General Education Featured Faculty
Benjamin Z. Freed
Department of Language & Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology
- What General Education course(s) are you teaching? In what Element?
ANT 201: Introduction to Biological Anthropology, Element 4
- Why do you enjoy teaching in our General Education program?
I most enjoy seeing students who have been conditioned or told that they cannot do science, or that it’s something not for them, suddenly see that they genuinely can grasp, appreciate, and apply science to the world around them.
- As a faculty member, what is your role in teaching students in General Education courses?
At one level, I hope my students see me as a fair, compassionate, and enthusiastic guide as they explore human evolution and biology. Yet the other, more important role is that of a fellow learner who wonders, questions, and still doesn’t know everything about humans (or lemurs).
- How do you facilitate connections with students in your General Education courses?
I use basic principles of TILT (transparency in learning and teaching).
I seek meaningful examples that relate my course to student interests.
I provide students catch-up opportunities during designated online open lab periods. These are much more direct and help reduce anxiety.
I provide meaningful feedback that shows I have reflected on their work. Students know I have read through every word.
- How has the Noel Studio and EngaGE influenced your teaching in GenEd?
Incorporating former student input into making substantive changes in course design (e.g., flipping the course)
Switching to an ungrading approach that blends in elements of grade contracts.
Applying critical reading and instruction into activities/labs.
Tilting: making student learning outcomes, activities, lessons, and essential employability skills more readily visible and understood.
Published on November 03, 2022