Flipping Very Large Classrooms: Embracing the Controlled Chaos

Flipping a classroom requires thoughtful planning and organization to set up the course work for success. Information must be pre-loaded and accessible for student self-directed learning and feedback must be timely to keep students actively engaged. Amanda Brindley Holton (UC Irvine) addresses what tools and tips worked for her when flipping classes with more than 100 students enrolled. She also includes a few tools she utilizes successfully to promote faculty organization and student engagement. Continue Reading

Learning About the Brain and the Effect on College Students’ Study Strategies

For all their learning, most students (and faculty members) fail to think about the learning process. In our roles as academic advisors and classroom instructors, we have the opportunity to promote good study habits and tips for success with students. Along with content of the course, we can help students to be successful by teaching them to think about the process of learning. Deborah Brown (West Chester University) provides a succinct guide listing habits we can encourage students to cultivate that promote success and well being. Continue Reading

Tempering the Syllabus: From Contract to Invitation, Map, and Guide

Mid way through a semester is the perfect time to look critically at your current syllabus and make notes about what changes you might make for next time you teach the course. Ponder briefly your lesson plans, grading schemes, guideposts for determining how to handle issues equitably, and overall tone and appearance. How can one develop a syllabus that balances institutional mandates, represents faculty preferences, and all the while invites to students to become excited about the course? This blog by Keisha Paxton (CSU Dominguez Hills) and Emily Daniell Magruder (CSU Office of the Chancellor) offers a guide to help you think about a few nuances of constructing your syllabus. Continue Reading

Strategic Planning for Teaching and Learning

It is easy to get stuck in a rut and use the same instructional approaches day after day, and semester after semester. The current Scholarly Teacher blog was contributed by Mark Hofer, College of William and Mary, and presents another way to expand our teaching practice by planning activities and assignments that pair student cognitive activity with student engagement. Many of these strategies may be quickly integrated into an existing class. Of course, as you begin to think about the 2016-2017 academic year, this post may inspire you to mix things up a bit by including a few new teaching strategies or rethinking a particular course assignment for improved student learning.​ Continue Reading

Gone Fishin’: How Bass Fishing Helped My Classroom Approach

With half of the semester behind us and half of the semester yet to come, it is easy to feel stress and strain. Are you connecting with students? Are they really “getting it”? Is this class “working”? Sometimes it easy to think that students participate less in a required course – because they just aren’t interested and aren’t going to be interested. Or perhaps there is a disconnect because the group dynamics or the students are tired before they even get to class. When things aren’t going as we had planned, and it feels like an uphill battle, it is easy to resign ourselves to the situation and simply count down the remaining class periods. Rather than abandon hope, Jay Rozema, Missouri Valley College, shares how He changed everything when he came to understand that teaching is like fishing. He doesn’t want you to “cut bait” but rather use your expertise, wisdom, and patience to set a winning attitude in the classroom through mindful teaching. Continue Reading

Promoting Engagement in the (Sometimes Very) Large “Lecture” Classroom

In the December 10, 2015 Scholarly Teacher Blog, Devon Quick and Lori Kayes (Oregon State University) discuss strategies to engage students in very large classes. In addition to clickers and just-in-time teaching, the authors also present information about the development and success of “near peer learning assistants.” They also provide several resources at the end of the blog as a gift during the holiday season. Continue Reading

Long Live the Lecture: At Least Some of the Time

In this blog, the role of the lecture is discussed by Christine Harrington (Middlesex County College) and Todd Zakrajsek (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Over the past 25 years, higher education has shifted from a culture of teacher-centered to learning-centered education. During that time a good deal of research has shown that engaging students in learning greatly facilitates learning. This is not to say one should never lecture, but rather that students benefit from a combination of lecturing and active/engaged learning. In this blog we discuss the role of the lecture in our educational system and propose a more balanced approach to teaching. Continue Reading

Once Upon a Time: Integrating Stories into Your Teaching

In the current post,”Once Upon a Time: Integrating Stories into Your Teaching”, Molly Brennan and Amy Yorke (University of Michigan, Flint) discuss how intentionally planning and implementing storytelling into a learning experience assisted student learning. Read about the effective use of of storytelling across disciplines to more successfully promote long term learning and critical thinking skills of their students. Continue Reading