Recently, colleges and other educational institutions have refocused their efforts on providing quality education to their students. Since the quality of teaching, student learning, and academic achievement are all closely interconnected, they must all work together to improve the quality of education.
Professors, instructors, and academicians dedicate their lives to training and developing student skills and making them capable of becoming better individuals for tomorrow. These faculty members play an immense role in bringing a positive change in academia. Their spirited, active, and admirable performance allows graduates to become groomed leaders and take on various endeavors in their professional careers. However, educators must recognize and adapt to the ever-changing needs of new students. Without building innovative strategies and sticking to conventional teaching styles, they risk leaving their pupils unprepared and unskilled for the real world.
In the prime of their age, college students have their whole lives ahead of them. Quite simply, they represent power. Graduates mentored and trained by professors can act as amplifiers of this power, placing them at the center of the education system’s drive for productivity.
An all-encompassing education strategy is no longer relevant for the present time. And so, to improve today’s education quality, this is how professors are playing their roles.
1. Enrolling In Teaching Programs And Degrees
While becoming a professor may seem pretty straightforward, it takes immense hard work and dedication to become one that can bring impactful change in society. Since the education field continues to grow dramatically, faculty members must keep up with the latest trends and pedagogies. Those in academia enter the field because of their subject-matter expertise and tremendous knowledge of a particular discipline. However, another area they must focus on is their learning. They can achieve this by enrolling in advanced degree programs and courses that provide professionals with the relevant knowledge and tools to navigate and improve classroom learning.
Besides helping students become better learners, this also impacts professors’ career growth and provides them with more opportunities for professional advancement.
2. Communicating With Colleagues
Senior lecturers and professors have more experience and skillset in wading through tricky waters and overcoming challenges. Communicating with them offers teaching professionals ample knowledge on how to conquer their trials within the classroom. Most professors reflect and improve their teaching styles by discussing them with peers. By exchanging ideas, both parties consider various teaching goals, strategies, and practices to choose those that work best in students’ favor.
In some circumstances, it is also helpful for professors to visit each other’s classes and make observations regarding different teaching styles. This type of collaboration offers an invaluable opportunity to improve the quality of education faculty members provide.
3. Differentiating Between Students
While college students more or less fall into the same age groups, it is unlikely that they all have the same intellectual level. A good professor understands the need to recognize the varying wavelengths in a classroom setting and design lessons that cater to all kinds of students. For example, the lecture or assignment planned for the day must be challenging enough to keep the wheels turning for the more talented members of the class. While simultaneously, it must also be doable enough for the less-skilled pupils. Professors may do this by including bonus questions for the more gifted individuals, who get done with their tasks faster than the rest of their peers.
4. Adapting Various Teaching Styles
In addition to varying talents among students, some learning styles are better suited for particular individuals. Since the quality of education and student achievement are inexplicably linked, professors must facilitate their learning and help them achieve their full potential. Professors that go above and beyond in trying to improve the education system utilize these three primary learning styles:
- Visual Learning Style
This style is for individuals who prefer to observe things and perform best after watching someone else do a task before them. Incorporating maps, flow charts, and diagrams within lectures can benefit such learners.
- Auditory Learning Style
These individuals can learn better when professors transfer information by listening to sounds or noises, speeches or lectures, or the spoken word.
- Tactile Or Kinesthetic Learning Style
Students with a kinesthetic learning style have a penchant for physical experience. They like to experiment and try new things with hands-on practice and are likely to learn better via role-playing or dramatizing concepts.
5. Encouraging Cooperative Learning
A professor’s job is not just limited to preparing students for challenges within the classroom. Their responsibilities go beyond the four walls in ensuring graduates can tackle real-world challenges with their heads held high. One such strategy to do this is by encouraging students to take part in group activities and engage in cooperative learning. Although most individuals are hesitant to work in teams, a teacher must emphasize the importance of such strategies. By urging students to assign a specific role for each group member, professors can help them build crucial teamwork skills.
The current education system is not bound to just building technical skills in students. It recognizes the equal importance of soft skills, if not more, and therefore must work on developing them just as much.
6. Soliciting Feedback From Students
College is tough and challenging for several individuals. Many students underperform on tests, turn in their assignments late, or choose not to show up in classes. Understanding why these problems occur and how to help resolve them has only one practical solution: ask the source. Student feedback allows them to voice their desires, needs, concerns, and issues regarding how a teacher conducts lessons in the classroom. Professors use this feedback to restrategize their learning styles and adapt techniques that will likely reach a greater audience. More importantly, by giving students the power to improve things for themselves, professors help them become better and more confident community members.
7. Using ICT Tools And Digital Learning
As modern technology and digitalization reach all aspects of daily life, they have also integrated into the academic sector. Students, especially the upcoming generation, can make proficient use of technology. Virtual classrooms, online quizzes, and game-based learning are only a few examples of how ICT can better engage students in the learning process. Incorporating such educational software can dramatically improve student performance.
A professor’s cognitive ability, knowledge of teaching and learning, subject knowledge, and classroom teaching behavior significantly improve education within institutes. All these factors go hand in hand and are equally important in influencing student achievement. Therefore, a professor’s standing in academia largely depends on how far they are willing to work to ensure their graduates today become leaders tomorrow.