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first-year students


Reality Check: Helping to Manage Student Expectations

Most students begin college, the academic year, and new courses motivated and optimistic. Many first-year students expect to do well because they were successful in high school. Some are right, but others will only find similar success if they work much harder than they did in high school. Yet most start out expending the same level of effort. They will talk with their classmates and convince each other that an exam covering three chapters can’t be that hard, so they put off studying and then “look over” the chapters the night before— happily dealing with any and all interruptions and distractions.


This Isn’t High School: Advice for Faculty Teaching First-Year Students

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. It’s week 12 of a 15-week-semester and a student shows up during office hours asking, begging, for some way that he can raise his grade. He needs a B, he says, or he could lose his scholarship.


Recent Seminars


A Good Start: Helping First-Year Students Acclimate to College

We expect high school to prepare students for academic success in a university setting. However, students arrive for their first classes unacquainted with the policies and expectations of the university level classroom. As an instructor, our approach can make all the difference in helping first-year students make the transition to the more rigorous world of post-secondary academics.

video Online Seminar • Recorded on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Perspectives in Understanding Online Teaching and Learning Strategies for First-Year Generation Y Students

There is an overwhelming amount of literature that addresses strategies to develop and facilitate teaching and learning in the online classroom as a way to engage and retain first-year students. Students and faculty in the online classroom are faced with a unique situation: classes without a physical classroom. Professors are also faced with a unique situation: creating a unified class that is engaged and well informed on the structure of the course in order to create a total learning environment (Quitadamo and Brown 2001).


Learning Communities: Key Elements for Sustainability

Tuesday’s post discussed the goals and core practices of effective learning communities. Today we outline elements of sustainable learning communities as well as some of the challenges of learning community development.


Applying Learning Agreements in the Classroom

As a former editor in the business profession and now educator, I see connections between business and classroom best practices, especially applying professional development plans and performance reflection exercises as academic learning agreements in order to promote student leadership and engagement.


How to Use the First Day of Class to Set the Tone for Entire Semester

On top of everything college faculty are responsible for, there’s one that may be easy to overlook or even deem as unnecessary: Teaching students how to be students. Do so at your peril because most students need a little help understanding and practicing the skills and behaviors they need to succeed.


Should Senior Faculty Teach More Introductory Courses? Boomers and Millennials Have More in Common Than You Might Think

After years of service and moving up through the faculty ranks, senior faculty members often feel they have earned the privilege of concentrating their teaching efforts on upper-division courses, leaving the introductory courses to younger faculty members. It seems fair enough: If you stick around long enough, you will be able to teach the courses you enjoy most. But is it the best arrangement for students?


Information Literacy: Improving Student Research Skills in a Wikipedia World

When you assign your students to write a paper, do they know where to start? Upperclassmen surely do, but what about freshmen? Left to their own devices, they’ll likely turn to Google and Wikipedia as their main research tools, and may never even set foot in the library if they can help it.


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