Author Archives: Clinton Golding

About Clinton Golding

Clinton Golding is Associate Professor at the University of Otago Higher Education Development Centre. His previous positions include Philosopher in Residence at Rangitoto College in Auckland, and Thinking Coordinator at Queen Margaret College in Wellington and St. Cuthbert’s College in Auckland, where he worked to develop the thinking of staff and students. He was also a senior lecturer at The University of Melbourne where he received 5 local and national teaching awards.

DIY workshops

Sometimes your staff or students could really benefit from a workshop on a particular topic. Here is a template for creating workshops for any aspect of academic development for staff or students. I have used this successfully for workshops about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Different kinds of teacher knowledge

One way to understand what is required for good teaching is to analyse the different kinds of knowledge a teacher needs. This analysis then allows a teacher to identify the areas where they are strong and the areas in which … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach

The devil is in the detail

Sometimes we think we have a profound understanding of teaching, when actually our ideas are so vague and abstract that they are practically meaningless. For example, we might think that we have a deep understanding of teaching because we have … Continue reading

Posted in Reflection and improvement

Teaching failures, blunders and catastrophes: learning from our mistakes

I recently organised a panel session on teaching failures. Three teaching award winners—Roslyn Kemp, Anthony Robins and Clinton Golding—shared some major failures in their teaching with a group of c.25 academics, and then we discussed what we might learn from … Continue reading

Posted in Evaluating Teaching, Learning to teach, Reflection and improvement

Meta-blog: Blogging as academic development

  This blog is inextricably intertwined with my academic development practice. It is the result of my previous academic development work, it is my current personal academic development, and it leads to further academic development work for others. The blog … Continue reading

Posted in Higher education

Tips for writing a convincing thesis

Here is a blog I wrote for Times Higher Education on writing a convincing thesis.  

Posted in Postgraduate education

Learning to write is like learning to play tennis: written feedback is not always useful

Sometimes giving feedback on student writing is straightforward. They have missed something important, so we tell them what they didn’t know, or we tell them to do what they missed: for example, “criterion is singular and criteria plural”, or “You … Continue reading

Posted in Postgraduate education, Writing

Engaging teaching

Why am I interested in learning about some things (movie history) but I couldn’t care less about other things (motorcycle engines)? If we can crack the secret of intellectual curiosity we can make our teaching engaging for any student.

Posted in Learning, Learning to teach, Uncategorized

Promising leads for improving teaching

There are many ways to improve teaching, but in my experience when enhancing my own teaching or mentoring other teachers, there are three paths that are most likely to lead to improvement. 1. Covering too much We commonly try to … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Mentoring, Students | 1 Comment

Digging deeper: How do I tell where to drill?

When we write academically, one of our main tasks is to deeply explore the topics we write about. It is not enough to present a superficial overview, so we need to drill deep. Yet it is often difficult to judge … Continue reading

Posted in Reflection and improvement, Writing

Snow writing

Like many people, I schedule writing time to make sure I fit it in my busy week. But sticking to your schedule is often difficult, and there are many good reasons why you might miss your writing time (like getting … Continue reading

Posted in Postgraduate education, Writing

The Slow Professor

The Slow Professor had me revise what it means to be an academic. It is well worth a read in full, but in short, I think the message is: stop worrying about time management and making time and fitting things … Continue reading

Posted in Book review

My student complains I don’t give enough feedback, but I give lots of feedback!

Here is my reflective, diagnostic process for figuring out what to do when I face situations like this. My initial analysis of the situation: Although my feedback practices normally work for my students, they aren’t working for this student. I … Continue reading

Posted in Postgraduate education, Reflection and improvement, Writing

Learning is a journey

My colleagues and I have been researching student conceptions of learning using a research method called photovoice (Wang &Burris 1997; Wang 2006). Students take photographs that metaphorically represent learning, and then talk about what they have depicted. To prepare for a … Continue reading

Posted in Learning

How do you judge whether someone is a good teacher?

Judging teaching is like diagnosing measles. There are many things that can indicate measles, but no single indicator is proof of measles. A few spots doesn’t mean you have measles because there are plenty of other reasons why you might … Continue reading

Posted in Evaluating Teaching

Disciplined learning, when students are reluctant to tackle the tasks we assign

Sometimes we ask students to do a series of tasks that are necessary for their learning, but which they would rather avoid. For example, we might assign readings for every class, or ask them to complete weekly reflections, or to … Continue reading

Posted in Learning, Planning teaching, Students | 1 Comment

Heartening a disheartened teacher

Sometimes a teacher gets disheartened, jaded or discouraged when they struggle to improve their teaching without result. They might think “I’m just a bad teacher”, “I’ve already tried that”, “Nothing works for my students”, “It’s not my fault”, or “I … Continue reading

Posted in Mentoring

What methods should I use in my teaching?

How do I decide whether to teach using case studies or key readings, whether to offer a lecture or to use the allocated time for directed problem solving? Should I assign practice exercises, and should they be completed individually or … Continue reading

Posted in Planning teaching

That’s a good question

Sometimes in a seminar, lecture or discussion, if we don’t know the topic we feel like we can’t really participate or engage. We might know nothing about postmodern accounts of learning, for example, or the learning styles of accounting students, … Continue reading

Posted in Higher education, Postgraduate education, Reflection and improvement

Building a shared conception of critical thinking

If every teacher and every paper in a multi-disciplinary course uses their own conception of critical thinking, students end up more confused than critical. So how do you build a shared understanding of critical thinking in a multi-disciplinary course? Go … Continue reading

Posted in Planning teaching