—Writing About Teaching at UAF

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Madara Mason

Madara Mason

Associate Director of Teaching & Learning


Madara has been teaching in higher education since 1999. She’s one of the founding partners of the Faculty Accelerator and she manages the Instructional Design Team at UAF eCampus.

The Practice of Object-Based Teaching

A few years ago I attended the annual POD Network Conference for professional faculty developers, and the most impactful session was one I attended on Object Based Teaching (OBT) conducted by Jessica Metzler at Brown University. Those of us in the session met her in the Portland Museum of Art and engaged in some mindful observation of a medieval artifact, some object-based inquiry, and an illuminating discussion afterwards regarding what we learned and how discipline-specific learning objectives might be met through this process.

Though I’ve long practiced the technique of OBT in face-to-face and online classrooms alike, I’d never really looked into the scholarship behind it until this session. I’d also not really considered the pedagogical principles behind it, nor whether my pedagogy needed any scrutiny and modification. It turns out that there were some aspects of my practice I needed to modify. I’d recommend this reflective process to any teacher; we should routinely contemplate our own teaching methods and consider whether it goes by any other name as well as researching some of the pedagogies, design models and practical applications that can be found in the very large body of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (commonly known as SoTL) that’s out there.

Many scholars have expanded on OBT (also called object-centered teaching, object-centered learning, object-inspired learning and object-based inquiry) to the extent that it overlaps into concepts like project-based learning and active learning; because of this, you may find yourself in a quagmire of scholarship if you start looking into the practice of OBT. With that in mind, I’ve crafted a piece that contains a reflection of my own process of discovery and application as well as….

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Designing Effective Library Resources Assignments

Designing Effective Library Resources Assignments

Most faculty would like their students to use reliable, scholarly journal articles and high quality book chapters as sources when writing term papers, but some students don’t know how to find them. Many students don’t even know there is a difference between the blog they’ve found with a Google search and a peer-reviewed journal article!

Even after successfully passing the required LS101 course, if students don’t regularly practice searching library databases and using quality sources, they forget how and where to search for peer-reviewed articles.

By including some fundamental information and specific requirements in your term paper assignment, you can help students improve the quality of…