The Priceless Tools offered by Effective Teaching in Higher Education Course (ACUE Course): CILT – By Amina Sadik

Dear Colleagues,

For those of you considering taking the ACUE Course in Effective Teaching in Higher Education, below is a blog written by
Amina Sadik, Professor of Basic Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Touro University Nevada.

Jim O’Connor Ph.D.

The Priceless Tools offered by Effective Teaching in Higher Education Course

When I found the second notification from Dr. O’Connor about the online course on Effective Teaching in Higher Education in collaboration with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), I felt that I must share my enthusiasm about this course in order to encourage my colleagues to find time in their busy schedule to complete it. 
You would think that after 30 years of teaching, half of which in a medical school, I would feel that I have nothing more to learn about teaching. Far from it!
I am one of those people who think that there is always something to learn. I have mastered, and used successfully, several teaching methodologies, especially active learning strategies, and I have shared a few of them in my weekly posts and reflections during the last academic year. However, I learned several teaching strategies and teaching techniques that I have already applied and others that I plan to during this coming semester. One of my favorite modules is 2E, which was about supporting unprepared students.  Some of the techniques taught I was already practicing, however, not as effectively as I could, as I learned from the course. Those amongst us who honor the open-door policy know that unprepared students need our support outside the classroom to be successful. Nonetheless, the strategies taught in Effective Teaching in Higher Education regarding classroom and outside class practices that support student success are so enlightening, you will wish you knew about th!
 em when you first started teaching.
I think that any faculty member who cares about student learning will learn priceless lessons from the grading practices that support student success. Some of these practices reminded me of what I have learned from the famous course offered by the world-renowned medical educator and pioneer of OSCE, Dr. Harden: “Essential Skills of Medical Education”. 
One of the strengths of the Effective Teaching in Higher Education is the resources provided at the end of each module, so that one can delve into and learn even more about the topic at hand. These resources are not only articles and books but also video and blogs by those who are in the trenches of education. One of my favorites is a book Dr. McGuire, “Teach Students How to Learn,” that I purchased before the end of module 2E. It is money well spent! The other book I bought because of this course is “make it stick, The Science of Successful Learning”.
The second most important block was about Designing Courses. I know I have I designed successful courses, and yet I learned from the modules in this block as well. I cannot talk about them all. However, I must mention at least three of them here, because I was able to apply them before the end of the spring semester and was pleased to see my students reap the benefits of my newly acquired insight: “Establishing Powerful Learning”, “Aligning Assessments with Course” and “Aligning Activities and Assignments”. I used my GI lectures to apply what I was learning through this block. It was very hard, but it was so fulfilling.
If you can imagine a world where your students learn better from you, where you have the ability to evaluate and improve your assessment practices, and where you are able to write clear learning outcomes and where you are able to prepare your own effective syllabus, you should take this course without hesitation.
I end this post with a quote by Dr. Bowen when he was asked about teaching: “The magic is passion”. I am sure that you have it in you.

Amina Sadik