Students Who Don’t Participate in Class Discussions: They Are Not All Introverts

The April 13, 2017 Scholarly Teacher Blog challenges a common conception that those who are not talking in the class are introverts. In this blog, Todd Zakrajsek (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) notes 10 different reasons students may resist responding to questions or participating in group discussions and some considerations in helping students to feel more comfortable contributing in class. This blog also launches a new feature of the Scholarly Teacher Blog – discussion questions. These questions are provided at the end of each blog to stimulate conversations in department meetings, teaching seminar courses, or faculty development discussions. Continue Reading

Stealth Gifted? Bringing Out Hidden Abilities in Your College Classes

Some students who are very bright do not thrive in the typical classroom environment. In this Scholarly Teacher Blog, Ellen Fiedler asks us to consider who the student is, not what she or he does. This opens up a whole new possibility of giftedness and gives your stealth-gifted students an opportunity to really learn. Included in this blog are strategies faculty may use to lure stealth-gifted individuals more fully into the shared classroom experience. Continue Reading

Active Engagement: The New Currency for 21st Century Learners

Marla J.Thompson, Department of Business Life University Educators have the opportunity to improve the student experience by incorporating contemporary culture and real life experiences into the core curriculum.  This is particularly noteworthy considering the findings in Toppo’s (2015) recent USA TODAY article, noting reasons that impact students’ inability to learn.  For example, Toppo notes work… Continue Reading

All Learning is an Active Process: Rethinking Active/Passive Learning Debate

In this Scholarly Teacher Blog Todd Zakrajsek (Associate Professor, University of North Carolina) a long-time supporter of active and engaged learning proposes that it is time to differentiate passive learning from being in passive environment. Arguing that all learning is active, this blog suggests how to maximize learning in both active and passive environments. Continue Reading

Stop Assigning Team Projects…Unless…

Potential employers look for and expect our graduates to successfully carryout team work and collaborative efforts. This, plus the potential educational benefits of working collaboratively, prompts many faculty to use group work and teams in their classes. However, if students are not purposefully taught how to succeed as a member of a team or group they are rarely as effective as they could be. Erik Eddy, Siena College, and Carolyn D’Abate, Skidmore College examine how faculty teach students the differences between working alone and woking in a team. Suggestions for improvement success with team projects is offered. Continue Reading

A Moment, Unplugged:  Facilitating Contemplative Practice in the Classroom

We all agree it is imperative that we teach our students content knowledge and ways of thinking within our respective disciplines. Additionally, we can also teach our students many important ancillary concepts to help them be successful both in academics and in life. One vital area in which students need assistance in this media-filled landscape is how to focus attention. In this Scholarly Teacher Blog Cheryl Hoy, Amanda McGuire Rzicznek, Elizabeth Zemanski, and Cheryl Lachowski (Bowling Green State University) share what they have learned about facilitating contemplative practice. There is so much in life to distract students (much by design), it seems valuable at this time to teach them how to focus their attention. Continue Reading

Become a Teaching Rockstar: Simple Techniques to Motivate and Engage Students

At most universities, teaching required courses that are not discipline specific can be challenging, especially when the required courses are demanding. Students more often than not have heard the horror stories of how difficult certain classes can be and they start the semester with a sense of dread and apprehension that can severely undermine the chance for student engagement and critical thinking. In this blog, Gladys Childs (Texas Wesleyan University) provides several strategies to overcome barriers in the classroom to increase student engagement and motivation. Continue Reading

Backward Design as a Way Forward

Starting a process by thinking about the goal desired seems common in life, yet relatively uncommon in education. In this blog Todd Zakrajsek (UNC – Chapel Hill) briefly describes the process of Backward Design. The goal is to think, and teach, consistently with the “end in mind.” Continue Reading