Student evaluations of teaching are an important part of the feedback that instructors receive. This feedback can be especially helpful when it is collected midway in the semester. Our students can tell us if we explain clearly, are well-organized, grade fairly, and more. They may also be able to tell us if the activities we give them are well-aligned with the ways we evaluate their learning. Responding to students’ comments by discussing them in class, and making changes as appropriate, can lead to increased motivation, better learning, and possibly improved end-of-semester student ratings. Here is a description of the Informal Early Process (IEF) process and sample forms for you to adapt. If you would like assistance about the IEF from creation to implementation to interpretation, contact CITL through this form.
Storytelling was Lincoln’s most powerful rhetorical tool. “He understood early on that concrete examples and stories provided the best vehicles for teaching,” writes Goodwin in Leadership in Turbulent Times. “He could simultaneously educate, entertain, and move his audiences.” And he, like many inspiring storytellers around the world, was able to do all that without the benefit of PowerPoint—a staple in today’s classroom. The tools of communication have changed since Lincoln regaled crowds with his storytelling techniques, but our minds are not wired to engage with bullet points on a slide. Our minds are wired for story. Many of us think in narrative and enjoy consuming content in story form. While there’s nothing wrong with PowerPoint as a tool for classroom learning, slides should not be designed to replace the educator—the storyteller. Instead, they should complement the story. Understanding the difference between presenting and storytelling is critical to an educator’s ability to engage students and stir their excitement. What follows are five storytelling strategies to help you stand out as an educator in any subject.