September 15, 2014

Six Principles for Measuring and Communicating the Value of Your Faculty Development Center

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This is an era of rapid transformation and heightened opportunities for Faculty Development Centers (FDCs). There is a growing realization that faculty development can be a crucial component in addressing some of the most significant challenges facing higher education, including technology’s impact on teaching, reliance on part-time and distance faculty, and student success.


December 11, 2012

Top 12 Teaching and Learning Articles for 2012, part 1

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As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the top articles of the past year. Throughout 2012, we published approximately 250 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics – from group work to online learning. In a two-part series, which will run today and Wednesday, we’re revealing the top 12 articles for 2012. Each article’s popularity ranking is based on a combination of the number of reader comments and social shares, e-newsletter open and click-thru rates, web traffic and other reader engagement metrics.


February 9, 2011

Defining Active Learning

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There’s a definitional “looseness” about many of the terms commonly used in higher education. I know, I’ve written about this in previous blogs, but when terms are bandied about assuming everybody defines them similarly, that’s a recipe for misunderstanding. Equally important, we can be using terms without having done the intellectual homework necessary to precisely understand their referents.


January 13, 2011

More on Students and Reading

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Last week’s “Sink or Skim” blog post on students and reading generated some comments! Yes! Thank you!

Dave shared his daily quizzing strategy which he describes as “brief but challenging.” His approach includes several noteworthy design features. First, before the quiz students can ask him about anything in the chapter this is unclear to them. Then they take the 10 question multiple-choice quiz. After that they retake the quiz in groups of three and their score is an average of the two quiz scores.


October 26, 2010

Developing Students’ Self-Directed Learning Skills

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Self-directed learning skills involve the ability to manage learning tasks without having them directed by others. They are skills necessary for effective lifelong learning and are one of many learning skills students are expected to develop in college. The expectation is that students will become self-directed learners as they mature and gain content knowledge. Here’s a study showing how students can become self-directed with explicit instruction.




May 20, 2010

Inquiry into the College Classroom

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Are our students learning? Are they developing? Are we having an impact? These questions are only a small sample of those that faculty ask before, during, and after each course that they teach. Faculty often attempt to answer such questions using the evidence they have—student remarks during class and office hours, student performance on examinations or homework assignments, student comments solicited via teaching evaluations, and their own classroom observations. While these forms of evidence can be useful, such informal assessments also can be misleading, particularly because they are generally not systematic or fully representative.


December 10, 2009

Making the Shift from Rhetoric to Performance

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Discussion of teaching and learning as an academic, scholarly endeavor has become an acceptable conversation on college campuses. A shift is beginning to take place whereby the scholarship of teaching and learning is now being taken seriously. We are making progress in higher education by making undergraduate education intentional, thus moving toward a learner-centered paradigm.


October 2, 2009

Understanding What You See Happening in Class

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While conducting a class, even though teachers may be doing all or most of the talking, students communicate important nonverbal messages. They communicate these messages through facial expressions, body postures, and how they say what they say, as well as what actions they do or the skills they attempt to perform. Both novice and expert teachers see the same student responses, but expert teachers see in those responses something very different than novices see.