September 29, 2009

Student Attitudes about Learning

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It is important for us to remember that what students believe about learning and themselves as learners plays a key role in determining their success as learners. Research evidence is very clear on this issue. If a student believes that no matter what they do, they won’t succeed in a course, even being in a course with a highly rated effective teacher does not change the effects of those beliefs.


September 29, 2009

Six Tips for Balancing the Chair’s Role as Teacher, Scholar, and Administrator

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To say that my first year as division chair was a “learning experience” filled with “teaching moments” is an understatement. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! In addition to the normal duties of chair, my division was moving to a new building, the college was working on its accreditation self-study, we began collective bargaining, we added two new members to the division, we conducted a search for an additional new member, and I taught a fully online course for the first time.





September 23, 2009

Using Screencasting to Engage and Build Community with Online Learners

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In the online classroom, faculty work hard to engage their distance learners and build a strong sense of academic community in the electronic setting. Screencasting can be an effective and easy way to do this. Screencasting allows you to take a digital video of what you are doing on your computer desktop, and most screencasting tools allow you to narrate your video while recording. The possible uses for screencasting are endless; these include providing course orientations, delivering instructional lectures, providing feedback, and encouraging student sharing.


September 22, 2009

Zemsky on Learning

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I’d like to share a couple of the points made by Robert Zemsky in the second part of a two-part essay that appeared in Inside Higher Education. (There’s a link to this second part at the end of this post.) I don’t know if you’re familiar with Bob Zemsky’s work—he’s a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has been on the forefront of efforts to reform higher edcuation for decades, and he’s a superb writer. In this article he put three items on the higher education reform to-do list. The first one is learning—I love that it was listed first.


September 22, 2009

The Evolution of Accountability: Look Who's Accountable Now

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We hear a great deal these days about “accountability” in the academy. Many states (including South Carolina, where I try my best to be a “responsible” college administrator) have some kind of state law mandating that public schools—and, in some cases, colleges—demonstrate that they are indeed “accountable.”


September 21, 2009

Ten Tips for Dealing with Nervousness on the First Day of Class

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Each new semester as I walk down the hallway to my classroom, I am a little nervous, even after 27 years of teaching experience…and I’m okay with this. I think when I get to the point where I don’t feel this anxiety, I won’t be as effective a teacher. After all, I will be walking into that classroom for the next four months and it’s important to make a good first impression. Below are 10 tips to help you get off to a great start.