April 30, 2012

Critical Friends: A Novel Approach to Improving Peer and Instructor Feedback

By:

We appreciated reading Dr. Weimer’s article “Getting students to act on our feedback” (March 5, 2012). The solution proposed of asking students to identify three ways to improve their assignment based on instructor feedback is a great idea. We would like to offer a further solution that addresses students’ incorporating instructor feedback.


April 27, 2012

Word of Mouth Pedagogy: Our Oral Tradition of Sharing Ideas with Colleagues

By:

If you ask a faculty member to think of a new technique, strategy, assignment, activity or policy they’re using in their classroom and you ask where they got the idea, “from a colleague” is the most common answer. Interesting, isn’t it, that so much of our pedagogical knowledge is transferred orally. The beauty of it is that ideas are easily and freely exchanged via this mode. Somebody gives you a good idea for dealing with an instructional issue and you don’t have to worry whether it’s copyright protected. You don’t need to know where the idea came from or who originated it. Best of all you can borrow it and make changes without anybody’s permission.


April 26, 2012

A Faster, More Efficient Way to Grade Papers

By:

I hope you won’t stop reading once you find out the idea being proposed here involves automating the feedback provided students on papers, projects, and presentations. If you were to look at a graded set of papers and make a list of the comments offered as feedback, how many of those comments have you written more than once? Is the answer many? If so, you should read on.


April 25, 2012

Top 10 Strategies for Preparing the Annual Tenure and Promotion Dossier

By:

Assembling the annual tenure and promotion dossier to best represent one’s teaching, research, and service can be overwhelming and anxiety-ridden for some junior faculty. Yet, prior to earning tenure, junior faculty in colleges and universities across the country spend untold hours preparing the annual dossier to present and illustrate accomplishments and productivity across teaching, research, and service.



April 23, 2012

Strategies for Creating a More Inclusive Classroom

By:

“I don’t really have any diversity issues in my class because all of my students are white.”

“I have a lot of content to cover, so there’s really no time to address multiculturalism.”

Diversity, once largely centered on race and ethnicity, has evolved over the years to include a broad range of personal attributes, experiences, and backgrounds, each interlocking to create one’s social identity.



April 19, 2012

Making Online PowerPoint Content Engaging: Writing a Narration Script

By:

Giving your students PowerPoint slides with only text or graphics is a problem because slides, even with text and graphics on them, really do not stand alone. It’s hard to add enough context without adding tons of text to explain what’s on the slide. And, well, PowerPoint isn’t really the right media for tons of text. If you want students to do a lot of reading, you really should provide students with printed or downloadable print materials.


April 18, 2012

Teaching with Confidence: Advice for New Faculty

By:

In the now classic article Confidence in the Classroom: Ten Maxims for New Teachers, author Jim Eison offers priceless advice for new teachers. Over the years, I have given hundreds of copies of this article to new and not-so-new faculty. Even though it was published more than 20 years ago, it still deserves a place in your collection of indispensible articles on college teaching.


April 17, 2012

Engaging Students in Argument

By:

The elderly shop owner opposes a corporation that wants to build a plant in her town. She’s afraid that its products, similar to the ones she manufactures, will drive her out of business. At 70, it’s too late in her life to start over and, even though the corporation says it will hire locally, she doubts it will hire someone her age. Besides, after a lifetime of running her own business, she doesn’t want to work for someone else. How can she convince her fellow townspeople to rally against the corporation?