There was a time where the simple fact that we had the content made us special. It used to be that the only place that a student could go to access to the specialized information that faculty have access to was at a university. For almost a thousand years (literally) this has been the case. In the last 20 or so years, all that has changed. A computer connection and a library card can now give you access to almost any kind of information. Twenty dollars spent on Audible.com can get you 48 lectures from some of the world’s best faculty. If we care about engaging our students, simply presenting the content is not going to be enough.
Presenting our take on the content
One of the things that we bring to the classroom is our own perspective on the things that we think students need to read/learn/be introduced to. Adding how you learned a thing, when you found it useful in your own profession or how comfortable you are with how it is explained can all shape how students learn. Not ‘here is the content’ but ‘here is how I see the content’.
The only professors that stood out to me were the ones who had a creative way to teach there content, a lot of us do notice when a professors cares about there course and there students – A Student
Letting the students find the content
Life long learning is essential in almost every profession now. We need to not only know things, but learn how to learn the new thing and, potentially, unlearn them. Setting out tasks that encourage your students to find given approaches both gives you the opportunity to give your take on what they bring in and teach them how to find things. You may also learn something new. Life long learning for everybody!
Letting the students make the content
Learning how to shape knowledge so others can understand it can be a transformational. Being forced to go over that content you created over and over again until it makes sense is a real workforce skill. There are lots of great models of people who have worked with their students to make textbooks… but you don’t have to go that far. Having students create things to teach each other can happen in your classrooms. You just have to stay on top of it.