My experience in working with faculty across the country over the past six years is that they appreciate support and assistance with five aspects of teaching in a co-requisite course that were not expected in teaching a traditional pre-requisite course:
- Making use of group work/active learning to help students internalize what they are learning, to help students develop a sense of community, and to encourage them to be actively engaged instead of being passive receivers of instruction.
- Integrating reading and writing so that students become more effective at both.
- Addressing students’ non-cognitive issues, both in their often stressful lives and in their psyches, their uncertainty about whether they really belong in college.
- Coordinating schedules for the credit-level and the support courses so that the support course both prepares students for what’s coming next in the credit course and reinforces material just covered in the credit-level course, while also addressing reading issues and non-cognitive issues.
- Organizing the course around three or four extended thematic topics that include multiple readings, many short writings, extensive discussion in small groups, and thoughtful reflection, all leading to a final three or four page essay.
The faculty development sessions I conduct address as many of these five topics as are relevant to the school I am visiting.