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.
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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.
Most teachers work to add interest to lecture material in an attempt to gain student attention. If they aren’t attending, they aren’t listening, and if they aren’t listening, it’s pretty hard to imagine them learning anything from a lecture. But is there a point at which the interesting details are more arresting than the content? And if that’s so, do those kinds of details get in the way of attempts to learn and apply content?
Starting a lecture can be a challenge: getting everyone seated, attentive, and ready to move forward with the content can take several minutes. I have
For most of us, handouts are a staple of instructional life, but as Teresa Sakraida and Peter Draus (reference below) point out, their “development is often a trial-and-error process.” (p. 326) Like so many other aspects of instruction, we take the construction of handouts for granted, their creation guided largely by intuition.
Although endless volumes about classroom discipline proliferate in the professional libraries of K–12 instructors, as college professors we seldom think we need advice on the issue. After all, our students choose to be in classes at our institutions. Many, if not most, are placing themselves and their families in huge financial debt to attend. Besides, we’ll just kick them out of class if they display those behaviors not tolerated in civilized societies.
I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. After 10 years of teaching, I finally realize why students get so nervous about exams. It’s because taking an exam is a performance. It’s just like American Idol , when they are doing the first round of auditions. You can have great natural ability and sound terrific, but when the spotlight shines down as you stand in front of the judges and the TV cameras, can you make it happen?
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.
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.”