January 29, 2010

Conditions Associated with Classroom Conflict

By:

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.


January 28, 2010

Metaphorical Mirrors

By:

Much of what we do in the classroom is habitual. We do it so often that we can look at it and still fail to see the underlying assumptions. The question then, raised by the authors of the article referenced below, is this: “How do individuals discover and challenge tacit taken-for-granted assumptions in their teaching practice?” The authors suggest that teachers use “metaphorical mirrors.” They do a workshop during which they challenge faculty to probe a personal pursuit (hobby, activity, interest, or sport) and extract from it metaphors that might point to assumptions they make about teaching and learning.


January 28, 2010

Instructor or Professor, It's Not Your Title but What You Do That's Important

By:

In a recent conversation, an online teaching colleague complained that her school had wrongly listed her as “adjunct instructor,” rather than “adjunct professor,” in its faculty roster. “That term ‘professor’—it means so much more than merely being an instructor,” she complained. Au contraire, I countered: ultimately, titles—and one’s accomplishments—count for little throughout any online course one teaches and never equate to long-term respect.



January 26, 2010

A New Word

By:

Here’s an interesting new word: “courseocentricism,” obviously related to words like ethnocentricism and egocontricism, it’s defined as “a kind of tunnel vision in which we become so used to the confines of our own course that we are oblivious to the fact that our students are taking other courses whose instructors at any moment may be undercutting our most cherished beliefs.” (p. 157)


January 26, 2010

Creating a Center for Professional Development and Leadership

By:

Colleges and universities have realized increasingly that effective teaching by instructors and successful learning by students does not occur through serendipity. Even though more and more graduate programs are providing doctoral students with experience and training in how to teach at the college level, many faculty members still reach their positions largely through an education based on how to perform research, not on how to include students in that research or train others in their disciplines.


January 25, 2010

Meta-Collaboration: Writing with Students to Engage Learning

By:

In one of my favorite A Midsummer Night’s Dream passages by William Shakespeare, Theseus comments on the creation of poetry. Informing us that the “poet’s eye” in a “fine frenzy rolling” glances from “heaven to earth, from earth to heaven,” we learn about the process of making sense of the world and composing something about it.


January 22, 2010

Online Course Quality Assurance: Using Evaluations and Surveys to Improve Online Teaching and Learning

By:

In order to improve online programs, courses, and instruction, you have to first determine your goals, select metrics that will tell you what we want to know, analyze these metrics for clues about needed changes, and then make those changes. It may sound simple, but it isn’t.



January 21, 2010

Moral Education

By:

Steven B. Sample, president of USC, makes an interesting point in a recent online article. Universities, especially the elite research universities, make much of the accomplishments of alumni. University publications showcase what they’ve achieved, and celebratory events are scheduled when