Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

teaching with technology

Selecting the Appropriate Communication Tools for Your Online Course

When designing an online course it’s important to carefully consider which tools align with the course’s learning objectives and the types of communication that will occur.

There are three types of communication that can occur in an online course—one to one, one to many, and many to many. In an interview with Online Classroom, Sara Ombres, faculty development instructor, and Anna Reese, production coordinator/instructional designer, both at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus, talked about how they help instructors select communication tools to suit the situation.

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Using Content Curation Tools to Engage Students

When I was in college (for 12 years I might add) there were really only three sources of information available to students: 1) Instructor 2) Textbook 3) Library. This was not such a distant past. A mere two decades ago I finished my undergrad, and I graduated with my PhD in 2001. I don’t think learning, or even how we learn, has changed all that much since then. But what has changed is access to information and how that access might actually distract from learning.

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Survey Confirms Growth of the Flipped Classroom

A survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education and Sonic Foundry found that 29 percent of faculty are currently using the flipped classroom model of instruction, with another 27 percent saying they plan to use it within the next 12 months.

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App Review: Voice Record Pro

The average person probably remembers more of what they see than what they hear. For example, you’re likely to readily remember a person’s face more easily than you would his name. However, according to molecular biologist John Medina, the key to more remembering what we see and hear is enhanced when repetition is involved. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating mass memorization of anything by anyone. Memorization is necessary in some cases, but given the easy access to all kinds of information, I see little reason for my students to commit large amounts of information to organic memory as opposed to knowing how and where to find it. What I am merely suggesting is that frequent re-exposure to snippets of content will likely aid understanding of what was presented or discussed. I have found that the podcast is one way to provide short bits of information for clarification purposes or as a way to provide expanded discussion of something that I covered in class. Here are two key guidelines to follow when developing a podcast:

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Pearson Partners with Knewton on Adaptive Science and Business Products

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, today announced a substantial rollout of additional MyLab & Mastering products enhanced with technology from leading adaptive learning partner Knewton. This fall semester alone, Pearson’s widely used MyLab & Mastering offerings will deliver continuously adaptive recommendations to more than 400,000 students across subject areas including biology, anatomy & physiology, chemistry, physics, finance and accounting. These are in addition to math, economics, reading and writing, which launched in the fall of 2012.

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The Benefits of Flipping Your Classroom

A small but growing number of faculty at major universities are experimenting with the inverted or flipped classroom. It’s an instructional model popularized by, among other influences, a Ted Talk by Khan Academy founder Salman Khan, which has received more than 2.5 million views. Institutions as varied as Duke University’s School of Medicine, Boston University’s College of Engineering, and the University of Washington School of Business have joined Clemson, Michigan State, the University of Texas, and many others in experimenting with changing from in-class lectures to video lectures and using class time to explore the challenging and more difficult aspects of course content.

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i>clicker Announces Release of i>clicker GO, Now Offers Mobile-Friendly Hybrid Response Solution

i>clicker, one of the most widely used student response systems in higher education, today announced the release of i>clicker GO, a mobile response solution that transforms laptops, smartphones and tablets into student response devices. i>clicker GO is available for purchase at https://www.iclickergo.com or as an app from the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

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Half of Faculty Say Their Job is More Difficult Today than Five Years Ago

If you find yourself working longer hours or maybe feeling a bit more stressed at the end of the day, you’re not alone. Fifty percent of college faculty who completed the annual Faculty Focus reader survey said that their job is more difficult than it was five years ago. Only nine percent said their job is less difficult, while 33 percent said it’s about the same.

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Experimenting with Facebook in the College Classroom

While discussing the nuances of regression analysis, I saw some of my students smiling. It wasn’t a smile of understanding; it was a response to seeing a Facebook comment on their smart phone. I later learned that 99% of the students in the research method class were Facebook users, routinely checking for updates 10-20 times a day. I asked them to refrain checking their phones during class.

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