CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Using guest speakers

Posted by Cathy Kelley on April 7, 2008

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education includes an article by James Lang concerning the effective use of guest speakers in the classroom. Lang describes his uninspiring experiences using a guest speaker, and contrasts his experience with that of a colleague who routinely uses guests with great results.

Lang’s analysis suggests that the key difference is that his colleague makes a point of integrating the guest speaker’s appearance with the learning objectives of the class. “The speaker has to play an essential role in fulfilling the learning objectives of the course; if that doesn’t happen, the students will have little incentive to take advantage of what guest speakers can bring to a classroom, and the guest speakers won’t understand what they can contribute.”

Lang’s advice pertains to the face to face classroom – but like all good teaching advice, it has a direct analogue in the blended or distance class as well. Think about how you could apply Lang’s advice to the use of a Global Virtual Faculty member.

Lang, J.M. (2008). Guest Speakers. The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7 2008. http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2008/04/2008040701c/careers.html

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