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graphic: checkmarkTip:What Makes an Effective Teacher?


According to a handbook from the University of Iowa, effective teachers use the following strategies:

bullet Clarity
--They communicate clearly about course objectives, content and testing, making sure to:

  • provide a rationale for learning particular material
  • adapt instruction to their student's level of knowledge and skill

bullet Review
--They review prerequisite knowledge as the foundation for new knowledge.

bullet Planning
--They are familiar with current research and:   

  • develop outlines for each class
  • begin with information about their students' preparation and skills
  • prepare for contingencies and "opportune moments" for teaching

bullet Feedback
--They ask questions requiring students to reflect, evaluate, connect ideas while:

  • providing clear and specific responses to student comments
  • following a correct response to a question with another question

bullet Transfer of Learning
--They provide adequate opportunity for mastery of tasks by:

  • making sure that principles are understood before asking students to apply them
  • offering a wide variety of examples

bullet Evaluation
--They solicit formal and informal responses from students during the semester and:   

  • use this information to improve their courses as they are being taught
  • also invite observation and suggestions from colleagues


--The complete list will soon be available at http://www.uiowa.edu/~centeach/


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