In my early years as a college professor, I dutifully focused on learning student names as a way of building relationships. Students also got exposed to the names of other students in the class, but beyond introductions on the first night, it wasn’t the primary goal of my naming activities.
Most teachers daily confront the reality that student attention wanders in class. They can be seen nodding off, sleeping, gazing distractedly at some point other than the front of the room, texting, or working on something for another class. It’s a problem, and one that teachers often find hard not to take personally. Dealing with the emotional reaction engendered by inattention is easier when it’s more fully understood, and here’s an example that illustrates why.
Social media has revolutionized communication by allowing anyone to easily broadcast ideas and creations to a broad audience. Whereas creative expression through media was once owned by a select few movie studios, television networks, and radio stations, now thousands of people have YouTube channels that they use to broadcast homemade shows on anything from news to entertainment to peer advice, etc. Dozens of these people are making a full-time living from the advertising revenue from their homemade shows.
The panel discussion is a valuable, time-tested teaching technique used in classrooms of all types to help students understand the experiences of a particular group of people. But it’s not effective in every situation.
Clear expectations, structure, and instructor intervention can go a long way toward getting students highly engaged and highly interactive in online discussions.
Not all students are prepared for a class. Reasons for lack of preparation range from failure to engage with the assigned material to failure to complete or sufficiently understand a prerequisite class to lack of adequate preparation before entering school.
Here’s the conclusion of a small but intriguing study. Its findings reveal “only limited support for the idea that students actually do respond to feedback and make changes in a subsequent piece of assessable work consistent with the intentions that underlay the provided feedback.” (p. 577)
Are you an instructor who struggles to change the mindset of your students? Do you find that the students’ first questions are about grades rather than the content of the course? Do you want your students to obtain good grades but realize that the grade is a result of a student who is engaged in the topic with passion, interest, and exuberance? It is this passion to learn that can be described as intrinsic motivation.
Magna Publications, the leading provider of professional development resources for the higher education community, today issued a Call for Proposals for the 2014 Teaching Professor Technology Conference to be held Oct. 10-12 in Denver.
There’s lots of research documenting the positive effects of group experiences on learning outcomes. Less is known about the specific aspects of group experiences that contribute to their overall positive impact. Thomas Tomcho and Rob Foels decided to explore this question by looking at the research on group learning in the field of psychology, as reported in the journal Teaching of Psychology.