Humanities and social sciences instructors have long borrowed from media communications to drive home concepts. For example, a business instructor might clip a magazine article pointing out how inappropriate attire can negatively influence the outcome of an interview with a company. Philosophy professors might motivate a classroom discussion on hedonism by discussing the antics of popular young superstars as reported in the tabloids.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
A disruptive personality can manifest itself in a variety of ways and levels of intensity. A student who’s always late to class, uses obscene or abusive language, sleeps in class, or has a strong sense of entitlement can create major challenges for college instructors.
Most of us who have found our way into academic administration (surely, few of us actually plan such a career) have learned to survive the whitewater rafting experiences of academe by drawing on reserves of stoic patience and calm rationality we never knew we had. That is to say, Epictetus lives today in many an academic administrator’s office, perhaps sitting like some modern-day Jiminy Cricket on the administrator’s shoulder, saying, “Patience, my friend. Be strong and endure, for this too will pass.”
During the past 10 years or so, higher education institutions have made strides in transitioning from an instructor-centered approach to a learner-centered approach to teaching. These strides, both large and small, have transformed the college classroom environment to provide students with greater opportunities for active learning, collaboration, and engagement.
On Tuesday’s post, we discussed an Oxford University study that looked at departments recognized for their excellence in teaching at 11 research-intensive universities. Based on what they learned, Christopher Knapper and Sergio Piccinin, two of the researchers who conducted this study, offer the following advice:
A study based at Oxford University looked at departments judged noteworthy for their teaching at 11 research-intensive universities in Europe, Australia, and North America to determine what these departments do to bring about and sustain teaching excellence.
There’s been a lot written about learning styles. More than 650 books published in the United States and Canada alone. Do a Google search on “learning styles” and you get over 2,000,000 results. Most people know if they’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, and instructors often try to design their courses to accommodate the different learning styles so as to ensure that each student’s strongest modality is represented in some fashion.
It’s easy to lay the procrastination problem on students and certainly they must own a big part of it. But this research indicates that professors are not powerless. There are ways assignments can be designed and courses structured that can decrease the amount of procrastination.