Advice on Presenting Material in Graduate Methods Courses for Different Learning Styles
By Frederick J. Boehmke, University of Iowa
I still remember my first day of teaching as a new assistant professor at the University of Iowa. As I headed down from my office on the third floor of Schaeffer Hall carrying my books and notes, I was nervous. I had no idea what to expect in the classroom. Thirteen first-year graduate students were waiting for their required introduction to statistics course. In retrospect, I am sure they did not know what to expect either. Iowa had a reputation for providing very good training in quantitative methods, and I was taking over the course from Becky Morton. I figured my heavily mathematical graduate training during my PhD studies at Caltech had prepared me well to cover the material at an appropriately technical level. It had not provided, however, much in the way of classroom experience. Still, the butterflies in my stomach confirmed my uncertainty: Was I prepared enough? Did I know the material well enough? Would the students ask difficult questions that I could not answer?