August 31, 2011

Giving Feedback on Student Writing: An Innovative Approach

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I ran across an interesting idea in the British journal, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education involving the use of something called interactive cover sheets. First-year students in an outdoor studies degree program took a two-semester, six module course which required preparation of a number of written assignments. After preparing their papers, students attached an interactive cover sheet on which they raised questions about the paper they had just completed, thereby identifying the specific areas for feedback.


August 30, 2011

Eight Lessons about Student Learning and What They Mean for You

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A new edition of a classic book on the curriculum suggests eight lessons from the learning literature with implications for course and curriculum planning. Any list like this tends to simplify a lot of complicated research and offer generalizations that apply most, but certainly not all, of the time. Despite these caveats, lists like this are valuable. They give busy faculty a sense of the landscape and offer principles that can guide decision making, in this case about courses and curricula.




August 25, 2011

Helping Online Students Connect with Business Leaders

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Providing students with mentors can be an effective way for students to learn directly from experts in real-world situations. It’s a technique used widely in face-to-face courses, and it can work in online courses as well. Al Widman, professor of management and business administration at Berkeley College, has matched students with practitioner mentors in his online undergraduate non-profit management course.


August 24, 2011

What Does Your Syllabus Say About You and Your Course?

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A colleague shared an excellent but not yet published paper on the syllabus. It got me thinking as this is the time most of us are revisiting these venerable documents. Oh, I know, some of you finished yours back in May when the semester ended. And then there are the rest of us who are working on them feverishly as the beginning of new academic year quickly approaches.



August 22, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts for Promoting Academic Integrity

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Donald McCabe’ s 2005 article “Cheating Among College And University Students: A North American Perspective” is often cited for its sobering statistics regarding the prevalence of cheating in higher education.

The numbers are alarming and do require a serious response, but have you ever turned the numbers upside down? For example, if 42 percent of college students admit to working with others on individual assignments, that means 58 percent aren’t getting help from others and those students would like you to do something about the 42 percent. If 38 percent admit to plagiarizing, that means 62 percent aren’t plagiarizing and those students expect you to do something about the 38 percent.