPPTX or video.  I then discussed highlights and important takeaways from the syllabus, but in recent semesters I recorded a VOPPTX that walked students through the syllabus in more detail that would be posted on the course page and provided a link within the first week announcement for easy access (also was helpful for students who might miss the first class).   Would love to hear your thoughts about the first week of class!   Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching and Learning has a wide range of excellent, accessible resources for faculty - here's a link to some excellent ideas for that first day of class!  Here's wishing you a great semester!   Jamie

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About the Author
Jamie Pope, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Assistant Professor of Practice in Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, has worked in the areas of obesity research, health promotion, heart disease prevention, and since 2000 teaching introductory nutrition. Beyond the classroom, she adapted portions of her nutrition courses to produce a Massive Open Online Course attracting more than 175,000 participants from around the world. This experience earned Jamie an Innovation in Teaching award from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is the co-author of the textbook entitled Nutrition for a Changing World. Now in its second edition, the text is in use in over 140 universities across the U.S. and the recipient of a 2020 Textbook Excellence Award. Most recently she developed and produced an audio course for (Nutrition 101: Understanding the Science and Practice of Eating Well) that is also featured on platforms like Apple Books and Audible. Jamie holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and post graduate work in Health Psychology. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has authored or contributed to numerous scientific and popular press publications. Jamie also held several corporate positions, serving as nutrition consultant and media representative.