Harmonizing teaching and research: embracing the lecture-based method as a junior researcher

By Huali WU, 5th year PhD student in Economics at ESSEC.

Huali taught for the first time the course Growth and Development in the ESSEC Grande Ecole Program.

How was your experience ? Did you enjoy it ?

I enjoy sharing important knowledge with the students.

What tools or teaching methods did you use? ( Kahoo, Beekast, cases, …)

I used a lecture-based teaching method. In this course, it is crucial to understand the definitions, to know what questions are being asked, and to master the relevant frameworks to answer the questions. Therefore, when I taught, I always discussed the definitions in detail, described the facts with data that raised questions, emphasized the questions that each model or each theory answered, and presented the theoretical frameworks. Moreover, I also introduced additional reading material to show how good researchers have criticized or extended the existing understanding.

How did you prepare for it?

I was the teaching assistant for Professor Estefania Santacreu-Vasut in this course. I used Estefania’s slides, and only updated the data and reading material. I only restructured one session, which is in my area of expertise.

What did you learn about teaching that you wish you knew before entering the classroom?

Speaking slowly and explaining things at a relaxed pace is a good idea. It’s also helpful to repeat important information.

How does teaching complement your work as a Phd student researcher ?

The concepts and theories in this course are at the core of the field of economics. Teaching this course has given me a historical perspective, and a sense of where I have come from academically. In addition, the students know a lot and some of them have practical experience from internships in different companies. I learned a lot from them when we discussed the implications of the models in today’s society.

Any advice to future students teaching for the first time?

1) Always motivate the students to learn, by explaining why the course or each session is important for their future life and career.

2) Give them homework mid-term so that they have to study.

3) Remember the internal telephone number of the IT office, which is 3200. It is efficient to ask for help if there is a computer problem during class, especially if the classroom is far from the IT office.

4) Use the Moodle well. Moodle is an effective way of communicating with and guiding students.

To find out more about Huali Wu’s research: http://hualiwu.com/