Chapter 6 Lecturing Creatively of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher” gave me some helpful lecturing ideas. The challenge we have with lectures is making them as helpful and stimulating as possible. Brookfield suggests “a lecture should begin with the lecturer explaining its purpose, it’s relevance to the course goals and syllabus and its connection to earlier class sessions or assignments” (2015, p.71). We need to make it clear what the lecture is intended to achieve so that our learners are aware of its purpose. Brookfield suggests these three characteristics of a helpful lecture:
- Use a variety of teaching and communication processes.
- Are clearly organized so students can follow the thread of the lecturer’s thought.
- Model the learning behaviours expected in the course.
He also suggests every 10-15 minutes do a 1 minute paper on the most important point so far. By doing so, this introduces periods of silence and then students get into Buzz groups to share the 1 minute papers. Break the lectures into 10-15 minute chunks that deal with separate ideas. Using clickers or social media every 10-15 minutes to ask review questions is also a good way to break up your lecture. Good lecturing involves organization, providing handouts and offering verbal signals when changing direction in the lecture.
“Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented” (Wikipedia, 2016, para.1). If a school is accredited, this shows the public that the school has met and is maintaining the standards set by the accrediting agent. When choosing a college, make sure to find out if it’s accredited and how that accreditation will impact your future. When you graduate, employers may question the validity of your degree if you graduated from a school with a questionable accreditation and other schools will not transfer credits from an unaccredited university. Also you will not be able to obtain appropriate professional licensing in your field, as your school was not accredited.
Here’s an example of a Canadian school (Trinity Western University Law School) that lost their accreditation. It appears that this Christian law schools accreditation was denied due to their prohibition of homosexual behaviour.
Trinity Western University Law School’s denial of accreditation was not based on academics, but based on a covenant that all students and instructors have to sign. This covenant prohibits all sex other than heterosexual marriage and is therefore discriminatory against gay people and people that do not believe in marriage.
Here’s a video by Ezra Levant (who is Jewish) mocking the denial of the accreditation of Trinity Western University by saying go ahead and have a Law School, but your degree will not be valid. He has some really good points to make regarding religious discrimination and education.
Here’s another video by Brian Lilley (who is Catholic) with his opinion on this denial of accreditation. It will be interesting to see if this accreditation is appealed and what the outcome will be. I’m hoping that the Law School will receive its accreditation.
The Dental Assisting Program that I’m currently instructing in received its accreditation 1 ½ years ago. The first class of students went through the program before it was accredited and they had to perform their clinical skills before they could write their national exam. We received external accreditation while the second class was in progress and these students only had to write their national exam. Accreditation was a lengthy process. We started preparing the documentation for it months ahead of time as the accreditors require the documentation well in advance. The external accreditors were on campus for 2 days, reviewing the curriculum, interviewing the instructors and students and evaluating clinical procedures according to the Policy and Procedures Manual. It is most important that schools have these manuals in place and are following them correctly or accreditation will be denied or revoked. It was a very intense 2 days, but we were well prepared and really looking forward to being accredited. It went smoothly.