This page will be the entry point for teachers. Their main interest might be looking for learning materials, which will be searchable by type, level etc. We also hope to develop lesson plans around the teaching of these materials, so that teachers can share what they've done or how they've found other teachers' materials or lesson plans to be.
For general information on teaching, for now, see the Wikiversity School of Education.
The Teaching Process
Understand the Material
If you're going to teach something you should understand the material. The important that you have an understanding of the material that is at least slightly better than required. A complete understanding is a good thing, but in some subjects getting that could take far too long.
Preparing your Teaching Materials
You can lecture, you can assign reading, whatever you want; Make sure it can keep the students attention. Just remember no matter what medium it immediately becomes victim of the Forgetting curve. The material will be forgotten very quickly if it is just information given to them.
There are three main ways used to get students to remember something:
- Logarithmically-spaced (e.g. after 1 day, after 1 week, after 2 months) repetition (transferal from short term to medium term memory or from medium term to long term memory). For example learning historical dates, root vocabulary in a foreign language, and multiplication tables are taught using this method.
- Tie what you are teaching to things the student already knows. By tying the information to things the student already understand the information stays in memory longer.
- Capture the student's desire to know more.
The second and third method combined is preferred whenever possible.
This is where a lot of teachers fail, they hear the question then jump to conclusions on what the student's problem is. It doesn't look great to stand in front of class for 10 minutes going on about something irrelevant. When someone asks a question you must think about what their problem is. Make sure to ask them specifically about it to make sure you're about to explain the relevant subject.
Being Good at Teaching
You just have to do the last 4 things. Understand it, make the material interesting or present it in interesting ways, have ways for keeping the information in the students' memory, and answer questions without jumping to conclusions. Doing it well comes from practice, and/or having had enough bad teachers to already know these things.
This page could be structured by departments that might be found in a non-virtual university. However, since this is a hypertext, fields can be linked to in multiple departments. For example, the Computing could be linked from the Matematics Department and the School of Business, as well as being a part of the Department of Computational Sciences.
Perhaps, it will not be useful to structure this page into what can already be found at Wikiversity:Browse. Ideas on how to structure this page are welcome below. Overall, this page needs to be of immediate practical use to teachers.
Please add your suggestions here on how you think we can make this page most useful.
Please note that: Cross-linking of knowledge areas is, like the human memory system, a multi-dimensional matrix. That is, the nature of the link is predicated by the origin and destination context. A student may therefore be interested in a data block for reasons entirely different to those of another student who nevertheless shares an interest in the same data block. In fact it is this difference in reasons that yields different information inculcated by such individual students. Unless and until a teacher/lecturer recognises this aspect of learning, his/her teaching efficacy will be less than adequate.
Dr. King <email@example.com>