Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Articles

Six Paths to More Authentic Teaching

Most frequently, authenticity is described as being “real” or “genuine,” and the advice often given to faculty wanting to develop authenticity in their teaching is to “just do what comes naturally.” But obvious definitions and easy advice frequently obfuscate deeper complexities, and that is definitely the case with authenticity.

Read More »

Informal Writing Assignments: Promoting Learning Through Writing

The Writing Across the Curriculum movement has successfully introduced faculty across disciplines to a variety of writing, including very informal writing that faculty do not necessarily read or grade. The advocacy for this kind of informal writing rests on the old premise that practice makes perfect—that as long as students are writing something, their writing will likely improve.

Read More »

Using Student Clickers to Foster In-Class Debate

Integrating technology with appropriate teaching strategies can help stimulate participation and create a student-centered atmosphere conducive to learning. One technology shown particularly successful in boosting student engagement is clickers (Martyn, 2007). In fact, a research study found that student test scores were significantly higher when clickers were used as part of an in-class lecture as compared to a different section of the same class that didn’t use clickers (Mayer, Stull, DeLeeuw, Ameroth, Bimber, Chun, et al. 2009).

Read More »

Instructor Characteristics That Affect Online Student Success

Which online instructor characteristics help students succeed? It’s a rather basic question that has not been adequately answered. We did a literature search to find if anybody had done any research from the students’ perspective on what constitutes a quality online instructor. There were perhaps 10 articles by professors speculating about what they thought defined quality online instruction, but nobody had asked students.

Read More »

Should Student Effort Count?

We’ve all had conversations with students who want effort counted in their grade: “But I tried so hard … I studied for hours … I am really working in this course.” The question is, should effort count? Less commonly asked, however, is whether it should count in both directions. Students want effort to count when they try hard but their performance doesn’t show it. But what about when an excellent performance results without much effort? Should this lack of effort lower the grade? Beyond these theoretical questions are the pragmatic ones: Can effort be measured fairly, objectively? If so, what criteria are used to assess it?

Read More »

Students Say More Instructors Are Using Technology Effectively, ECAR Study Finds

Students are giving their instructors high marks for using technology effectively. Results from latest annual technology survey by Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) found that 68 percent of the more than 100,000 students surveyed said that most or all of their instructors effectively use technology to advance their academic success. That’s up from 47 percent just two years ago.

Read More »

Gimme an A! Confronting Presuppositions about Grading

Sometimes, in informal conversations with colleagues, I hear a statement like this, “Yeah, not a great semester, I doled out a lot of C’s.” I wonder, did this professor create learning goals that were unobtainable by most of the class or did this professor lack the skills to facilitate learning? I present this provocative lead-in as an invitation to reflect upon our presuppositions regarding grading.

Read More »

App Review: Seagate's GoFlex Satellite App plus Mobile Wireless Storage Unit

What is the biggest frustration you have with your iPad? Oops, forget that I ever asked that question! Really, I think most individuals like their iPads. However, there are just a few things we all wished that Apple would include on the iPad, like a USB port to give us access to our ‘stuff.’ Everyone has, at some time, experienced one or two things on portable devices: 1. You never have enough memory, or 2. Your data is not all in the same place! For iPad users, unless you have access to cloud storage, there really is no convenient way (outside of using iTunes on your computer) to get data into your iPad to work on because of the lack of a slot or port that will allow you to access external storage units.

Read More »

Helping Student Veterans Succeed in the Classroom

Student veterans bring to the college classroom a distinct set of strengths, including a level of maturity, experience with leadership and teamwork, familiarity with diversity, and a mission-focused orientation. While these strengths have the potential to help them succeed academically, many student veterans are also at risk due to unique physical, mental, and social needs.

Read More »

Understanding the Flipped Classroom: Part 2

Editor’s Note: Part 1 of this article looked at the history of the flipped classroom. Today we look at what it takes for someone to teach effectively in a flipped classroom.

Although the flipped classroom is garnering a lot of attention of late, simply flipping the classroom alone does not increase student success. The instructor must seize the opportunity to guide and interact with the students. Looking at this new definition of homework in a flipped classroom, there are many details to consider.

Read More »