Lately I’ve been wondering if there’s a set of initial assumptions made about teaching and learning that inhibit instructional growth and development. Here is list of a few of these assumptions, and why I think they make teaching excellence less attainable.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
These student evaluations are so much a part of our system and have become so routine for our students and faculty that I have seldom questioned their value or necessity. But are they really (as Martha Stewart might say) “a good thing?” […]
When teachers think the best way to improve their teaching is by developing their content knowledge, they end up with sophisticated levels of knowledge, but they have only simplistic instructional methods to convey that material.
The University of Missouri recently implemented its system-wide Faculty Accomplishment System, an electronic database that provides a convenient way for faculty members to document their achievements for themselves and for administrators. […]
If your institution offers online courses, you know that finding quality adjuncts is only half of the staffing battle. Keeping them is sometimes even more difficult. Defections are common as adjuncts report feeling disconnected from the campus community they serve, and there’s always competition from others schools who may offer a better pay rate.
Faculty careers are often divided into three phases: beginning, middle, and end. New faculty have been studied in some detail—probably because of the great influx of them. So have senior faculty, although less than new faculty. But what about that expanse in the middle? Researchers Baldwin, Lunceford, and Vanderlinden (reference below) quote sources describing mid-career faculty as “perhaps the least studied and most ill-defined period in life.”
At a workshop on learner-centered teaching, a participant told us that philosophically she couldn’t agree more with the need to make students more responsible for their own learning, but she couldn’t go there because her ratings would take a hit. I assumed this meant she was a new faculty member and under scrutiny for tenure. […]