Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Teaching and Learning

Is There a Connection Between Learning Styles and Preferences?

Start with a list of 12 familiar ways to learn course content: reading texts or other printed material; writing term papers, participating in group activities in class, doing major team projects, doing cases, taking multiple choice exams, giving presentations to the class, learning about different theories, doing practical exercises, solving problems, doing library research, or exercising a lot of creativity. Now hypothesize as to which learning style prefers which of these approaches to learning.

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Student Learning Outcomes Initiative

In 1989 the administration at Central Arizona College made a decision to move toward a competency-based curriculum for all of its courses and certificate and degree programs—a wise decision given all the changes taking place within the community college’s district and within higher education in general, says Linda Heiland, CAC’s associate vice president for institutional effectiveness and chief academic officer…

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Educational Assessment Options and Opportunities

As interest in scholarly work on teaching and learning continues to grow and more faculty are trying their hands at work in this arena, materials are needed that summarize the available methods and approaches used in systematic analyses of classroom practices and learning outcomes. Just such a resource appeared last year in the Journal of Engineering Education…

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Creating a Mindset for Collaboration

Because we know that active engagement in collaborative projects can create a synergy among students that often surpasses what can be learned individually, we find ourselves designing assignments that create opportunities for students to collaborate and learn from one another. Also, the ability to work together in teams is a skill needed in today’s workforce. So for many reasons, assignments that foster collaboration have become essential parts of a well-designed course.

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What Textbook Reading Teaches Students

“Do we really need to buy the textbook? It’s so expensive!”
“Can’t you just summarize it for us?”
“Would you just tell us what parts will be on the exam?”
“It was so long and so boring. I couldn’t get through it!”

Quotes like these indicate that many of our students want us to help them with the hard work of extracting difficult material and new vocabulary from their textbooks. They may use the term “boring” but what they really mean is difficult and time consuming. In turn, we sometimes fall into the trap of summarizing the textbook in our lectures and our PowerPoint presentations.

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