Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Articles

Voucher Points Help Build Student Engagement

I happened on the idea of giving voucher points accidentally, but over the years they’ve proven quite valuable in promoting active student involvement. It started when I was still teaching math in high school, and a student came up with a particularly clever method of solving a mathematics problem. As a reward, I wrote him an IOU good for one point on any of my tests. A few months later it happened again, and then later on I gave out a third voucher point. That semester, I received very positive comments about the practice on my student evaluations. Students requested that I “do voucher points more often.”

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Faculty Evaluations: Those Hurtful Student Comments

At most places now, students are given the opportunity to evaluate instructors at the end of each class. Along with standardized items, students are invited to offer open-ended narrative comments on the course and instructor. Sometimes the comments are nice; sometimes negative but constructive; sometimes negative and destructive.

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Get Students' Attention Right from the Start of Class

“Let’s begin today where we stopped last class.” How many college classes start this way every day? Some students attend by searching their notes or books to discover where the prior class concluded. But, for most learners, this opening fails to capture their attention, and they struggle to find some connections to the topic.

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Teaching and Learning Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural McGraw-Hill – Magna Publications Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award. Announced last week at the sixth annual Teaching Professor Conference, the award recognizes outstanding scholarly articles on teaching and learning, and includes a $1,000 stipend from McGraw-Hill to the authors of the winning article.

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Academic Leadership Development: Finding Correlations Between Teaching and Leading

The current conditions for leadership development in academe are less than optimal. More often than not, academic leaders come from faculty ranks having been asked to assume positions as department heads/chairs or even deans having had no previous administrative experience. The individual has opportunities for development, but not on any long-term or ongoing basis.

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Retaining Faculty of Color

Most higher education institutions include language in their mission statements about the importance of diversity, but they often fall short when it comes to retaining faculty of color, says Christine A. Stanley, executive associate dean of faculty affairs at Texas A&M University, and editor of Faculty of Color: Teaching in Predominantly White Colleges and Universities (Anker Publishing, April 2006).

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