I've been incorporating various social networking sites into my classes and was interviewed about this a couple months ago. Now apparently I am an expert in social media, according to this article...<grin>
Good teaching simply means that the instructor does his or her best to convey knowledge or skills to students. Therefore, good teaching has at least the following three components:
Expertise: The instructor has sufficient knowledge of the topic.
Teaching tools: The instructor uses routines that help students learn.
Interactions: The instructor creates an environment that helps students learn.
It’s pretty simple once you write it out, but it helps clarify some issues about teaching. For example, a lot of bad teaching reduces to #3. Grad school may teach you the topic, and you know some teaching tricks, but you don’t have the people skills that you’ll need to help people learn. These interaction skills may include things as simple as being nice toward students (rather than being aggressive), or knowing how to keep the class from getting boring. Your personal behavior may cancel out your knowledge and techniques.
These three points also clarify much about student evaluations of teaching. The gut instinct of many people is to dismiss student reports – they only care about shallow things like the teacher’s charisma. However, if you accept that “interactions” are important, then you might believe that charisma isn’t a bad thing. If you can make people relax and enjoy the class, won’t that help people learn? Furthermore, “interactions” include things other than charisma. For example, prompt and reasonable paper grading counts as interaction. Having accessible office hours counts as interaction. Speaking clearly during class. These all count and they help.
I would agree. We have to get, and keep, the students' attention before learning can take place. You can access the entire article here.