Tuesday Teaching Talk (TTT)

Tuesday Teaching Talk is a regular feature which, as the name implies, is an opportunity to talk explicitly about teaching (and learning) in the practical and philosophical sense that happens on, you guessed it, Tuesday. Hold on to your hats.  The CAST coordinators (yes there are 2 of us) are tasked with supplying TTTs to you.  Look for questions, videos, tips, etc.  Enjoy!

What do you think of this?

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Teaching Talk (TTT)

  1. It made me want to vomit! Seems great if you predominantly think student learning is about factual repetition. To my very specific eyes, I thought a lot of young people were being patronized. Saw a lot of ‘training’ engagement techniques in use….

  2. I would need to know more about what the instructor is doing. Is this a method for introducing a topic or review? Is this what every session is like? Why does everything have to happen so fast?

    My observations:
    Students are engaged in the activity. It is lively.
    Students who can very quickly repeat what the instructor says, get the reward of the 10 finger secret handshake thing.
    One student who could not quickly repeat what the instructor said, gets the “it’s cool” line and the class moves on.

    My thoughts:
    It seems to be a system that rewards fast repeats of simple explanations.

    It seems to be a system that is attempting to get all students involved – it is not voluntary as the instructor calls on students randomly.

    If this is all that students do, it does not seem to be a system that promotes deep learning or in any way supports taking time to think.

    If this is all that students do, I think students who need more time to think (I am like this as a learner) would be left out of the process & constantly getting the “it’s cool” line.

    Concerns: It promotes the idea that there is one right answer to every question. There is no room for questions from students.


    I don’t like it at all if this is the only thing they do throughout the course. I also think it is annoying to be told that at the end of the course, something will be “revealed” to me about the organization of the course. Yuck! I detest the idea that the teacher is the holder of all knowledge which will be released to the student once it is felt they can handle it.

    However, on another note, I have been reading a bit about game theory and using gaming as a way of learning complex ideas and working on long term projects. In my understanding, the gaming idea in education is being used as a method for students to learn problem solving and critical thinking. It is a way of thinking about problems and trying many different ways of getting to a solution. Gaming also involves collaborative efforts and including each person’s strength – a way of valuing what each member brings to the group. It’s a far cry from the activity shown in this video because it is about long-term engagement on a project with individualized, and ongoing feedback.

    Does anyone know about game theory and using gaming for learning?


    • I don’t know a lick about gaming theory. I do know that to use the illusion of a game to teach is the equivalent of masquerading the true purpose of education. In the wrong hands, anything can be misused. IN the right hands, it can be golden for students.
      I don’t think this is your view Carrie, I’m just going off on a bit of a tangent based on your words.
      I’m pretty much against the idea of tricking students into learning. I’m all for engagement. I’m all for critical thinking. I don’t like smoke and mirrors to get students to cooperate, at any level of education.
      School is school; it’s not entertainment and we shouldn’t bend over backwards to create the illusion of fun.
      We’re probably on the same page Carrie. I guess your words made me think about teaching. For that I am thankful.

      I hope this is not the norm in this guy’s classroom.

      • Still thinking about it..

        Gaming is something I want to look into because, from what i understand of it so far, it really aligns well with how people learn. I’m interested in complex, ongoing, collaborative quests and epic wins…that kind of thing. The choose your own adventure with hundreds of possibilities and consequences kind of thing. The problem solving, project-based, critical thinking kind of thing.

        The clip, in my opinion, is not using game theory. i personally would not want to be a student in the kind of exchange demonstrated in the clip.I had the same gag reflex that Michael described!

        However, in the clip the instructor is using repetition and rehearsal. Repetition and rehearsal are ways that people learn. Many of us use this technique on our own when we are trying to remember something – we drill ourselves on the facts. This is actually a very useful way to remember simple facts. Like in the old days when someone gave you their phone number and you had to repeat it over and over again to remember it. This may be an outdated thing to do because we always have facts available to us at our fingertips, but it still seems to be a method for getting straight factual information into our short-term memory.

        I do not want to do things in the manner of the instructor in the clip and i certainly would not want to base an entire semester on this kind of activity, but building in repetition and rehearsal for my students might actually help them when they are trying to remember facts that they need to use later.

        For long-term memory, they will need to apply the information in different ways and that’s where the complex gaming might come in. I’m curious about it and how it fits with the “21st Century Learning” construct.

        It’s interesting to think about…

        I’ve talked with Kamran and am excited to learn more!

        Thank you CAST for providing the provocative clip to get me thinking about different possibilities for teaching and learning!

  3. I have to agree with carrie. These are short answer drills which are emphasizing the concept of there being a right answer. This approach may work for subjects in which there is a right answer but then again, what is right? Don’t wrong answers lead to deeper investigations in science? in math?

    Where are the philosophers in the room???? Is there really a right answer?

    This may be a good strategy for a third grade test prep session for ISATs. Actually, I’ve done this one in my 3rd grade class, for that purpose. It doesn’t seem to fit this topic, this age group, or university expectations of critical analysis and research.

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