Podcast #39

In this episode we are joined by Associate Professor Jeff Niederdeppe from the Cornell Department of Communication. His research focuses on public communication about health and health care, and he teaches classes on planning and implementing communication campaigns as well as undergraduate research methods. Jeff shares with us how he brings his disciplinary skills into the classroom, as well as how and why he makes group projects a big part of his courses.

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Show Notes

0:00 Intro

0:37 Introducing our guest.

1:10 How we chose our first Cornell guest.

2:41 Teaching and communication.

5:17 Teaching an early morning class.

6:10 A “lifer” in the field of communication. Anxieties of the field. Preparing students for the real world.

10:58 Some communication professors are good communicators. Getting to know your students.

15:20 Handling moral issues and perspectives in a social science class.

17:25 Teaching a class is like planning a communication campaign.

18:29 A semester-long group project as professional training in collaboration.

21:12 From early teaching messes to 70% active learning.

25:49 What is lost in lecturing less, and why it’s often not a loss. Combining theory and practice.

32:08 Teaching in an evidence-based way and giving feedback on large student group projects. About authentic student projects.

38:13 Students do original research and bridge theory and practice: what the assignments are.

42:11 Putting students in groups randomly while still incorporating preferences; Using peer feedback in group project assessment.

47:37 Jeff’s teaching fail: being young, wanting to enforce rigid rules, and giving students nightmares.

Want more Jeff Niederdeppe? Spend Seven Minutes in Heaven with him!