Teaching Moments @Park
The world is our classroom
Park University faculty were offered to share one of their best or funniest teaching moments this semester. The following responses (in random order) are being shared with permission by the faculty members. If you are a Park University faculty member and would like to share one of your teaching moments of Fall 2017, the Faculty Center for Innovation encourages to share your experience HERE.
Best moment: Eagerly reading the final versions of my students' writing projects, in which they wrote about pressing issues or current problems that they care about. (They chose things like: how to teach children responsible social media use, spreading the truth and exploding myths about Planned Parenthood, fighting opiate addiction through legislation and education, why feminism is for everyone, why college instructors should adjust their teaching to reflect how people actually learn, why Americans need to pay attention police violence committed against black men, how the US can welcome Syrian refugees, etc., etc. I was able to tell each student that I was proud of them for choosing a subject of vital social importance, and for writing so well about that subject. Our students are awesome!
I used skittles to do an experiential exercise in sampling procedures in research. We went through the lesson and I turned to a student asking him to demonstrate a technique - he said, "Sorry, Dr. Morrison, I ate all my participants!"
A student who was really struggling with research came to my office for some guided help using databases - which no one had shown her how to use before. She emailed me after happily exclaiming how awesome the library databases are & how much great info. she had found!
My 602 capstone class joined with the 508 research and made a policy recommendation to the Parkville Board of Alderman regarding a plan for the development of Platte Landing Park and a possibility to develop a partnership with Park University.
I worked with an EN105 class where I spent 15 minutes helping a student flesh out her assignment, & she came to me for follow-up help in another class & talked about how much I had helped her before & how she appreciated it.
It is so much easier to teach NMR when you actually have one!
In EN105, I tried teaching a new concept: exigence (i.e., a problem, issue, or misunderstanding that can be addressed / corrected by discourse). After some initial difficulties, many students glommed on to the concept and used it to approach their last major writing project. Around 70% of students mentioned exigence as the most useful concept they took away from the class!
In developing a new course in collaboration with a course developer, we implemented a new technique as a final analysis of the course which will be both good information for the course instructor but also an opportunity for students to self reflect at the end of the course!
This semester has seemed more stressful than usual for many students. But the last day of meeting with an independent study student, she gave me a lovely handwritten letter explaining her background and why she valued my mentorship so much. It was an unexpected and wonderful surprise. Sometimes we get so frustrated and disheartened that it is nice to be reminded sometimes that we do make a difference (even if we don't realize it).
My best was in my ethics class where students really learned to love Kantian Ethics, then learned utilitarianism. They got really good at it too. Then, one of my students got that look on her face and asked, "but do these two ways of thinking about ethics ever disagree?" I was so proud and said, "well, yes - on some tough questions." She said, "But what do we do then if these standards are each fundamental?" I was so proud! She reached the crux of normative ethical theory!
I really enjoyed (and still am) the ACUE course. It has given me a few good tips on how to improve my teaching, & it has had a positive ripple effect on my students (of course!). The best technique was to learn the "fish bowl" activity. So...thank you for bringing this opportunity to us lifing our spirits.