James Murray - Teaching

Centennial Hall - University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Teaching Philosophy

I have an excitement for student learning fueled by a backward design and scholarly approach to teaching. Backward design means before I design curriculum, I set explicit and measurable learning goals for my students. The learning goals are tied to course content but are framed in terms of explicit student actions that describe capabilities I want my students to have. Then I design lectures, classroom activities, assignments, and projects around these learning goals. A scholarly approach to teaching means I collect and use evidence of student learning to make continual improvements in my practice. I employ several methods for collecting evidence including assessment, peer instructor evaluation, and lesson studies. My teaching portofilio below includes documentation covering several years for all of these types of activities

I get excited when I witness students using new capabilities and applying new content in my courses. While it might not be common for other people, I find applying concepts in economics, statistics, and research methods exciting. I try to share that enthusiasm with my students. When I take a backward design and scholarly approach to teaching, I am able to focus my efforts and strategies on this goal and make continual improvement in my practice.