Teaching: Development of Course Materials

Now is a good time for me to revisit my course materials and make the appropriate adjustments. Many of the courses I currently teach are classes that I’ve taught multiple times, so the advantage is that I have a pretty developed sense of specific objectives for each individual course, as well as the logistics that are involved in planning and executing the course. However, I know for a fact that because I’m compulsive about constantly improving each course, that annual and spontaneous tweaks and adjustments will always be necessary, no matter how much time and experience I’ve had with a specific class. I believe very strongly in maintaining consistency in my overall teaching style and philosophy, but I also believe that there’s always room for improvement, and that it is healthy for me to take time aside to re-evaluate what I’m doing in a particular class. To me, organizing a course is all about the details and decision making, it’s a constant flow of various factors which are always fluctuating and changing, demanding an awareness and ability to react on your part. The other advantage of looking at my materials now is that I’m currently in the thick of my courses, so little details that I might not consider if I’m not in the middle of teaching won’t be missed.

Another component of teaching that I am constantly building and adding to is my growing archive of digital images I’ve taught art history lecture courses at the RISD Summer Pre-College Program for the last several years. I know for a fact that this experience has not only allowed me to improve my lecture skills, but has significantly increased my awareness of both historical and contemporary artworks which I think contributes enormously to my ability to convey concepts and techniques in the classroom. I converted everything to digital format last summer, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my work experience.

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