Opening the course
IOTA is well organized with many scheduled events. Please plan to start at the specified time.
Invite a round of introductions. Briefly summarize your course plan and the take-home project. Illustrate the project with a completed example.
Adults best retain the first (and last things) in a course. Be prepared to stress a point(s) that you want students to remember. Personalize it with a story from your own experience. Story telling can establish an empathetic personal connection with the class.
Implementing the course plan
Use personal stories as a teaching method. They are effective in adult education because they are meaningful, believable, memorable and entertaining. They reflect lived experience. They also reflect personal learning and growth integral to creative expression. They create a climate for encouraging an awareness of individual creative process in the students.
Your plan is a map that may involve detours. Adjust as needed in moments of the unexpected. The unexpected can end up being a highlight of the course. Think of your plan as being the best option if nothing more interesting happens. Plan extra activities to offer if the class moves more quickly than you expected. Consider what planned activities are optional should the class move more slowly.
Be prepared to lead and follow, to be directive and responsive. Observe the energy level of the class. Glazed eyes are a good indicator that a change in plan is necessary to re-energize the class.
Pacing is important. Monitor the clock and student progress. Provide support as needed to complete the projects without rushing. Advanced students may progress more quickly than beginners and be idle while others catch up. Enlist them to help the beginners. Teaching something just learned is one of the highest activities for retention.
Closing the course
Please plan to end at the specified time. Students may be enrolled in other courses.
Leave adequate time for closure. Summarize what you did in the course. Consider what point(s) you want to emphasize in your closing comments. The most important points bear repeating. Last things said are among the best remembered.
Students can be asked to “check out” with a descriptive word or brief comment to bring the experience to a sense of completion. Provide take-home material for students to continue to pursue such as detailed handouts, website, books, and other relevant resources. Encourage students to complete the course and festival evaluation.