Daily Gleanings: Lectures (4 December 2019)

In the Didaktikos issue for November 2019, Sean McGever has an excellent essay on lecture preparation (24, 26–27).

Using a baking metaphor, McGever encourages chronic over-preparers not to “overwork the batter” of their lectures so that they don’t come out overly dense.

McGever gives several practical suggestions about how to avoid overworking a lecture.

These begin with and derive from careful thought about the learning outcomes for a particular course and a particular lecture within that course and include thoughts about how efficiently structure notes and slide decks.

For all of McGever’s thoughts, see his full essay in Didaktikos.

Didaktikos 1

https://didaktikosjournal.com/Faithlife has launched a new journal specifically for faculty, Didaktikos, which focuses on issues related to theological education. The primary editor is Douglas Estes, and the editorial board includes Karen Jobes, Randolph Richards, Beth Stovell, and Douglas Sweeney. The inaugural issue includes authors and topics of broad interest:

• Mark Noll talks about teaching with expertise and empathy.
• Craig Evans, Jennifer Powell McNutt, and Fred Sanders write about recent trends in biblical archaeology, church history, and theology (respectively).
• Grant Osborne shares wisdom from his 40-year teaching career.
• Craig Keener writes about writing.
• Jan Verbruggen covers some fascinating research into the earliest alphabet (and it’s not Phoenician).
• Joanne Jung has written a helpful article on how to write effective prompts for online discussions.
• Darrell Bock discusses an overlooked area of NT studies.
• Stephen Witmer, an adjunct at Gordon-Conwell, shares solid insights about the synergy between teaching and pastoring.

Interested faculty can find more information and subscribe on the Didaktikos website or the journal’s announcement on the Logos Academic Blog.

ATS webinars for new faculty

The Association of Theological Schools has several helpful webinars archived for new faculty. Topics include:

  • Self-promotion and humility
  • Online teaching
  • Introduction to publishing
  • Publishing your dissertation
  • Promotion and tenure
  • Establishing a research agenda

For more information on each of the webinars or to view the recordings, please see the ATS website.

Babyak, “Teaching strategy for a Christian virtual environment”

I’ve recently had the opportunity of working through Andrew Babyak’s article, “A Teaching Strategy for a Christian Virtual Environment” (Journal of Research in Christian Education 24, no. 1 [2015]: 63–77). A number of Babyak’s reflections are quite insightful and helpful. According to the abstract,

The current landscape in education is changing rapidly as online learning programs are experiencing great growth. As online learning grows, many professors and students are entering into new learning environments for the first time. While online learning has proven to be successful in many cases, it is not a journey upon which Christian professors or students should begin without some preparation. This article articulates a basic Christian teaching strategy by providing recommendations for those who are entering the online environment for the first time or desire to improve their online teaching effectiveness. These principles and recommendations are presented so that Christian professors can create Christian virtual environments in which they can have a significant impact on their students’ spiritual development in an online environment. It is critical that professors design their courses with the needs of online students in mind, ensuring that students of all learning styles are able to excel. Furthermore, professors should understand that online teaching often takes more time than traditional methods of teaching, increasing the importance of clear instructions and communication with students.