Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

assessment

Shortcomings of the Scaffolding Metaphor for Teaching

“So, what does that mean—’I need to provide more scaffolding’?” a teacher asked, with frustration in his voice. He was just back from a peer review debrief. “Maybe that’s more a suggestion than a criticism,” I offered. “Okay, but what do I do to provide more scaffolding?” he asked.

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Assessing the Degree of Learner-Centeredness

Since Barr and Tagg introduced the concept of the instructional versus the learner-centered paradigms in 1995, higher education institutions across the country have adopted the concept in one form or another in an attempt to create learning environments that respond both to the changing profile of our students and recent research on learning with the ultimate goal of improving student success.

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Why Students Cram for Exams

It will probably not shock any instructor to learn that students cram for exams. What may be a bit surprising is the percentage of students who do: somewhere between 25 percent and 50 percent, depending on the study. In the research reported in the article referenced below, approximately 45 percent of students admitted to cramming.

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Can Clickers Enhance Student Learning?

Dr. Peter M. Saunders, director of Oregon State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, has heard the horror stories, and understands why faculty were hesitant to use clickers in the early years.

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The Evolution of Accountability: Look Who's Accountable Now

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.”

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Designing Effective Assessments: Q&A with Trudy Banta

In their new book, Designing Effective Assessment: Principles and Profiles of Good Practice, Trudy Banta, Elizabeth Jones, and Karen Black provide assessment profiles from a wide variety of institutions and units. In advance of her online seminar titled Principles and Profiles of Good Practice in Assessment. Dr. Banta answered questions about the book and some of the topics she will discuss next week’s seminar.

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A Modular Course Design Benefits Online Instructor and Students

Andrea Henne, dean of online and distributed learning in the San Diego Community College District, recommends creating online courses composed of modules—discrete, self-contained learning experiences—and uses a course development method that specifies what to include in each module.

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Eight Ways to Support Faculty Needs with a Virtual Teaching & Learning Center

Teaching and learning support professionals, particularly those who must perform miracles as a “Department of One,” can have one of the most challenging jobs on campus. They not only support the course design, content delivery strategies, technology integration, and training/orientation for faculty and students in online learning programs (asynchronous and synchronous formats), but they also support all other teaching/learning needs for classroom, blended, and any other teaching environment. This professional may be an instructional designer, an educational technologist, or very often, a designated faculty member with some or all of these skills.

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Aligning Assessment Strategies with Institutional Goals

Troll through university websites and you’re likely to see mission statements with such lofty phrases as “instill a passion for lifelong learning” or “a commitment to student-centered education.” But what do these things really mean and, more importantly, how do you know you’re doing them?

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