At one point, a General Chemistry course at Penn State Berks had a success rate of about 50 percent, giving the multi-section course the dubious distinction of having one of the lowest GPAs on campus. After a thorough redesign, the course now consistently achieves a success rate of well over 70 percent, while the student ratings of the course and the instructors have never been higher. The key element in this chemistry course’s redesign? Clickers.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde
Russell L. Ackoff tells a wonderful story in the podcast for the book he wrote with Daniel Greenberg “Turning Learning Right Side Up:”
After lecturing to undergraduates at a major university, I was accosted by a student who had attended the lecture. After some complimentary remarks, he asked, “How long ago did you teach your first class?”
The growth of knowledge within your discipline is what makes being a professor so exciting, but it also presents new challenges–particularly when it comes to teaching. Because the time allotted for each course remains constant and the content that could be included in any course continues to grow, you may find it difficult to try to cram all this information into a course.
Blended learning, which combines face-to-face learning with a mixture of online activities, has been hailed as both a cost-effective way to relieve overcrowded classroom and a convenient alternative to the traditional classroom experience. But it has quickly become much more than that.
As a marketing professor, I often found myself scouring publications, stores, and my cabinets prior to a lecture, to find real-world examples of concepts I was teaching. Although students seemed to appreciate and learn from these examples, it didn’t get them as actively involved in their learning as I’d like.
One of the most challenging tasks instructors face is keeping students engaged. Building Student Engagement: 15 Strategies for the College Classroom will help you meet that challenge while ensuring your classroom is a positive and productive learning environment.
Kristopher Wiemer, instructional technology specialist at Philadelphia University, encourages instructors to adopt active-learning strategies such as hands-on activities, interaction, and research “to make sure students are engaged and aren’t just sitting there like sponges. I introduce [faculty] to the concept of active learning. Most of them are new to this and…”