30 Oct 2019

Building confidence one workshop at a time

Submitted by Todsapon Thananatthanachon, University of Evansville
Cohort 1
Reflection Piece 1

The workshop was an eye-opening experience on how I develop, implement, and assess my inorganic chemistry class.  Information shared by the other fellows were highly valuable and instructive.  I learned a lot about different styles and new ideas of teaching.  I have to be honest that I was (still am) more of a traditional instructor and I was skeptical of implementing online materials such as those in the IONiC VIPEr website.  However, the workshop included many hands-on experiences which gave me directions and built my confidence in incorporating online materials in class. I plan to implement more of literature discussion and group work in my class.

The most important aspect I gained from this workshop is it revealed my weaknesses as an instructor.  I found that my teaching style relies predominantly on lecturing, and not much on class discussion.  I also discovered from watching my recorded lecture videos that I tend to write on the board very fast. 

The workshop was intense (full disclosure, we were warned!!), but it was all very worth it at the end.  Being able to network with the other inorganic chemists was a huge bonus.  Going in to the workshop, I did not know any other fellow inorganic chemists.  But the workshop provided some free time for the fellows to get to know each other and share experiences, not only on teaching, but also on other activities like research and services.  I guess that networking gives me some comfort that there are other fellows who share my interests and face the same issues and problems. I am glad that I participated in this workshop.