Reflections On Teaching Shared with New Duke Faculty

Learning Innovation invited instructors new to teaching at Duke to hear from experienced faculty as they shared their teaching tips, ideas and lessons learned. “What I Wish I Had Known About Teaching (at Duke)” included an award-winning faculty panel who discussed teaching pedagogy and approaches ranging from inclusive teaching, active learning, team-based learning, the flipped classroom, and collaborative learning. The panel also addressed questions on giving effective feedback, academic integrity, and resources available to Duke faculty. The panel also shared information on the Teaching for Equity Fellows Program, which is open to faculty of all ranks.

The four expert faculty panelists included:

  • Edward J. Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Professor of History and Public Policy
  • Elizabeth K. Bucholz, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Jules Odendahl-James, Director of Academic Engagement, Arts & Humanities, Lecturer, Theater Studies
  • Alyssa K. Perz, Academic Dean, Trinity College, Director, Cardea Fellows Program, and Lecturer, Department of Biology

Faculty participants came from a variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, and science. This made for an engaging and very information Q&A session. Faculty shared the following comments on how the event provided value and impact to their teaching practice:

Gustavo Monteiro Silva, PhD

As a new faculty in Biology, it was extremely helpful to learn about the teaching resources available at Duke through Learning Innovation and beyond. It was also a great opportunity to hear from renowned professors about their experiences, their favorite pedagogical approaches, and their advice on how we can improve and make our teaching environment more inclusive. – Gustavo Monteiro Silva, Assistant Professor of Biology

Bridgette Martin Hard, PhD

Although I’m actually a pretty experienced teacher, I really appreciated getting to hear what other teachers had found worked and didn’t work with Duke students, as well as some practical advice for how to interact with institutional resources (e.g., what to do if you detect cheating in your class). I also really enjoyed getting to know faculty who clearly enjoy teaching and are committed to quality education for Duke students. Bridgette Martin Hard, Associate Professor of the Practice, Psychology & Neuroscience

Satya Achanta, DVM, PhD

I teach a pharmacology course to Duke undergraduates (Pharm 350 – Pharmacology: Drug Actions and Reactions). This is my first course at Duke although I taught a pharmacology course at Yale University in the past.

The panel responded to a variety of themed and individual questions. Some of the most interesting topics covered were –  favorite techniques to keep students engaged in the classroom; attendance policy; prevention of cheating on exams and homework; how to balance time between teaching-research-administrative-personal life; resources available to teaching faculty at Duke and much more. The panel shared their most valuable first-hand experiences to bring out the best in budding teachers like myself.

Thank you, Learning Innovation, for organizing such thoughtful events to improve the teaching experience for faculty! -Satya Achanta, DVM, PhD, Associate in Research, Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine

Photo of Lok Chan
Lok Chan

It was very helpful to hear from the panelists about different teaching methods used in their classes, especially how different techniques can be implemented to make the classroom more inclusive. I have taught Phil 150 (logic) for two and half years at Duke, and I relied heavily on active learning. While my students were all respectful towards each other, they tended to stick with people who are culturally more familiar to them. I was glad to hear that team-based learning, a technique I was not aware of, is a great way to boost inclusivity in classroom. –Lok Chan, Bass Instructional Fellow, Philosophy

Teaching insights shared with new faculty included ways they can connect with one another, visit each other’s classrooms, and receive peer feedback. Programs include Visit a Classroom and exchange teaching ideas with TeachX. Faculty also learned about the ARC (Duke’s Academic Resource Center), the Duke Thompson Writing Studio (TWP) to support students in their writing practice, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Faculty also heard how they can build a culture of academic integrity in their classroom, and learned more about student conduct policies.

This new faculty event was led by Learning Innovation consultants Elise Mueller and Sophia Stone. If you are interested in hearing about future events for new faculty, contact us!

Additional resources for new Duke faculty