Teaching resources at your fingertips! Gearing up for a new semester

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With a new semester on the horizon it is a good time to reflect on what worked well, what might be improved upon, and what needs to be re-envisioned entirely from the previous semester.   Student course and instructor evaluations can provide helpful feedback, but also thoughtful and critical consideration of how course components and approach combined to achieve course learning outcomes.   It's relatively easy to just make a few tweaks in the course syllabus, course copy in the LMS, change dates, and use slight variations of the same course resources and assignments.   But once in a while we need to shake things (and ourselves!) up to become better educators and make our courses effective and impactful learning experiences.  The resources and learning activities in Achieve that are designed to support faculty and students are of course an incredible way to elevate your course.   And to continue to up your game as an instructor it's vital to keep learning and challenging yourself in best practices for teaching whether online, face-to-face, or hybrid.  

The Macmillan Teaching Learning Community includes excellent resources for Learning Science Research with access to a variety of tools, learning science research articles, and ways to advance your teaching.  Macmillan has also developed instructor resources that provide instructors with exceptional tools to not only support teaching, but enhance and elevate the learning experience for students.   

Decades ago before so much was offered online, the Center for Teaching at my university (Vanderbilt) regularly offered in person workshops and seminars for faculty to inspire and elevate teaching.   I attended these regularly and valued the opportunity to gather with other faculty to learn and discuss best practices in education - most of us were "experts" in our disciplines, but had never really been taught how to teach.   

Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching (CFT) still supports and educates educators.   The CFT has produced and keeps updated numerous teaching guides and resources - just scroll through the impressive and extensive listing and you will find relevant topics to support you in course development and delivery.   

Happy new year and best wishes for a great semester!   

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 Learn25.com (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.