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.
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.
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.
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.”
In this edition of the Scholarly Teacher Blog, Cheryl Hoy (Bowling Green University) delves into the concept of reflective writing. Included in this very informative blog are considerations of the importance of reflective writing and specific strategies for incorporating this type of writing into a variety of courses.