The only way to learn (and retain) knew things is by being enthusiastic and having an enthusiastic teacher. Also, knowledge and meaning are best constructed from previous experiences. Thus, I try to engage my students by rousing their curiosity based on their own previous knowledge and, hopefully, interest. Connecting the dots between what they have learned in previous courses and are learning in parallel courses is an important part, as it is much simpler to see the relevance of what you are taught if various subjects come together to form one "big picture". I found that one good way of doing this in my teaching subjects is to work with real-time data from websites most of my students already use, or at least know. One simple example is the discussion of the latest (less than twelve hours ago) measurements of the vertical temperature profiles ("soundings") and how this relates to today's weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.
I strive to provide a clear structure for my course: What is expected from the students and when it's due, what they are allowed to do or not, and how they are going to be marked for the course. Even though I will eventually mark the students' exams, student-teacher interaction should be on equal footing. As far as personal interaction is concerned, I am simply Martin, not "Dr. Jucker", nor "Professor Jucker". We are all there for the course, and we are all necessary ingredients for learning something interesting and useful. In fact, it's interesting how much I learn myself both during the course preparation or when trying to answer those tough questions from my students. The best part of the lectures are always the questions. They show learning progress, interest, engagement and desire to know more. That's what learning is all about.
I was fortunate enough to follow a course called "Foundations of University Learning and Teaching" at the University of New South Wales. A one-page (plus references) statement of my learning and teaching philosophy coming out of that course can be accessed here.