The pandemic profoundly impacted the field of education and our teaching environment. Instructors need to think about how to balance the need for student interactions with supporting students’ mental health and anxiety towards returning to in-person instruction. Assisting students in conquering their anxiety is a top priority for most instructors. In the article, “The Student-Centered Syllabus” by Beckie Supiano (The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 22, 2021), Supiano discusses how some faculty started to integrate “specifications grading” into their courses; they provided more assignments options and allowed students to choose how they would like to demonstrate their learning. According to the article, students really enjoy this type of flexibility and control over their learning. In my culture, we have a saying -” teach according to students’ aptitude.” Which means to teach in a way which supports students’ innate talents and characteristics.
Diversified learning methods inject vitality into traditional systems and have essential strategic significance to the reform and advancement of education. Shifting to new forms/norms of teaching is not easy, and you may also be thinking “more options, more troubles.” Regardless of the difficulties, well time management & organization, a consistent learning pathway, and clear policies with teacher presence are core elements to build these new norms in teaching different personalities and talents.
About the Author:
Shu Fen (Fannie) Tsai, M.S.
Instructional Designer, Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI)
Fannie Tsai has over ten years of experience promoting teaching excellence in higher education. As an instructional designer at the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, she supports faculty in designing courses and content for various teaching modes with backward design and learning technologies. UCI faculty appreciate her help in creating a mastery learning path to guide students’ learning. In addition, Fannie is passionate about inclusive teaching. She devotes diligence to facilitating faculty using inclusive technologies to design an accessible learning environment for all students. Fannie joined DTEI in September 2019 after nine years of service as an instructional technology designer at SDSU. She has a B.A. degree in Multimedia/Programing and an M.S. degree in Instructional Technology.