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Introduction


Image of a teacher and studentChanges in pedagogical practice, student expectations, technology and demographics have resulted in the development of different modes of teaching or modifying the more traditional approaches, such as the lecture format, to include a more dynamic interaction between academic staff and students. Opportunities for innovative teaching also exist in a research-led university such as The University of Sheffield where providing a research experience to undergraduate students at the start of their academic career can significantly enhance their learning experience.

The increase in student numbers has also necessitated a reappraisal of how teaching can be delivered sustainably with systems such as group tutorials, minimising assessment, and generic feedback. New technologies such as the use of clickers with a follow up email to give students their own marks together with feedback can also help simplify your teaching.

Assessing and reassessing teaching methods can bring a new dimension to your delivery. This section explores the most current approaches and their implication for teaching and learning in the future, including the infrastructure needed to support new methods of teaching delivery.

Top tips

  • Design your tutorials and lectures from your audience’s perspective – not yours. Solicit feedback regularly whether through a show of hands or new technologies to gauge understanding. See Connecting in the classroom with Clickers.
  • Make sure your students are aware of your expectations. You can, for example, prepare them for group work by asking students to consult resources in advance of their first group assignment. See Group Management and Facilitation.
  • Use technology to add value to your teaching, e.g. rapid feedback on formative assessments. See CiCS’ Learning Technologies Blog for ideas such as 40 quick ways to use mobile phones in classrooms.


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Comments or suggestions - contact: lets@sheffield.ac.uk