Dr. Susan Yager, Morrill Professor of English, is in her 29th year at ISU. In that time, she has taught many discussion-intensive courses. Here are her suggestions related to strategies to create an inclusive classroom:
“In the best discussions, the instructor almost disappears. To get to that point, I try to avoid putting students on the spot. For example, asking for a show of hands on an opinion makes a follow-up easier: ‘For those of you who agreed, what are some reasons…?’ On the other hand, if some students are very talkative, I’ll privately ask them to help others participate by limiting their own responses.”
Dr. Yager, a former Associate Director of CELT, finds it hard to choose a favorite CELT experience. “The great thing about working at CELT was the chance to learn from so many great instructors,” she recalled. One of her favorite recent experiences was the CELT Course Design Institute, which helped her think about designing an online course. She added, “Teaching online requires a whole new way of thinking about discussion, so I still have a lot to learn.”
Learn more by registering via Learn@ISU to attend Dr. Yager’s Award-Winning Seminar Series: Online course design for seasoned professors, Apr. 1 (12:10-1 p.m.) or by participating in the Course Design Institute — more information coming soon!