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Nov 19, 2014

Extend Conversations Beyond Class

Sometimes when students are working on group assignments such as presentations, debates, or case studies, you may notice that not everyone is participating. Some students are very enthusiastic, while others sit back in their chairs and let their peers do the work. How can you ensure that the work is evenly distributed and that all your students are engaged? Perhaps your students are engaged in a discussion that is going spectacularly well, and is cut short because the class session ends. Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to extend that conversation outside of class? VoiceThread might provide a… More

Author: francine_glazer

Nov 12, 2014

Small Changes Can Improve Class Community and Student Course Evaluations

A well-organized, carefully planned course is critical for effective teaching, but attention to small details contributes to rapport with students and a classroom experience that supports effective learning. Corbett and LaFrance (2013) offer suggestions that improve the learning for students and the teaching experience for instructors. Arrive early and linger after the class meeting time – make adjustments to lighting, set up your technology for the session, chat with students before and after class to learn about events outside of class that might influence their in-class learning and continue topic-related conversations while you walk back to your office. Create a… More

Author: francine_glazer

Nov 05, 2014

Maximizing the Performance of Informal Groups in Class

We faculty tend to love using informal (ad hoc) groups. Students derive most of the learning benefits of group work, and we find them relatively easy to administer – easy compared to long-term formal groups that collaborate on one or more substantial assignments outside of class. These groups are ideal for clicker-question exchanges and lecture-break activities, and we can set them up of any size on the fly (“Work with the two fellow students sitting next to you.”). They are too short-term to provoke student concerns about someone freeloading, sand-bagging, dominating, controlling, ego-tripping, bullying, whining, or engaging in some other… More

Author: francine_glazer

Oct 29, 2014

Why not the R-Course?

In Academically Adrift (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), Arum and Roksa utilize surveys, the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), and transcript data from college students to argue that during their time in higher ed courses students make little if any gain in such skills as writing and critical thinking. Previously, in an attempt to combat writing problems, colleges have created W/Writing-Intensive courses, and to deal with students’ need for training in service, S/Service Learning courses came about. We propose answering the dilemma posed by Arum and Roksa’s work with the R/Research Course. In order to graduate, students would have to… More

Author: francine_glazer

Oct 22, 2014

Managing Your Course: Mid-Semester Feedback

Effective classroom management is about developing proactive ways to prevent problems from occurring in the first place while creating a positive learning environment. Strategies that might have worked for years suddenly become ineffective in the face of some of the challenges today’s students bring with them to the classroom. Are you noticing that students are not preparing for class or their energy level is low? Perhaps your students are not doing homework and aren’t doing well on weekly quizzes? How can you manage classroom dynamics, foster active and interactive learning, deal with problem students and situations, and create activities conducive… More

Author: francine_glazer

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