This fall, we’re using the CNDLS blog to highlight the Teaching Commons, a compilation of resources and case studies designed to help faculty revitalize their courses and gain insights into practical issues in pedagogy at Georgetown. As a living resource, the site continually evolves to encompass new scholarship in teaching and learning, as well as technological innovations that are changing and enhancing the current teaching landscape. To help you explore all that the Commons has to offer, we’re showcasing tools and other information on a semi-weekly basis, guiding you through the semester in real time. Missed the other posts? Check out our takes on crafting a syllabus, starting the semester, evaluating learning, designing assignments, and active learning, then hear from fellow faculty in our interview highlights.
It happens fast, that transition from “the semester is coming” to “the semester is underway.” If it feels like you’re suddenly shifting from sprint to marathon, keep in mind that the Teaching Commons has gathered a wide range of resources and ideas to support your teaching all semester long. Need an example? As you think about how to make the most out of each class session, check out our page on planning and leading class for strategies you can put into use right away. If you’re going to be giving lectures, our page on lecturing effectively might also come in handy.
Whatever your teaching style, some sessions can—intentionally or unintentionally—get intense. Whether because of unexpected world events, happenings on campus, or the nature of your subject matter, you may find yourself in the middle of a challenging conversation about sensitive topics, and it’s important to feel prepared. Our page on difficult discussions brings together a host of resources to help, including everything from advice on how to handle “hot moments” in class to strategies for guiding your students toward challenging discussions in productive ways. Much of the advice was created by faculty for faculty, including the above interview with Marcia Chatelain (History), and we encourage you to share your own resources, experiences, techniques, and anecdotes. The Teaching Commons is, after all, a living resource—one that can benefit from all of our faculty here at Georgetown.
Enjoy these first weeks and, as always, let us know how we can help!