Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tip of the Day Three: Spoonfeeding

What is spoonfeeding? That term has always bothered me. What one person considers spoonfeeding another considers scaffolding, a fancy term for providing the background the students need to build future learning on.

I teach freshmen for the most part, and many are unprepared for the college classroom environment. So I feel it is my job to teach them to be college students, at least in my class. That does not mean whole lectures on learning skills. It does mean occasional tips on how best to takes notes in my class. It does mean having very organized lectures (maybe too organized, for some people's views, but I am left-brained and like the structure of typical outlines.) It does mean reminding them of the learning outcomes of the class occasionally. It foes mean providing an agenda of the class period at the beginning.

Coming from a rhetoric and communication background, I learned early on about the research that audiences are not very adept at creating a structure for a speaker's message--that is the speaker's job. So I take that to heart. It doesn't make my class less rigorous.

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