Professors and teachers come into their new jobs with expertise in their field, but often with little formal training in how to lecture or teach. Most learn through trial and error, and by modeling after their own past professors, but they may not be able to reflect on their teaching and how to improve it. They may not really know what works, what does not, or why. Coaching is one way of helping professors to improve their teaching skills, by reflecting on their teaching and how they can improve.
Instructional coaching consists of an informal meeting (about 40+ minutes) between the professor and an instructional coach or consultant. Instructional coaching is not a formal evaluation or assessment of your teaching. Rather, it is a support service to help professors to develop and improve their teaching skills. The instructor will be asked to reflect on his/her strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, and areas that s/he would like to change or improve. S/he may also bring specific questions about any aspect of teaching. This can also be an opportunity to learn about new or different teaching methods that one might like to try.
Any of these following topics (or any others) can be covered in a coaching session, depending on your needs and interests.
- Designing lessons or syllabi
- Assignments, grading and assessment
- Lecture, presentation, and delivery skills
- Teaching style
- Effective use of questions, discussion, or group activities
- Using instructional materials, media, and PowerPoint
- Interactive and innovative teaching methods
- Making lectures more interesting
- Handling students' difficulties
- Professional and self-development