Question for you: what makes for a good mock teaching demonstration?
I thought of this because my department is currently interviewing for a teaching faculty position. The candidates have been asked to give a mock teaching demonstration to the faculty, pretending it’s the first day of class in a second-year invertebrate zoology course.
What do you look for in a good mock teaching demonstration? I ask because, in my admittedly-limited experience, mock teaching is artificial and so somewhat difficult to evaluate. Especially when the audience is faculty, not undergraduates, as it is at Calgary and at various other places. Faculty pretending to be undergrads are very different from actual undergrads, even “challenging” undergrads! This artificiality is unavoidable; I’m not criticizing anyone for it. And it’s not clear to me that the alternatives would be any better. Having a job candidate give a guest lecture to an undergraduate course surely has its own artificiality to it, for instance because the students likely are already accustomed to the pedagogical approach of the usual instructor.
A bit of googling revealed some tips for mock teaching demos (here and here). But it’s mostly advice geared towards mock teaching to an audience of students, not faculty. One of the linked pieces simply says “‘Mock’ classes made up of mostly faculty are difficult”!
So, what do you look for in a mock teaching demo? Any tips for giving a good one? How does your college or university evaluate the teaching ability of job candidates? Looking forward to your comments.