2021 brings a newfound hope and chance to start anew. That is certainly the case for today’s higher education professors who are kicking off a new teaching term and wondering how their instruction will shake out in the coming months. How are students coping with continued distance learning requirements? What did educators learn in 2020 that prepares them for 2021? How do educators reduce stressors on themselves while increasing positive learning outcomes for students?
In a webinar, we sat down with two leading expert educators in the field of Information Systems, Robotics, Information Security and Cyber to understand how they are approaching teaching in a New Year. Central VA Community College Professor, Corinne Hoisington and Circadence CTO and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at CU Boulder, Brad Hayes shared tips and advice to fellow educators based on their own experiences teaching technical topics.
Students want a guarantee that they are on the path to employability
Educators ought to teach skills in addition to concepts. This requires teachers be keenly aware of the market demands and what jobs employers are actively seeking.
Educators ought to teach ‘soft skills’ in addition to the technical or disciplinary skills of the field. Today’s employers want hires who have strong leadership and communication abilities in addition to emotional intelligence, creativity, and flexibility. These ‘soft skills’ can be taught within the larger framework of lesson plans and projects.
Create accommodations that every student can be successful
Educators ought to create different formats for lecture and homework delivery. Not every student learns and absorbs information in the same way. For example, adding closed captioning to presentation to those inclined to read can do so. Add visuals and video for students who learn better with pictures and animations. Give students the option to submit a video report or word document depending on their communication style.
Provide safe environments for connectivity to create a level playing field
The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted traditional teaching environments and most teaching settings are virtual now.
Educators ought to explore and adopt varying modalities of virtual technology to support and supplement existing curriculum. The HTC Vive virtual reality tool allows students to have an immersive and interactive learning experience from the comfort and safety of their own home. Similarly, students can learn those coveted ‘soft skills’ like public speaking using Ovation, a virtual reality simulator to track student verbal progression of speech delivery.