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Resources for Our Instructors

Following are resources and information for current and prospective OLLI instructors and speakers.

Teaching Guidance and Advice

  • A Teacher’s Manual(pdf). Originally written by former director Debbie Halverson, this manual has been updated and expanded by OLLI member Doris Bloch, with assistance from Alice Slayton Clark, Susan Todenhoft, and Kathryn Russell. Its focus is now on teaching tips for everyone, whether a new teacher or an experienced one. It has much material that is specific to OLLI@GMU and is helpful for anyone who wants to teach, has taught, or will teach here.
  • Classroom Discussions (pdf) How to manage a discussion, with lots of practical advice
  • PowerPoint Tips (pdf). This is abstracted from the teacher’s Manual described above. Advice in bullet format on developing and presenting a PowerPoint presentation.

Decided to Teach?

  • OLLI Course Proposal Form. This form is used to propose an OLLI course or special event. Please submit the form by the required due date for each term (click here to view term due dates). Once submitted, this form is immediately reviewed by the program planning team. You will hear from the team soon after submission.
  • Guidelines for OLLI Catalog Course Descriptions

Need Help Preparing for Your Class?

  • Instructor Information Brochure(pdf). This brochure provides information about the class liaison, course materials, audiovisual equipment, GMU Library privileges, helpful hints, and staff phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Teaching Tips for a “Senior” Audience. Almost all members are above 50, with many in their 60s and 70s, some in their 80s, a few in their 90s.
    • Visual aids should be easy to read, with large fonts (e.g., black text on a white/light background is much easier to read than white text on a light gray background).
    • Speak clearly and use a microphone.
    • Be prepared for serious questions; many members were experts in their field.
    • Ask OLLI members to hold their comments until the end of the presentation unless they are seeking a simple clarification. Member comments and elaborations during class may impair instructor ability to end on time.
    • Strive for balanced participation to avoid individual members from dominating a discussion.
  • Library Materials from George Mason University are available to OLLI members with a GMU ID card (note: click here for details about University benefits for OLLI members and how to obtain a GMU ID card).
  • Copyright Rules.
  • Classroom Set-Up Form. All instructors are asked to complete the online program information form to indicate to staff the regular audiovisual set-up or other special set-up needs for your classroom.
  • Audiovisual Equipment Availability.
    • Each OLLI classroom is equipped with a Windows based computer. Fairfax and Reston locations have MS Office 2013 and Loudoun has MS Office 2016.
    • DVD/CD player and VCR player. Tallwood, Reston and Lord of Life locations have Blu-ray capacity.
    • Wireless microphone worn over ear, with battery pack (Microphone Use Policy, a Microsoft Word document)
    • Docucam that can display stored digital images as slide shows, overhead transparencies and items such as maps, book pages and objects.
    • It is recommended that new instructors schedule a meeting with your site assistant to walk through all AV presentation needs in advance of your first class.
  • OLLI Document Storage(“DocStore”). DocStore contains a large number of OLLI documents for the use, as desired, by instructors, staff and members.
  • Feedback Form for Course Instructors(Microsoft Word document) – Instructors can distribute an optional evaluation questionnaire to class attendees at the end of their course. Please collect this form from students at the end of your class for your own use; the forms do not go to the OLLI site assistants or program planning associates.

Any Questions?