On Course: A Week-By-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching

On Course A Week By Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching You go into teaching with high hopes to inspire students to motivate them to learn to help them love your subject Then you find yourself facing a crowd of expectant faces on the first day of the fir

  • Title: On Course: A Week-By-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching
  • Author: James M. Lang
  • ISBN: 9780674028067
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Hardcover
  • You go into teaching with high hopes to inspire students, to motivate them to learn, to help them love your subject Then you find yourself facing a crowd of expectant faces on the first day of the first semester, and you think Now what do I do Practical and lively, On Course is full of experience tested, research based advice for graduate students and new teaching faYou go into teaching with high hopes to inspire students, to motivate them to learn, to help them love your subject Then you find yourself facing a crowd of expectant faces on the first day of the first semester, and you think Now what do I do Practical and lively, On Course is full of experience tested, research based advice for graduate students and new teaching faculty It provides a range of innovative and traditional strategies that work well without requiring extensive preparation or long grading sessions when you re trying to meet your own demanding research and service requirements What do you put on the syllabus How do you balance lectures with group assignments or discussions and how do you get a dialogue going when the students won t participate What grading system is fairest and most efficient for your class Should you post lecture notes on a website How do you prevent cheating, and what do you do if it occurs How can you help the student with serious personal problems without becoming overly involved And what do you do about the student who won t turn off his cell phone Packed with anecdotes and concrete suggestions, this book will keep both inexperienced and veteran teachers on course as they navigate the calms and storms of classroom life.

    One thought on “On Course: A Week-By-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching”

    1. I guess the last thing I need in my life is yet another white guy telling me what to wear and how to teach. I'm probably being unfair here, as I'm sure some of the advice is good, but this was too prescriptive for me to finish.

    2. This book remains the one I most consistently pick up to remember why I teach and how to stay positive and productive in the classroom. The fact that it is interdisciplinary is also a plus.

    3. Packed with great advice on everything from how to write a syllabus, to teaching techniques (this is where I learned the most), to how to construct grading rubrics, to developing a teaching persona. I've got notes scribbled all through the margins about things I want to incorporate into my class next semester, and some about things I've already tried this semester with great success. I wish I had read this book a year ago. But I knew too much then

    4. “Of course, it’s still possible for students to cheat by going into the library and finding books and articles that aren’t available online- but any student who goes to all that trouble, it seems to me, deserves to get away with it. At least they’re in the library” (201). No. This is not only a disrespectful mindset of your colleagues and fellow departments, whom I might add, ensure you have the information and materials needed to conduct research, but it is just condescending to the i [...]

    5. It's a very nice and friendly book. Reading through the book, it felt like a friendly conversation with a colleague, sharing his experience, giving indirect pieces of advice, and sharing stories/anecdotes that can help you understand the essence of effective teaching. It was a really enjoyable read. ---> The syllabus: "The process of drafting the syllabus forces you to think about the learning objectives you want to establish for the students in the course, and those objectives should be form [...]

    6. There is no reason for me to have read this book other than that it happened to be on my Airbnb host’s bookshelf. This random occurrence, far from any algo-derived confirmation bias, depended nevertheless on my fascination, for had I not found it interesting then I would not have picked it up.And what could be more interesting than teaching, the fundamental transmission of human knowledge? Woody Allen said that “those who can’t do, teach.” But I prefer Einstein’s line, “if you can’ [...]

    7. I found this to be an excellent introduction to teaching, and a nice refresher even for those not in their first year but who are looking to improve. Since so many academic get little to no preparation in their own education on how to teach, this is a book that should be welcomed by students as well. I picked up several ideas for ways to incorporate more active learning styles into my classes. The 'week by week' is a conceit to order the chapters, but a wide variety of topics are covered, from t [...]

    8. This book is set up as a week-by-week guide for a 15-week semester (as implied by the title), however, I'm glad I read the whole thing before my first semester as a college teacher began. I know that I'm going to be referring back to this book again and again as the semester progresses, but reading the excellent advice all the way through is definitely a good idea.If you are a new college teacher, I would highly recommend this book. I haven't started my first semester yet, but this book already [...]

