I teach a riveting course. Canadian Electrical Code. Of course, as you would assume it is everybody’s favorite class when they come to electrical school. Seriously though it’s pretty much at the bottom of all of our students lists, both in interest and priority.
Due to the nature of the content and the short time limit of the course, as instructors we often have to lecture quite a bit to make sure we cover all the important concepts. It definitely is a great opportunity to experiment with some creative lecturing. Talking up at the whiteboard for one and a half hours about electrical code is a very easy way to put a room of 30 students to sleep.
In the 18 months I’ve been teaching I’ve learned the hard way about the importance of organizing lectures so that students can easily follow my sometime unique train of thought. I have developed a workbook with note taking section which follow along in the order of the lecture, I now know these are called scaffolding notes. I am also beginning the understand the importance of very good verbal cues and how crucial timing is during the lectures. I like the idea of incorporating some chunking giving 10-15 minutes of me talking followed by short work periods for the students to use the knowledge they have just gained.