In a study of student participation in threaded discussions, Scott Warnock, an assistant professor of English at Drexel University, found that students who post early in threaded discussions tend to do better (as measured by course grades) than those who procrastinate.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Do you have one or two high-maintenance students in your classes? If you do, then you know how they can sap your energy. The funny thing about high-maintenance students is they often look quite the opposite when they first present themselves to teachers.
“Managing student expectations is important in any class but even more so for online and blended courses where it’s easy for students to feel lost,” says Susan Ko, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). “Even well structured, academically rigorous online classes can have diminished effectiveness due to a lack of clear expectations.”
Once I passed my 50th semester of introductory biology, I began to regret that my profession doesn’t have a real apprenticeship for teaching—why should every young professor facing his or her first big class…have to make the same mistakes I did and, perhaps more important, why should they not know that everybody…has the same problems?
After years of service and moving up through the faculty ranks, senior faculty members often feel they have earned the privilege of concentrating their teaching efforts on upper-division courses, leaving the introductory courses to younger faculty members. It seems fair enough: If you stick around long enough, you will be able to teach the courses you enjoy most. But is it the best arrangement for students?
Not all disengaged students fall into the stereotype of the slacker who comes late to class (if at all), or is as easy to spot as Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In fact there are a number of students who are masters at playing the game … doing just enough to get by … attending class but not really participating, much less engaging with the content.
Have you ever left a meeting in which you were trying to work with some colleagues on aligning the curriculum for a course that several of you teach, and decided that the best (printable) word to describe a colleague was “difficult?”
Take the plethora of information available online, add the ease of which students can cut-and-paste material, throw in lots of pressure to get good grades, and plagiarism becomes an appealing option to almost any student.
Incorporating material that addresses diversity issues in classes has positive effects on a number of learning outcomes. The success of efforts to make curricula more diverse depends to a large degree on faculty willingness to incorporate these materials because control of the curriculum remains in faculty hands—both collectively, in terms of course and program approval processes, and individually, in terms of daily decisions about what to teach.
When faculty members receive phone calls from parents about their children’s academic work, the response is often, “Our contract is with the students, not the parents,” says Marjorie Savage, parent program director at the University of Minnesota. Faculty need to keep in mind, however, that today’s parents are different than in previous generations.