May 29, 2009

Philosophy of Teaching Statements: Examples and Tips on How to Write a Teaching Philosophy Statement

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Writing a philosophy of teaching statement can make even the most experienced educator feel intimidated. Motivate students? No problem. Juggle an endless list of responsibilities? Check. Make course content come alive? Done. But when it comes to putting their teaching philosophy to paper, it’s hard to even know where to start.


May 29, 2009

Philosophy of Teaching Statement Focuses on Student Learning

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My philosophy of teaching can better be described as a philosophy of learning. In order to be an effective instructor, I must focus on student learning and adjust my teaching strategies in response to the pace and depth of student understanding. I view teaching as an interaction between an instructor and a student; thus, the impact of this interaction on learning, rather than my activities as an instructor, is of primary importance.


May 28, 2009

Three Multitasking Myths

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Our students seem to be masters at multitasking—they regularly do more than one thing at once, or break from one task to work on another and then move on to a third. Even those of us not so adept at managing more than one task at once can “walk and chew gum,” which makes us all multitaskers to some degree. But our students combine so many disparate tasks: biology book open on their knees, they text a friend while listening to rap in the background. Many of them tell us they can’t study when everything is quiet.


May 28, 2009

Learning Outcomes Assessment Standards Revealed in Survey of Academic Leaders

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The Association of American Colleges and Universities released findings last month from a survey of its members that revealed trends in undergraduate education and documenting the widespread use of a variety of approaches to assessing learning outcomes. The survey shows that campus leaders are focused both on providing students a broad set of learning outcomes and assessing students’ achievement of these outcomes across the curriculum.


May 27, 2009

Strategic Planning for the Academic Department: Q&A with Anne Massaro

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When done correctly, a strategic plan provides an academic department with a definitive blueprint. When done incorrectly, it’s an unpopular waste of time. Dr. Anne Massaro of Ohio State University shares strategies for making strategic planning more relevant for faculty, and for ensuring that once the plan is complete, it doesn’t sit on a shelf collecting dust.



May 26, 2009

Dealing with Students Who Hate Working in Groups

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Some students tell us they hate groups—as in really hate groups. Why do faculty love groups so much, they ask. I work hard, I’m smart, I can get good grades by myself, these students insist. Other students are a waste. I end up doing all the work and they get the good grade I earned for the group. Why do you, Professor Byrnes, make me work in a group. I hate groups!


May 22, 2009

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Contracts: One School’s Approach

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In 2005, Appalachian State University established three-quarter- and full-time non-tenure-track contracts with benefits for non-tenure-track faculty members who had been teaching at least three-quarter time for three years. The move was intended to provide fair compensation and promote loyalty that might pay off in improved quality of instruction.


May 21, 2009

Using Media Materials to Set the Stage for Learning: A Strategy for All Disciplines

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Humanities and social sciences instructors have long borrowed from media communications to drive home concepts. For example, a business instructor might clip a magazine article pointing out how inappropriate attire can negatively influence the outcome of an interview with a company. Philosophy professors might motivate a classroom discussion on hedonism by discussing the antics of popular young superstars as reported in the tabloids.