Professors from across the United States and Canada traveled to the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown this August to be a part of the Faculty Development Summer Institute. Three HWS professors took advantage of the institute to expand their teaching repertoire. Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos, Assistant Professor of Psychology Bernard Gee, and Assistant Professor of Economics Elizabeth Ramey journeyed to the island for the week-long program.
While at UPEI, Bodenlos and her colleagues reviewed active learning techniques and learned some new ones. “We were the students,” explains Bodenlos. “It was wonderful to be on the other side, to see how teaching works. It’s one thing to be taught new techniques, but it’s another thing to see them implemented.”
Bodenlos was also given the unique opportunity to watch her own teaching technique. “They videotaped me teaching a class,” says Bodenlos. “It really allowed me to critique myself. It was one of the best parts of the institute.”
Other activities included learning about interactive classroom technology, exercises in team-based learning, and small group work that included taking quizzes. “After each quiz we had to look at our answers, and ask: why did we select that answer or why did we get this one wrong?” says Bodenlos. “Ultimately, it made us ask ourselves, ‘what are we learning?’ That is a question professors really need to ask their students – especially after exams and tests.”
Learning continued outside of the classroom as well. “It wasn’t always about the content of the institution,” remarks Bodenlos, “but hearing about other classrooms and getting tips from other professors.” With some of the professors in attendance having more than 20 years of experience in teaching, Bodenlos has much to incorporate into her psychology classes.
“It far exceeded my expectations,” says Bodenlos of her overall experience. “It was absolutely energizing! Teaching is an ongoing process, and this really helped me to grow. It’s so important to constantly go back and look for new techniques.”