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Describing Our Teaching Methodologies
By Dr. Phil Baird (Sicangu Lakota), Vice President, Academic-Career-Tech Education

21 December 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - With an NCA site visit scheduled in April 2011, United Tribes Technical College is presently engaged in the self-study process with the faculty addressing questions related to various accreditation criteria.

      One of five criteria, Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching – reads as follows: “The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.”

      This past fall, academic department chairs began describing what they believed were the various teaching methodologies used in UTTC classrooms. Some of the initial responses are summarized as follows:

Career-Tech Coursework:

  • Competency-based instruction
  • Hands-on teaching - “Teacher demonstrates, student demonstrates, repeat….”
  • Project-based teaching
  • Interactive computer technology, e.g., simulations
  • “Blended” teaching, i.e., face-to-face with computer-assisted instruction
  • Teaching with experiential activities e.g., “on-the-job training”
  • Integration of industry and “real world” applications
  • Teaching within a lab or shop environment closely matching industry

General Coursework:

  • Lecture with text books and other relevant learning resources
  • Web-based instruction with discussion board
  • Computer-based teaching with timely feedback
  • Review and discussion with case studies
  • Story-telling and group discussions
  • Peer teaching and interaction
  • Role playing
  • Instruction with research activities
  • Teaching with field trips

      Faculty members were also asked to describe some characteristics of effective teaching: encouraging student commitment to learning, motivating, facilitating, animated, promoting creative thinking and problem-solving, and entertaining.

      These are some of the initial perspectives shared by faculty about effective teaching. Collectively, the instructional staff will continue to build upon their knowledge and experiences, leading to a written self-study narrative about effective teaching on the UTTC campus.

      In the near future, the same self-study question will be offered to UTTC students and other college staff for input.