Dr. Kelly Reddy-Best, Associate Professor, Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; and Director and Curator, Textiles and Clothing Museum has spent four years teaching at Iowa State University. Reddy-Best’s advice for teaching:
- What excites you about teaching and learning?
Meeting the students and watching them grasp and learn from the materials and activities in my class. I love seeing them relate to the different parts and draw connections.
- What makes a difference in your teaching a large enrollment courses?
- Designing a purposeful environment has been crucial. I do this by building teams and giving structure to how these teams will interact. This step creates a sense of community in a large-enrollment course where students might feel “lost” in the sea of people.
- Chunking is another essential part of how I deliver my course. This pedagogy involves breaking my course session up into segments such as starting with a brief lecture on a topic, playing a short video to emphasize an example of the concept, and then doing a short in-class learning activity to reinforce or apply it.
- How did your Miller Open Education Mini-Grants funds add to your courses in terms of student engagement?
In my course AMD 165 Dress, Appearance, and Diversity in Society, students learn about different identities and how we communicate our identities through what we wear or how we look. We use the self-created videos on the Fashion & Justice Research Lab YouTube page in class to show rich examples. I also use the videos in the case studies for each unit. Students might do a more in-depth analysis of the video content and relate what they say back to a concept from the unit materials. The videos’ benefit is they add richness to the ways the students interact with these sometimes hard to understand concepts or ideas.
- What else would you want to share that is important for your teaching?
I saw the most improvements in my teaching once I started doing the plus/delta survey in all of my courses after a CELT workshop recommendation. It helped me see what could improve from the student’s perspective. I made small changes every semester, and I could see those changes add up after a while, which led to positive changes reflected in my teaching evaluations.