Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Articles

Dealing with Difficult Students and Other Classroom Disruptions

Problem students come in all forms, and may be “difficult” for wide variety of behaviors. While it’s impossible to create neat little categories that adequately describe the full range of problems encountered by college faculty, a good starting point may be to classify the behaviors as annoying, disruptive, or dangerous. Each requires a different type of response based on the context of the behavior.

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Academic Rigor: Lessons from Room 10

Room 10 was often an uncomfortable place. I dreaded having to walk in there. Room 10 felt a bit like Hell’s Kitchen and my teacher, Mrs. H, was the Gordon Ramsey of chemistry teachers, to use a current analogy. Was the teacher really that mean and the course that tough? Yes, she was mean and AP chemistry was one difficult course. Mrs. H’s handwriting was atrocious, and by today’s standards, she didn’t create a supportive learning environment. Despite all this, I noticed that the best students at my school signed up for AP chemistry with Mrs. H. I hesitated before signing up for the course, but something drew me to the experience.

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App of the Week: Sketch Pad

The Sketch Pad program is a must for several reasons: it is very easy to use, has several features, and it is very nicely priced. All of the tools can be controlled from their home location at the bottom of the screen or be made to float and positioned anywhere they are convenient.

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An Interesting Group Work Model

It has a long, not-easy-to-remember name: Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. It usually goes by its acronym: POGIL. It’s a model designed to replace lectures (though not necessarily all of them). Students discuss course material in teams, and they use carefully designed material that involves sequenced sets of questions—that’s the guided-inquiry part of the model. The process part relates to what is generally a three-phase learning cycle that involves exploration, invention, and application. It is derived from Piaget’s work on mental functioning.

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Failure and Learning

One of my retirement goals has been to finally get good at knitting. I learned how when I was a child, but I’ve never had the time to really master the craft. Retirement is when you’re supposed to realize some of these lifelong ambitions because you’re running out of time. And so I’ve been knitting lots of different things, using lots of different techniques.

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Understanding Collegial Relationships within Academic Departments

In a mixed-methods study, Meghan Pifer, assistant professor in the Academic Development and Counseling Department at Lock Haven University, looked at the dynamics of informal intradepartmental relationships in two departments to determine how networks can affect faculty members’ access to resources, and ultimately their career success and satisfaction.

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Disposition Development: A Neglected Voice for the Pursuit of Excellence among College Students

Have you ever wondered what motivates students to come to class without reading and studying the assigned chapter? You are not alone! Faculty members across the nation are becoming increasingly challenged by students’ lack of dispositions that enhance learning. Every discipline has learning standards and achievement expectations that help drive students’ success. However, such expectations do not equal success. It is the motivation to pursue excellence, a work ethic that reflects the determination to solve problems, the attention to the smallest details, and the desire to be the very best that distinguishes students who make a difference in their given professions.

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App of the Week: Pages

Users of Apple’s Keynote should be right at home working in Pages, at least in the way it displays documents, creates or opens new documents, the location of menu items, the way folders are created and deleted, etc. And for good reason; Pages is part of the Apple’s iWork suite, which includes Keynote for presentations, Pages for documents, and Numbers for spreadsheets.

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