The best resource on teaching First-Year Writing courses in a flexible environment is the instructors who have taught in the room themselves. Here you’ll find advice, tips, and helpful observations from those who have gone before you on using the resources in a flexible classroom, as well as adopting an active learning, student-centered pedagogical approach. If you have any thoughts or tips you’d like to share on your experience teaching in one of the flex classrooms, please “leave a reply” at the bottom of this page.
Using the LCD Screens
- “Familiarize yourself with the technology before teaching in the room, and know where to get help when you need it.”
- “If you’re going to use the LCD screens to share writing, do it early in the semester. Establish that as a ground rule for your classroom community.
- “I would encourage instructors to periodically turn off the large projector screen at the front of the room and have students huddle/work around the LCD screens. The LCD screens are better for group work and discussion.”
- “Use them for groups to do collaborative drafting.”
- “Have students practice hooking up to the LCD screens for low-stakes activities so that it will come naturally for any higher-stakes uses. Find playful uses for the screens (e.g. as part of a competition–groups hook up for their reveals) to help students become more comfortable sharing in this way.”
- “Use the LCD’s to have individuals or small groups of students present their work (and have the rest of the class gather round). Get used to students looking in all different directions when you put content on the screens. Using the screens to give notes are a good way to move around the room and “lecture” from different places and still be able to gesture to your own notes. When students compose on screens, you’ll find that some students are more comfortable composing in this semi-public space than others.”
Practicing Student-Centered Teaching
- “get out from behind the podium. T126 is a super large room and sometimes your students will sit along the wall. I don’t like that, so I tell them I’m needy and ask them to come forward; however, I must be willing to meet them halfway by getting out from the command module.”
- “I’d encourage new instructors to take advantage of the space’s opportunities for collaboration as much as possible.”