Biz Sch News 19 May 2020

Be enthusiastic, relevant and prepared: Three teaching tips

Associate Professor Liu Qizhang from the Department of Analytics & Operations is no stranger to teaching accolades. He clinched the Business School’s Outstanding Educator Award 2014/2015, won the Business School’s Teaching Excellence Awards for three consecutive years and was presented the University-level Teaching Excellence Awards in 2017 and 2018.

His latest teaching achievement is his appointment as a Fellow of the NUS Teaching Academy in recognition for his teaching excellence. At the academy, faculty connect and share best practices, as well as experiment with new pedagogies.

Qizhang (third from left) with his students

So what is Associate Professor Liu’s secret to being a good teacher? The trick, he says, is to always keep students motivated. “If I succeed in motivating my students, I have nothing to worry about students’ learning,” he said. “Without the proper motivation, even the best subjects, books, and materials won’t get students excited about learning and willing to work hard,” he said. Associate Professor Liu shares his top three tips to great teaching:

  1. Be enthusiastic. Demonstrating passion for a particular topic is the best way to convince students to devote their efforts to a module.
  2. Be relevant. Keep your teaching materials up to date with relevant case studies and examples. For example, the COVID-19 situation provides a very rich set of cases that we could use to illustrate and apply our teaching.
  3. Be structured. Based on student feedback, we know that they appreciate organised teaching materials. Learning management systems, such as LumiNUS, are great at helping teachers create a structured and well thought out curriculum.

Teaching also has an important effect on teachers, said Associate Prof Liu. “We interact with a group of talented, vibrant, and hungry young people. While passing knowledge to them, we are also learn from them in the process. It keeps us young,” he concluded.

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