Strategies of Good Teachers

By Lillian Williams

This week the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) is meeting in St. Louis, Mo.  And, as you can imagine, a key topic is teaching in the digital age.

One premise, of course, is that the Internet affects the way people teach and learn.  Nevertheless, good teachers throughout the ages share some common characteristics.

To that end, AEJMC’s Committee on Teaching published an e-book  featuring trends, ideas and strategies for today’s journalism teachers. Many of these strategies would be effective for other fields of study, too.

The following are highlights from teaching experts who contributed to the publication, entitled, “Effective Strategies for Teaching in the Digital Age”:

  • Dr. Bey-Ling Sha of San Diego State University recommends that teachers  explain the rationale behind teaching choices; articulate standards and expectations, and model those high standards. She also recommends  that teachers set up social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Charles Davis of the University of Missouri at Columbia recommends that beginning teachers observe experienced teachers in the classroom.   “The very first thing I’d do, were I beginning to teach again, is what I did when I got to Mizzou: go on a teaching road show.”
  • Fred Bayles of Boston University suggests that teachers find a file sharing program, such as Google Docs or Adobe Buzzword, that allows students and teachers to review stories together in real time when they are in different locations.
  • Dr. Debashis “Deb” Aikat of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill believes teachers must make their grading standards clear. “At the first three or four sessions of your class, bring examples of grade A, B, C work  from your former classes so that students have a chance to see exemplary work and get an idea about specific grading standards and pitfalls.”
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