MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016 Activities by Category - Teaching Skills

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How to Speak

Patrick Henry Winston, Ford Professor of Engineering/MacVicar Fellow

Jan/29 Fri 11:00AM-12:00PM 10-250

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Professor Winston offers heuristic rules that enable you to do better oral exams, job talks, lectures,
and conferences presentations, and make your listeners consider your performances to be inspiring.

Sponsor(s): Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Contact: Patrick Henry Winston,

Responding to Student Writing: Best Practices from the Research

Suzanne Lane, Senior Lecturer, CMS/W and Director of WRAP

Jan/28 Thu 01:00PM-03:00PM E39-335

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)

What kind of feedback is most effective in helping students to develop and structure their ideas, and to communicate them effectively in writing? This workshop will draw on composition research to explore the range of instruction and responding practices, from rubrics to peer review to individual conferences, and when each is effective. By considering feedback in relation to other forms of instruction, participants will learn to provide the kinds of comments and strategies that will help students understand how to improve both their specific texts and their abilities as writers.

Contact: Katherine Olson,

Teaching Oral Communication: From Invention to Delivery

Suzanne Lane, CMS/W and Director of WRAP

Jan/27 Wed 01:00PM-03:00PM E39-335

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)

By learning the stages of developing, structuring, rehearsing, and delivering presentations, students can become comfortable with a live audience, and use the interaction as a tool to develop their thinking. This workshop will help instructors think through their goals for oral assignments, so that they can scaffold the steps involved in developing presentations. Workshop participants will be able to work on (re)designing assignments for their current or future courses by developing (i) a deeper understanding of fundamental oral communication concepts, (ii) strategies to integrate oral communication assignments into a class, and (iii) techniques and tools to provide feedback on student presentations.

Contact: Katherine Olson,

Teaching Reading and Writing in Technical Disciplines

Andreas Karatsolis, Associate Director of WRAP and Media Assessment Specialist,

Jan/26 Tue 01:00PM-03:00PM E39-335

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)

While scientists typically communicate knowledge in the field through proposals, technical reports and journal articles, most undergraduate students spend their time in problem-set based classes which don’t include substantive engagement with readings in their field. In this workshop we will explore ways to engage students in reading and understanding published literature in their field, using that knowledge to design their own projects, and analyzing how the literature conveys meaning. Our overall goal is to help instructors develop and scaffold instructional activities and assignments so that their students can learn how to write effectively in these genres.

Contact: Katherine Olson,

Wikipedia in the Classroom: Creating Digital Research and Writing Assignments

Rebecca Thorndike-Breeze, Lecturer, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Amy Carleton, Lecturer, Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Jan/22 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14N 132

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/22
Limited to 30 participants

When Wikipedia was founded in 2001, its difference from the traditional print model of encyclopedic writing was perhaps most apparent, but the fact that its content was generated by an alternative model—a non-centralized cadre of volunteer editors—offered the most significant difference. Almost overnight, there was an online reference tool that outpaced resources like Microsoft’s Encarta, and students and educators alike took notice. But not in a good way. Many instructors (myself included) made sure to include a clause in their syllabi that read: “Wikipedia does NOT count as a valid source.”

Fast-forward more than a decade and Wikipedia is the 7th most visited website in the world, containing well over 36 million articles in all its language editions. It now has high quality standards and a rigorous gatekeeping system in place.  And another thing: many educators and academics now teach and collaborate with Wikipedia, often using best practices and resources developed by the Wiki Education Foundation.

In this workshop, will discuss how Wikipedia has evolved over the last decade and how it can be integrated into classroom instruction as a research tool and as a vehicle through which students can gain experience in writing for a public audience.

Please register via the registration page

Immediately following this session we are hosting an Introduction to Editing Wikipedia event starting at 2:00 PM. Join us! 

Sponsor(s): Libraries
Contact: Jessica Venlet, 14N-118, 617 715-4468, JVENLET@MIT.EDU