Teaching Council

Teaching Council

Mr. Jason Griggs And The Magic Of Teamwork

Mr. Jason Griggs is an Instructional Designer and professor of communications here at Florida Tech. Mr. Griggs designs online courses and helps countless other professors with learning management systems, pedagogy, and all things within the sphere of teaching. 

Jason is passionate about student motivation and takes pride in transforming his students into critical thinkers. He regularly uses gamification in his courses and understands how to get his students to rise above their self-prescribed limitations.

"I like to watch my students turn the courses they 'have to take' into courses they 'want to take'."

Jason Griggs, teacher extraordinaire

In this podcast, Jason discusses the role that teamwork plays in his courses and how he evaluates group work. His goal with any group project is to foster teamwork and interdependence. While his students do receive a group grade, they also receive a grade from Jason as well as from their group members. Each member of the team is given 100 points to divvy up between all of their group members. This allows his students to reward the hard workers in each of the groups, fairly.  Here is a link to the document that Jason shares with his students to evaulate each other.  Team Evaluation (Word document)

Dr. Dan Batcheldor and the Cosmic Oranges

Dr. Dan Batcheldor is a researching professor of physics and space sciences here at the Florida Institute of Technology. His research interests range from super massive blackholes, gravitational waves, reverberation mapping, next generation imaging devices for finding new planets, and on to the usefulness of Martian regolith in supporting an outpost on the red planet. See more about his current and previous research interests here. 
 
Dr. Dan Batcheldor instructing his students.
On top of all of that Dr. Batcheldor is an excellent instructor who supplies his students with current, fascinating space science that surely motivates. After all, who doesn’t love learning about space? He is so passionate about his subject that he has even written a book for the layperson - Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education amazon.com. Mix that love with access to research projects on board the International Space Station, The Hubble Space Telescope, a razor sharp wit, and a firm grasp of pedagogy and you have yourself one of the greatest instructors around. 
 
In his FIT to Teach podcast session he discusses how he influences his students to become the next generation of leaders in space science through careful observation of fundamental physics and solid teaching methodologies. As an added bonus, he also discusses his approach to grading physics assignments in a timely yet effective manner.

The Differentiated Instruction Of Dr. Stanfield

Dr. Andy Stanfield dropped by the FIT to Teach Podcast Center to discuss his approach to teaching in his Humanities courses. 

Dr. Stanfield is a veteran teacher of Humanities who uses differentiated instruction as a way to motivate his students to be productive. Dr. Carol Tomlinson, a differentiated instructor expert, explains the “idea of differentiating instruction is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for and attention to student differences in classrooms, in the context of high-quality curriculums.” Dr. Stanfield addresses student differences by allowing them to make choices about which assignments they will complete for grades in his HUM 2051 courses.

 

To supplement poignant lectures, he allows his students to choose from 25 different writing assignments. He also includes quizzes and a final exam to finish the course. His syllabus states: “In this class, you are trying to accumulate points, with 900 earning an A. There are over 1500 points possible, so choose the assignments you wish to attempt.” He encourages timeliness of their choices by adding “Remember, however, that there are deadlines for each assignment and late work will not be accepted, so choose wisely!” This puts the onus on the student and motivates them to work hard.

His list of assignments includes multiple civilization reports on a variety of different cultures, response papers to nine different reading assignments and essays on works of historical fiction. Having a menu of assignments to choose from allows his students to take ownership of their learning while at the same time motivating them to write, and his approach gets them to write a lot.

In his FIT to Teach interview, Dr. Stanfield discusses the civilization reports and offers his template for the world to use (link below). These civilization reports make use of an instructional strategy called "Chunking" that helps aid in organizing information for long-term memory

Simple and effective.  

Dr. Stanfield's Civilization Report Template