    9. Informative and yet an enjoyable read. Written in informal language as Becoming a Library Teacher, but not as off-the-wall. Prof. Lang uses a non-journal article approach to put the newly minted college professor at ease, although the audience for On Course is not limited to just tenure-track professors. There are lots of useful information in here for adjuncts and teaching graduate assistants, as well. On Course is broken down in "weeks," and each of these has an annotated bibliography of recom [...]

    10. This was a very practical source to start your first year as a new faculty (TA, lecturer). I did not find it anything innovative or groundbreaking, but this book is definitely helpful. I did not like how it was divided into 16 weeks, that, in the most part, had nothing to do with the contents of the weeks of teaching, but I did like how every advice was relevant and useful for each aspect of teaching. Overall, an essential read, especially if it is your first time teaching at a college level.

    11. A good read with lots of helpful tips and concepts. Offers practical assignments and advice (grading, dealing with cheating/plagiarism, etc.) that can be adapted to your particular setting. Also provides some tools for helping to assess your ideals and principles as a teacher.It's a bit long, due to its conversational tone, so if you need a more succinct guide for diving into college teaching, I would recommend Peter Filene's The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors (UN [...]

    12. A straightforward very readable and eminently useful guide to college level teaching. While the book is definitely geared to those teaching their first semester as a full time faculty member, it has multiple suggestions and resources for experienced faculty. Perhaps a touch dated, a reference to MySpace was a bit of a jolt and a new edition with more information on how to more fully use LMS would be appreciated but these are mostly quibbles.

    13. My college gave all incoming faculty this book to read during our orientation process. It was deeply reassuring at that time to be able to see the entire semester laid out with all of its challenges (and suggestions for solutions). Some of the practical suggestions forever changed how I teach, and I routinely refer to several of them in discussions with other faculty and friends teaching their first semesters.

    14. This is an informal, quick read that is a confidence-builder for the first-time university-level instructor. I enjoyed it, but it's not for somebody wanting hard-core detailed advice. It has, to its credit, excellent annotated resource lists, many of which I've begun to add to my library. it's definitely worth a perusal before the semester starts or as a frequent pick-me-up throughout the semester.

    15. Not certain what to take from this book. I thought it would be a hand's on book of how to teach at college level, but it wasn't to be. Lang is rambling on and on about what's going on with students in his class. Not enough meat in the book. It reads like a fiction to me. I wanted to know more about how he plans his lessons and how he cope with other faculty.

    16. This book has several helpful tips for new instructors. I would imagine that if you've read more than a book or two on teaching, there's nothing new here. But given that in many grad programs, there is virtually no training in teaching, this will be a very helpful book for most new instructors.

    17. This book is chock full of good, useful, and practical tips, ideas, and suggestions for college professors. Even experienced teachers would get some new ideas to add to their classes. I'd definitely read it if it's your field.

    18. This book gets a little corny at times, but offers some very helpful and realistic insight and advice about teaching at the college level. I went back to this book several times throughout my semesters teaching in grad school.

    19. Thank you, James Lang for somehow reading my thoughts throughout this semester and allowing me both why I felt the way I did and how to handle those feelings. I was inspired and comforted in many ways by this book. I am sure I will return to it repeatedly and often in my career.

    20. I enjoyed this book. He has a student-centered approach to teaching that I like, and he gave me some new ideas for having a variety of classroom activities each semester. Nothing earth shaking, but some good tips. And it made me feel motivated to teach my absolute best each time I listened.

    21. Bless you, James Lang and all of my friends who recommended this book. It is very enlightening and has helped alleviate some of my qualms. I know I will be referring back to it over the upcoming weeks.

    22. A handy reference with lots of practical tips. I wish I'd had this during my actual first semester of college teaching!

    23. A great compilation of ideas about classroom activities & management, assessments, and how to teach at the university level. I could see this being a resource I refer back to in the future.

    24. Amazing book for new professors looking for some basic structure to the teaching process and course development. This was a life-saver!

    25. I liked this book. It wasn't earth-shattering, but it contains several concrete, useful tips for new professors.

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