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How to prepare your subject or topic?

Updated on 02 July 2020
6 min read 23 views
Updated on 02 July 2020

As an educator, once you have decided to teach a certain topic, the next step is to research it and create notes and presentations. In this article we are going to talk about some tips on preparing your topic before teaching.

In this article we will explain:

  1. How to go about researching your topic so that you can add maximum value to the learner.
  2. How to create enriching notes on your topic which you can use, both as a guide for yourself or as notes for your learners.
  3. What sources you should use in your research.

Before you start teaching, you should be absolutely clear about the course or lecture objectives, learning outcomes at the end of the lecture and how the learners are going to achieve that.

In order to do that: 

  1. First and foremost, put yourself in the student’s shoes. You should always think from the user’s perspective to understand their requirements. 

  1. Try to understand and address student’s pain points and needs. All the great courses have one thing in common and that is that they address one or more of the learner's pain points. Some of the pain points that you can address are test preparation, career planning, upskilling, supplementary education etc.

  1. Create a learner journey in your course outline. This is very important because unless there is a clear progression in learning of the students as they navigate through your course, it will be difficult to hold their attention and motivation for long.

  1. Be clear about the course objectives. If there is a mismatch between the course objectives and course content, the student may lose interest in your course.

  1. Once you are clear with your course objective choose the topic you’re going to teach. 

Now. Let’s assume that you have decided what to teach. In order create effective content for your lectures, please keep in mind these tips:

  1. Refer to standard reference books to start building your content. Standard reference books and textbooks should be the first source that you should refer to create content for your lectures. They contain the most comprehensive information about the topic you are going to teach and are free from opinionated and speculative content. 

  1. If you feel like you lack expertise in some parts of the course or in certain topics you can always discuss with Subject Matter Experts. They often have great expertise and can easily guide you through.

  1. Be thorough with the concepts. It is of utmost importance that whatever concept you are teaching, you yourself are thorough with that. Unless you are thorough, you will have difficulty in teaching that to your students.

  1. Try to explain the concepts to a friend who is a layman. If you are able to explain it to a layman, that means that you’re clear with the concepts and you can explain to anyone else.

  1. Use a lucid and easily understandable language. This is a no brainer. Overly complicated language filled with jargon detract from the understanding of the concepts and bores the learner.

  1. Use content that is 100% original. Study24x7 has a zero plagiarism policy and all the content that should be put on Study24x7 should be originally created by educators themselves.

If you are confused as to what sources you should use while researching your topic please keep in mind these sources

  1. Textbooks. They should be the first go to point as explained in the previous slide.

  1. Standard Reference Books should be used in conjunction with Textbooks.

  1. You can also use Research papers, policy reports, Government websites etc. Often these reports contain valuable insights, statistical data and recommendations that you will not find elsewhere.

  1. You can also take a look at Youtube videos from other great educators to understand how they structure their lectures and delivery.

  1. And last but not least, you can always do a simple Internet search to find information you need. But be mindful of accuracy, as not all the information is correct on the internet.

Here are some other things that you should keep in mind. 

  1. Check the accuracy of the content from 2-3 sources. If you are unsure about the veracity of any information, do not include it in your lectures.

  1. Use only legitimate and renowned sources to pick your content from. As far as possible go to the original source to pick up your information from.

  1. Differentiate between Facts and Opinions. Try to be as factual as possible unless you are analysing an issue. 

  1. Do not use secondary sources . Wikipedia references are great, Wikipedia itself is not a good resource.

  1. Be strictly non partisan and apolitical. This is an academic platform, not a platform to discuss political ideologies or affiliations.

  1. Avoid using too many jargons. If the use of a technical term is absolutely necessary, try to explain the concept behind it first.

These were some tips to create great lectures. Don't forget to check out some great tips on how to engage students and on steps to create an engaging course. And if you're still unsure as to how to create your first course on Study24x7, check out this article.


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