June 8th, 2010

Articles Not to Miss


We handed out the 2010 McGraw-Hill and Magna Publications Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award at the recent Teaching Professor Conference. The review committee designated two finalist articles along with the winning piece, and all three of these articles are open with free access (for a limited period for two of the articles). I do hope you’ll take time to peruse them. Even though all three appeared in discipline-based periodicals, they are relevant to wider audiences—first, as exemplars of scholarly work on teaching and learning and second with content relevant beyond just the discipline. The winning article describes an impressive project that used a creative assessment method to look at the critical-thinking skills of a program’s majors. What discipline would not find that of interest? The article on library instruction looks at how well online instruction, face-to-face instruction, or a combination of both fostered learning. And the history article shares an assignment in which students prepared a well-researched entry for Wikipedia, a writing assignment that could work in many courses.

I sometimes despair at how little faculty read about teaching and learning—yes, I know you are reading my blog and I am grateful. I’m thinking more us as a profession and how rarely faculty experience what can be learned about teaching by reading. Last week someone emailed asking for an appendix that appears in one of my books. The note was apologetic about not buying the book—“I have all sorts of books about teaching on my shelves. I need to get those read before I buy any more.” Well, okay. At least this person has books close at hand, but books on the shelf don’t make teaching any better or different.

Yes, I know how busy we all are, but an article doesn’t take all that long to read and I’m quite sure you’ll find these three pieces impressive and worth your time.

Winning article

Carrithers, D., Ling, T., and Bean, J. C. (2008). Messy problems and lay audiences: Teaching critical thinking within the finance curriculum. Business Communication Quarterly, 71 (2), 152-170. Find the article at: http://bcq.sagepub.com/

Finalist articles, listed alphabetically

Kraemer, E. W., Lombardo, S. V., and Lepkowski, F. J. (2007). The librarian, the machine, or a little of both: A comparative study of three information literacy pedagogies at Oakland University. College & Research Libraries, 68 (4), 330-342. Find the article at: http://crl.acrl.org/content/68/4/330.full.pdf+html

Pollard, E. A. (2008). Raising the stakes: Writing about witchcraft on wikipedia. The History Teacher, 42 (1), 9-24. Find the article at: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/42.1/pollard.html