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.
We kick off the 2016 year with a blog on January 14 by Allison Boye and Suzanne Tapp (Texas Tech University). In this blog, changing characteristics of students are noted through an investigation of popular books and movies from 2000 to 2013. Along with an analysis of rather quickly changing trends, teaching suggestions are offered for our current students.
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.
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.
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.