December 18th, 2015

Our Top 15 Teaching and Learning Articles of 2015


Most popular articles of the year.

As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the most popular articles of the past year. Throughout 2015, we published more than 200 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics, including assignment strategies, cell phone policies, course design, flipped classrooms, online discussions, student resistance, and grading policies.

In this, our last post of the year, we reveal the top 15 articles for 2015. Each article’s ranking is based on a combination of factors, including e-newsletter open and click rates, social shares, reader comments, web traffic, reprint requests, and other reader engagement metrics.

1. More Evidence That Active Learning Trumps Lecturing
Study after study have reported findings that favor active learning over lecture. And yet, we all know faculty who lecture almost exclusively.

2. How Concerned Should We Be About Cell Phones in Class?
If we get too focused on the cell-phone problem, then isn’t that monopolizing time we could be using to shape our content in interesting and engaging ways?

3. Research Highlights How Easily and Readily Students Fabricate Excuses
An examination of factors and attitudes that influence student excuses. Prepare to be stunned by how easily and readily students reported fraudulent claims.

4. Nine Ways to Improve Class Discussion
Too many classroom discussions are still dominated by teacher talk. This post offers nine simple suggestions for increasing the impact of class discussions.

5. Three Critical Conversations Started and Sustained by Flipped Learning
Most student complaints about flipped learning conceal important questions that are brought to the surface because of the flipped environment.

6. Let Students Summarize the Previous Lesson
Starting each class with a brief recap of key concepts from the previous class is a good idea, but why not have students prepare and present that review?

7. The Eight-Minute Lecture Keeps Students Engaged
Mini-lectures, interspersed with activities, discussions, and time for reflection, helped ensure students received the content and remained engaged.

8. Flipping Assessment: Making Assessment a Learning Experience
What’s been left out of the conversation about flipped classrooms, however, is why and how we might also need to flip our assessment practices.

9. It’s Not Me, It’s You: Coping with Student Resistance
I now accept that teaching and learning is a process that takes place between people, and as such, all participants in that process have responsibilities.

10. A Learner-Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone for Learning
A learner-centered syllabus can take many forms, but often includes shared decision-making, a rationale for course objectives and tips for staying on track.

11. Why Students Don’t Attend Office Hours
Many students don’t take advantage of office hours. Researchers identified the course- and instructor-related factors that influence whether students visit.

12. More Content Doesn’t Equal More Learning
When we shift from covering content to using content, curriculum design becomes less about what to teach and more a matter of how to facilitate learning.

13. Exploring the Advantages of Rubrics
Rubrics have value when used to help get students past trying to figure out what the teacher wants and toward understanding what quality work looks like.

14. Moving from Multitasking to Mindfulness
At campuses of all sizes, faculty have begun their own mindfulness practices and incorporate both direct and nuanced teaching methods in their classrooms.

15. Coaching Strategies to Enhance Online Discussions
My strategies to facilitating online discussions: establish a safe space to learn, share responsibility, provide feedback, and empower the learner.

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