Study Leader Tips & Tricks
What does a class rep do?
Class Representative (class rep) assists with taking attendance each week, passing out name badges to new members, reminding participants to complete a follow-up form online at the end of class, and contacting the office or Study Leader if any issues arise in the course. To read the full outline: On-Site Courses (at DOC House), Off-Site Courses (not at DOC House).
How do I avoid discussing the news?
Many classes are not directly about current events, but the class can turn into discussing a current event that relates to the subject. To avoid going off the syllabus, touch on current events at the beginning of class and move on to what was scheduled.
How do I get the participants involved in discussion?
Email a preview of essential questions beforehand. A pop quiz with answers revealed through the materials during the class will get everyone engaged. Pose a question to the class and accept the silence until someone speaks up. Get everyone talking in small groups, especially using "elbow partners," those to right or left to begin discussion and get comfortable talking on a topic.
How do I find someone to give insight on the subject?
Using experts in the community is a great way to dive deeper into a subject. Try emailing a Dartmouth College professor or expert in the area. Sometimes all it takes is 'please.' We also have the capabilities to Skype in speakers if you find an expert who cannot travel into the area.
How important are visuals?
Many members find it helpful to have a visual on the screen. This is not required, but can enhance your class depending on the subject. Taking a tutorial on Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Keynote is the first step to creating a presentation.
How much reading is too much to assign?
Consider giving the class required reading for each class and then make further reading optional. That way it is all available to the class, but doesn't seem so overwhelming for those interested in doing less reading. Make sure you specify how many pages of reading is expected each week in your course description and syllabus.
Does Osher offer reimbursement for course expenses?
Study Leaders may be reimbursed up to $60 for books and other educational materials purchased for the course. To be reimbursed, a Study Leader must submit receipts to the Osher at Dartmouth office.
Do we have to do snack?
Snack is not required for class. Some Study Leaders skip it to avoid too long of a break. Others think it is important to the social part of Osher at Dartmouth. Sending a Doodle Poll to the class before it begins prevents it from wasting time during class.
Should I check the equipment before class?
All Study Leaders should take a look at the classroom before hand and run through all the equipment you will be using (laptop, DVD, speakers, etc.)
How do I decide when to cancel class?
To help your decision on whether or not to hold class, the following resources provide information on the local region. It is up to each Study Leader when to cancel class and to notify everyone. Please have a plan in place before the first class begins.
WMUR is a NH television station that provides both weather and cancellation/delay notices for local school districts.
WCAX is a VT television station that provides both weather and cancellation/delay notices for local school districts.
Dartmouth College rarely cancels classes or shuts down due to weather, but if the College shuts down for the day, on-campus classrooms may not be available.