5 Reasons Teaching a Summer Course is a Good Idea

5 Reasons Teaching a Summer Course is a Good Idea

Teaching is a demanding profession, so once summer rolls around, many educators are ready for some well-deserved R&R. However, others commit to teaching summer courses to refine their craft, explore new teaching methods, or supplement their income. We spoke with instructors in the WileyPLUS Studio, and here’s what they said about the benefits of teaching over the summer:

1. Smaller classes.

Truth is, instructors have mixed feelings about the value of university-sponsored SETs. Although SETs do affect decisions around tenure and promotions and are intended to help improve instruction, these evaluations are based on opinion and can be tainted by student bias and factors beyond your control.

Here are 5 ways to get the most out of SETs:

1. Get feedback often.

Say goodbye to large lecture halls filled with a sea of inattentive students who can easily hide behind their books and smartphones. Summer classes are typically smaller, which lets you get to know your students better and teach to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

2. Motivated students.

Instructors have told us that students who take summer classes genuinely want to learn. And since they generally don’t have to juggle multiple classes at once, students tend to be more focused on mastering the course material.

3. More frequent interaction.

Naturally, when class sizes are smaller, there’s more opportunity for interaction between the instructor and her students. This engagement can help boost confidence in students who may be afraid to ask questions in a larger setting, and it gives you a chance to build meaningful relationships with your students and even act as a mentor.

4. Accelerated content.

Summer courses cover a lot of information in less time, which forces students to hunker down and learn the material. This truncated timeframe also motivates instructors to make coursework meaningful and manageable.

5. Creative approach.

Since you’ll be teaching a condensed, faster-paced version of your course, now is the time to get creative. Try out new things in class, offer extra credit, and make real-world connections to the content. You can also promote group activities and study groups to keep students engaged and on track.

Tips for teaching a summer course, from your peers in the WileyPLUS Studio:

  • Take “brain breaks” during class to stretch or relax.
  • Plan ahead so that instruction is organized, clear, and mapped to the syllabus.
  • Change the scenery by teaching outside.
  • Consider holding some virtual sessions.
  • Create more opportunities for open discussion.
  • Offer flexible due dates.
  • Hold more or longer office hours.

Read “6 Ways to Promote Student Engagement.”

The new WileyPLUS gives you the flexibility and freedom to easily manage your course.

See it Today