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Texting in Class: Extent, Attitudes, Other Interesting Information

People text almost everywhere nowadays, and so it shouldn’t surprise us that students are doing it in class. In this study of almost 300 marketing majors at two different universities, 98 percent reported that they texted during class. They reported receiving just about as many texts as they sent. Perhaps most troubling in these findings were students’ attitudes about texting. Here’s a sample:


Tough Questions on Texting in the Classroom

It’s time we started exploring some of the tough questions on texting. The May issue of The Teaching Professor newsletter contains highlights from a survey of almost 300 marketing majors about their texting in class. The results confirm what I’m guessing many of us already suspect. A whopping 98% of the students reported that they had texted some time during the term in which the data was collected. They did so for an unimpressive set of reasons, the most popular being “I just wanted to communicate.” Fifty-six percent of the cohort said they were currently taking a class in which the teacher banned texting. Forty-nine percent said they texted anyway.


Cell Phones in the Classroom: What’s Your Policy?

Are we old fuddy-duddies when we ask (demand) students to put away their cell phones in the classroom or clinical areas? Students tell me this is just the way it is now, but I disagree. I teach courses in health sciences. Students practice in the hospitals, interacting with and caring for real patients. My colleagues and I have found students with their phones in their pockets, in their socks, and in their waist bands in order to have access to their precious smart phones but still hide them from instructors. We have found students sitting on stools texting while the hospital preceptors did the work. Some students are one phone call or text away from dismissal from the program before they stop using cell phones in classroom or clinical setting. What is the answer to this problem? Are faculty members being too demanding by placing cell phone restrictions in syllabi or clinical handbooks?


When a Student’s Comment Feels Like a Personal Attack

I got the idea for this post from the one-page “Teaching Tactics” feature in Teaching Theology and Religion. Faculty author Sara M. Koenig sets the context. “Most of us have had an experience in the classroom of a student saying something so offensive that it feels like a personal attack on us as professors.” (p. 51)


Is Your Syllabus Sending the Wrong Message?

They say you have only one chance to make a first impression. If that’s true, what does your syllabus say about you and your class?
Is the focus on what students will be learning or on a long list of policies and penalties? Find out how you can use your syllabus to create interest and inspire learning in your courses.


The Question of Control in the College Classroom

The August 24 post, What Does Your Syllabus Say About You and Your Course?, in which I asked a series of questions designed to encourage revisiting the syllabus in terms of its role in setting course norms and establishing the tone of the course generated some interesting responses. I am always pleased when a post stimulates reaction, including disagreement. This is how we learn and grow as professionals. It also makes blogs worth reading, in my opinion.


Three Simple Keys to Effective Classroom Management

Fall semester is well underway at my institution. Prior to classes starting I had the opportunity to have lunch with a couple of fellow faculty members. During our lunch, we discussed many topics related to the upcoming term, but classroom management emerged as a common point of contention.


Dealing with Difficult Students: the Narcissist

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the whitepaper Coping with Seven Disruptive Personality Types in the Classroom. This post deals with the narcissistic student.


Coping with Seven Disruptive Personality Types in the Classroom

In a perfect world, college students are always eager, well disciplined, and respectful. Of course, you don’t teach in a perfect world, you teach in the real world. This white paper looks at unacceptable student behaviors and classifies them into seven easy-to-recognize styles, along with recommended approaches suited to each type’s idiosyncrasies.


Conditions Associated with Classroom Conflict

Students can and do regularly disrupt the classroom. Sometimes they are openly hostile, challenging the teacher’s authority and objecting to course requirements and classroom policies. More often, the conflict grows out of their inattentiveness and passivity. They arrive late, leave early, talk during class, and don’t even bother to hide their boredom.


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