From Faculty Focus: Creating Pockets of Joy, Humor, & Positivity in Face-to-Face & Online Courses

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As I think back over my 20 plus years of teaching introductory nutrition - usually to classes of 200 or more - the times we laughed together stand out.  Sometimes it was something I inadvertently said or did (some too embarrassing to share here!) or something a student shared (for example when asked about their childhood food "jags" one student share that his mom had to peel his hotdogs) or a humorous video that illustrated or added levity to a point or topic.  I loved seeing my students arrive in the classroom with a smile on their face - and to help maintain that smile.   I tried to not take myself too seriously, smile often (which isn't hard for me 😊), and tried to create a welcoming and warm environment to let my students know I loved and honored the privilege of teaching.  Humor not only engages students, but can reinforce learning and relationship.   I enjoyed the ideas shared by instructors and researchers in this Faculty Focus Live Podcast Creating Pockets of Joy, Humor, and Positivity in Your Face-to-Face and Online Class.  Would love to hear ways you make your students smile!   Use Reply below to let us know!  

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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.