Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Teaching and Learning

Values Surveys: Linking Course Content and Students’ Lives

Last week, while teaching Dante’s Inferno, I moderated a lively two-day class discussion about medieval and modern values and religion. How did Dante define virtue? How do we define it? For Dante, why was lust not as terrible a sin as theft of property? Why did his age consider gluttony a moral failing rather than a self-destructive behavior that one can take to Jenny Craig?

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Good Writing Skills Matter in Every Course, Not Just English Composition

At the end of English composition, I ask students how what they’ve just learned in my class might be useful in their other classes. They’re often bemused and surprised to learn that professors in other courses care about their writing. To encourage them to take responsibility for succeeding in their future writing assignments, I hand out a list of 20 questions that they might ask to better understand “what the professor wants,” and thus continue to apply what we’ve been practicing.

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Mentoring Undergraduates in Research and Scholarship

Interested in a good example of how teaching, student scholarship, and service can be integrated into a single activity? Cecilia Shore [reference below] suggests that mentorship of undergraduates doing scholarship (be it research in labs or bibliographic searches) may just be that example.

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Applying Learning Agreements in the Classroom

As a former editor in the business profession and now educator, I see connections between business and classroom best practices, especially applying professional development plans and performance reflection exercises as academic learning agreements in order to promote student leadership and engagement.

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What Happened When I Stopped Policing and Started Teaching

I’m not sure how to say this without appearing either arrogant or ignorant, but I have discovered that there is a difference between being a police officer and being a professor. I have recognized the difference for some time now, but it has taken me the better part of my 40 years as a college professor to feel fairly comfortable in my new skin.

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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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Using Media Materials to Set the Stage for Learning: A Strategy for All Disciplines

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.

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Student-Centered Teaching: The Academic Leader’s Role in Shifting Paradigms

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.

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