Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Articles

Building Student Engagement in Online Courses

Despite all the high-tech communication technologies available to online instructors today — discussion boards, email, IM, wikis, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, etc. — every once in awhile Dr. B. Jean Mandernach likes to use a tool that was invented way back in 1876. The telephone.

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Objections to Active Learning

If you think everybody’s pretty much on board with the idea of active learning, think again. I was surprised to find an article that in its opening paragraph describes active learning as “a philosophy and movement that portends trouble for the future of higher education and the American professoriate.”

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Survey of College Faculty Reveals Increases in Student-Centered Teaching and Evaluation Methods

Helping students develop critical-thinking skills and discipline-specific knowledge remain at the forefront of faculty goals for undergraduate education, with 99.6 percent of faculty indicating that critical-thinking skills are “very important” or “essential” and 95.1 percent saying the same of discipline-specific knowledge. Other top goals include helping students to evaluate the quality and reliability of information (97.2 percent) and promoting the ability to write more effectively (96.4 percent).

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Understanding Learning Styles Research and Instruments

Research on learning styles now spans four decades and occurs across a wide spectrum of disciplines, including many quite removed from psychology, the disciplinary home of many of the central concepts and theories that ground notions of learning style.

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Faculty Love It, Just Don’t Call It Assessment

In the corporate world, there’s long been talk of breaking down the workplace silos that often prevent true company-wide communication, collaboration, and growth. Now colleges are looking to get faculty out of their silos, as well. The catalyst? That old nemesis: learning outcomes assessment.

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Creating a Class Participation Rubric

After years of stating my expectations for tutorial participation orally, I have developed a rubric that I think both improves my accountability as an assessor and provides my students with a clear sense of my expectations for class discussions. It also makes clear my focus in the small group setting: creating a “learners-centered,” as opposed to a “learner-centered,” environment.

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Top 10 Traits of an Effective Academic Leader

Despite all that has been written about leadership, the question still remains: What does it take to be an effective academic leader? At the risk of being redundant, and with apologies to David Letterman, here are the 10 characteristics that I have found to positively contribute to effective leadership.

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