Take the view that working long hours is a sign of incompetence, not a mark of distinction
— Peter T. Knight, Being a Teacher in Higher Education
 Lecturing on Popular Geopolitics and  South Park

Lecturing on Popular Geopolitics and South Park

Techniques for Teaching

On this page, I'll discuss good teaching as I've observed it, been taught it and tried it myself.

I use the Slow Movement to think about many aspects of teaching: my presence in the lecture hall, how I approach assessment and feedback and how much I work.

I'll also provide my own resources which will be useful to postgraduate students who are learning to teach. They are all provided under a Creative Commons License, and are free to be used and modified, provided you reference where you got them from.

Click the below headlines to see what I've written on various aspects of teaching.

Student Engagement

Post-Graduate Pedagogy



If you've read my post on mark-schemes then you know I believe students should use them as much as markers. I often ask students to look at a mark-scheme and score how well they think they would do on a specific piece of work in each criteria. A table to help you do this exercise can be downloaded below.

Mark-scheme table

I also have developed an exercise that uses the mark-scheme to develop critical thinking skills. This involves teaching students how to use the mark-scheme on somebody else's work before applying it to their own. This is the slide I used to get students to mark two of (my own) undergraduate essays.

Markscheme and critical thinking.png

Collecting Feedback

Everybody hates filling in feedback forms and nobody enjoys collating them. But good teachers get continual feedback and modify their own delivery accordingly. How do you reconcile regular feedback with the pain of getting it?

I have been using the wonderful Mentimeter to get quick, anonymous and regular feedback every time I teach. It's usually used as a teaching tool, but is great for feedback too (you can read my post on this here).

How it works: I set a question on Menti and the student goes to www.menti.com on their phone or laptop, submits a unique code which gives them access to my question. They can anonymously and quickly leave feedback.

If the Menti is completed at the end of a session, students can fill it in on their phones while leaving the building. Everybody has phones, so participation is higher. Mentimeter is free to use (up to twice in one session).  Here is an example of some feedback I gained.

Menti Feedback.png

Teaching critical writing

As part of my work for UCL's Writing Lab, a center that helps students with undergraduate writing, I have led workshops on critical thinking and critical writing. Critical thinking we do all the time, the trick is getting that process onto the page. The slideshow I use to teach critical thinking and writing can be downloaded here.

Teaching critical writing