10 Strategies To Create Teachable Moments With Your Students
Back by popular demand!
Thursday, April 20 ~ 1:00-2:15pm (Eastern)
Challenge - Recognizing and creating teachable moments in the classroom
- Usually, teachers need to wait for teachable moments to “just happen,” and these spontaneous events can be very rare
- When teachable moments occur, teachers sometimes don’t recognize them when they happen or don’t fully capitalize on them
- Teachers often spend most of their time planning and designing lectures or demonstrations but spend less time focused on finding chances to give meaningful feedback to students or intervene directly in their learning process
- Teachers with experience with one teaching format such as face-to-race might struggle when they need to design teachable moments into an online or hybrid class
We often think of and experience teachable moments as unplanned opportunities to make a significant impact on student learning. This presentation will focus on ways to capitalize on these spontaneous teachable moments but, more importantly, we will talk about ways to intentionally design these teaching and learning moments into your face-to-face, hybrid, or online class.
What do you love about teaching? Think about how you’d answer that question. In more than 25 years of teaching and working as an instructional coach, I have asked that question to thousands of teachers and nearly everyone tells me some version of the same thing. Teachers find joy and self-actualization when we make authentic connections with our students and see them learning. Teachers love to experience those teachable moments when they witness and are directly involved in learning while it is happening. This presentation will start by exploring the nature of these “teachable moments” by investigating what they are and by analyzing their basic structure and elements. Then we can consider what causes or allows these teachable moments to happen so we can be ready for them and work to create more.
We will talk about ways to prepare and be ready for the unexpected teachable moments, to be open to fortuitous opportunities when they arise and try to make the most of them. But no matter how well a teacher manages to recognize, make room for, and exploit a spontaneous teachable moment, the fact is that those unexpected teachable moments don’t happen very often. We need more teachable moments! So, we need to learn to intentionally design our classes so more of these moments happen and at times when we are prepared to capitalize on them. Basic templates for designing teachable moments as well as many specific examples of designed teachable moments will be shared.
Teachable moments can happen in all modes of teaching and learning: traditional face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and fully online classes too. As we’ll see the main teaching moment dynamics work the same way regardless of the delivery mode of the class, but we will touch on some of the relevant differences between what teachable moments look like in these different formats and how a teacher can use all the tools at their disposal to create the sorts of teachable moments.
We will also note that while “teachable” moments only happen when the teacher is there, “learning” moments can happen while students are doing vital work outside of the classroom working alone or with other students. We will briefly consider how what we’ve learned about “teachable moments” can transfer to designing in as many of these “learning moments” in our classes as well.
This webinar will take an “active learning” approach so participants should expect to watch and listen but also to write, think, and communicate with the presenter and each other during the webinar.
- Explore the Active Learning paradigm by contrasting it with the Transmission of Knowledge approach to teaching and learning.
- Introspect about teachable moments they have experienced in the classroom.
- Analyze teachable moments to investigate what they are, their common elements, and aspects.
- Explore some basic design templates for teachable moments.
- Learn and discuss at least 20 ways to create teachable moments that can be translated to accommodate any content or discipline.
- Consider the similarities and differences between teachable moments in face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes.
- Share ideas about teachable moments with other participants.
- Consider how the importance of teachable moments illuminates what we value in our identities as teachers.
- Transfer what has been learned about teachable moments to learning moments in general that students can and should be recognizing and experiencing as they study and learn outside of class.
- K12 & 2-year & 4-year institutions
- Academic Affairs/Instruction
- Faculty (full and part-time)
- Deans of Instruction
- Department Chairs
- Online Learning faculty
- Any educator interested in learning more about creating teachable moments
Eric Salahub has been at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins Colorado since 1999 where he teaches philosophy and serves as an instructional coach. In his coaching role, Eric has worked with hundreds of teachers helping them improve their craft in face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. Over the past 10 years, Eric's main teaching and research focus is in Active Learning and he is the co-creator and director of the Active Learning Institute. In 2018 Eric was named the Colorado Community College's Outstanding Faculty and in 2019 he was awarded the Jerome Wartgow award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology.
Bio current as of April 2023
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