Find us on Facebook Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Teaching Matters

Volume 6 Issue 9 2013
30 July 2013


Hello to you from Teaching Matters and Learning and Teaching in Business for Semester 2, 2013. We wish you a semester full of highly enjoyable learning.

Reflection is usually reserved for the end of semester. But why not reflect on what you are about to do before you do it? For instance, first lecture or tutorial, how do you say hello to your students? Do first impressions matter? Does your "hello" reflect your values for the semester ahead?

The value of spending time on such questions is supported by the research of academics Jean Koh Peters and Mark Weisberg who devote a whole chapter to it in their 2011 publication, A Teacher's Reflection Book. They ask teachers to reflect on how they think their students feel walking out of their introductory classes? Intrigued? Comfortable? Intimidated? And whether it would be useful to find out? They ask also how do we (the teachers) feel when we leave?

Inspired by such works as Koh Peters...Teaching Matters invites you to take its HELLO survey below, simply for your own edification or to send in to TM to share with colleagues.

Happy Semester 2

Susan Ellicott-Darke

NEXT ISSUE: Update from last semester's initiatives (Mindfulness Seminar, Collaborating with Faculty Librarians, Work Integrated Learning, Mid Semester Feedback) and more...


  1. What is the first experience students have in your course and your lecture or tutorial room?
  2. What are the values of your course and lecture/tutorial room? How do students know this?
  3. Imagine that it is your last class and it has been a great semester. What is the interaction like in that class? What is being discussed? What does the successful end to a semester tell you about a successful beginning? And do you have an idea for how to link this end class to the beginning?
  4. You and your students will meet each week from disparate backgrounds to spend the semester in collaboration. How do you begin to work in synch? What habits and rhythms will you invite them to adopt and indeed model for them?
  5. How will you deal with any drop off in student attendance?
  6. What will be the role of IT in your lecture/tutorial room?
  7. How will you know your students' names?
  8. How will you manage your announcements?
  9. As you begin, how do you want the central ideas of your Unit of Study to emerge? E.g., do you want your messages to be transparent and explanatory, or to emerge over time?

Reference: Koh Peters, J and Weisberg, M, (2011) A Teacher's Reflection Book, Carolina Academic Press, North Carolina



We invited Business School Lecturer Angelo Aspris to undertake the survey for us, his answer to question one below.

  1. What is the first experience students have in your course and your lecture or tutorial room?

I attempt to orchestrate an experience for students that presents me to be firm but fair, knowledgeable on the subject matter, and engaging. From the outset, I present a list of my expectations for how I run the class (i.e. turning up to class on time, turning off phones, not talking throughout the class) and ensure that they are adhered to throughout the semester. In this time I also present several avenues by which students are able to appeal and request further feedback on assessments as a way of re-assuring them that if they put in the necessary work and exhibit the necessary skills that it possible for them all to do quite well. Rather than just reading off lecture slides, I also design course notes to illustrate ideas and provide students with content containing examples, anecdotes, and personal perspective. This allows me to engage the audience and subtly provoke them into further interaction. These actions as a collective (in the first lecture) shape student perspectives in a manner that I believe to provide an optimal teaching environment over the course of the semester.

Thank you to Angelo for his thoughts (obtained from him at short notice). For the rest of his responses please see next TM issue, August 13, 2013.

Please send your completed survey to the editor by August 9th if you would like to share your responses in TM.



There may be a very good case for supplying your students with a diagram. It may be that the diagram helps students to quickly grasp an idea. But could asking students to create that diagram themselves from information you give even better enable them to grasp and engage with the idea (the diagrams produced to be then discussed and shared)?

Diagrams may have more meaning if students create them themselves

Similarly, there may be a case for students to add visuals to your lecture slides (during the lecture via IT) to demonstrate their engagement with and understanding of an idea...



To perfect Powerpoint slide content please follow the link here to Presentation Tips.

For further information on enhancing presentations please contact Sam Bizri.