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Teaching strategies for the college classroom
Articles and resources to help college faculty improve their teaching and stay current on the latest pedagogical challenges and trends for the face-to-face, online, blended, and flipped classroom.
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Active and Cooperative Learning

The past decade has seen an explosion of interest among college faculty in the teaching methods variously grouped under the terms 'active learning' and 'cooperative learning'.  We provide below a survey of a wide variety of active learning techniques which can be used to supplement rather than replace lectures. We are not advocating complete abandonment of lecturing, as both of us still lecture about half of the class period. The lecture is a very efficient way to present information but use of the lecture as the only mode of instruction presents problems for both the instructor and the students. There is a large amount of research attesting to the benefits of active learning.

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What to Change about Teaching and Learning in 2015 | Campus Technology

What to Change about Teaching and Learning in 2015 | Campus Technology | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

As we head into a new year, we naturally consider opportunities for change. Here, Campus Technology asks Kyle D. Bowen, Penn State University's Director of Education Technology Services, where educators might place their development efforts for 2015.

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The Pietas of Teaching

The Pietas of Teaching | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Recently, I encountered a snag in my teaching. Unlike past difficulties connected to particular classroom challenges, this one was more pervasive. For several months I contemplated the cause of this “bigger” dilemma. Upon reflection it became evident that my off-balance feeling was linked to the pietas of teaching.

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Our Weekly Conversation about Teaching and Learning

Our Weekly Conversation about Teaching and Learning | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it
In this the final post for 2014, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who take time to add comments after the posts. I don’t respond because I’ve had my say. However, I do read every comment and often wish I could gather a group of you together for coffee (maybe something stronger, it is the holiday season) and continue the conversation.

We are still struggling with finding time and venues that expedite conversations about teaching and learning. The most pressing teaching issues of the moment tend to occupy our attention—test questions we need to write, reaction papers to record, the technology needed for a class activity tomorrow, or that routinely absent student who wants an extension. When we do encounter each other, we talk about these daily details but not about issues that merit deeper discussions.
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Call for Proposals | The Teaching Professor Technology Conference

Call for Proposals | The Teaching Professor Technology Conference | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

We are now accepting proposals for The Teaching Professor Technology Conference, to be held October 2-4, 2015 in New Orleans.

 

The goal of The Teaching Professor Technology Conference is to provide a thought-provoking and stimulating forum for educators of all disciplines and experience levels to share practical ideas and best practices for using technology to advance teaching and learning in higher education.

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Educating Minds Online

Educating Minds Online | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Online courses—or an online component of a traditional class—offer a way to "give students repeated, challenging practice with the concepts we want them to know and the skills we want them to master," Miller said. "When I started out as a teacher, we cognitive psychologists already knew that things like frequent quizzing were incredibly beneficial to learning. I was excited to apply these findings, but when I got into a real classroom environment I found that it was overwhelmingly difficult and time consuming to actually do so. In many traditional courses you also can’t do things like offer repeated quiz attempts with different questions, or adapt the quiz to the topics that individual students are having the most trouble with."

 

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How to Deal with Incivility in the Online Classroom

How to Deal with Incivility in the Online Classroom | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Incivility in the online classroom can take many forms. Angela Stone Schmidt, director of graduate programs in the School of Nursing and associate dean College of Nursing & Health Professions at Arkansas State University—Jonesboro, uses Morrisette’s definition: “interfering with a cooperative learning atmosphere.” So in addition to inappropriate, rude, offensive, or bullying behaviors, Schmidt considers behaviors such as academic dishonesty, over-participation or domination and under-participation to be forms of incivility. In an interview with Online Classroom, she offered the following advice on how to reduce incivility with a proactive stance and how to address it when it does occur:

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How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses?

How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses? | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it
Learn to design copyright compliant courses and understand best practices of fair use and copyright law.
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Why We Believe in Our Students, a Timely Reminder

Why We Believe in Our Students, a Timely Reminder | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

For most of us, it’s that time of the semester when we are least likely to think positively about students. We’re tired, they’re tired, and there are still the proverbial miles to go. Some students have finally figured out they’re in trouble in the course, but none of their difficulties derive from anything they’ve done (or haven’t done), or so they think. Others remain lost in a thick fog that obscures even very fundamental course content. Passivity is the default mode for what feels like an increasingly large group. If there’s any lull in the action, they settle back, quickly finding their way to places of mental relaxation.

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Essay calls for professors to start teaching students about distraction and attention @insidehighered

Essay calls for professors to start teaching students about distraction and attention @insidehighered | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

In my book Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology, I foreground attention as the starting point for everything designers of college-level online learning experiences should know about human cognition. Without attention, much of what we want students to accomplish -- taking in new information, making new connections, acquiring and practicing new skills -- simply doesn’t happen. And thus, gaining students’ focus is a necessary first step in any well-designed learning activity, whether online or face-to-face.

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Michelle Mentzer's curator insight, December 4, 2:51 PM

This quick article reflects Gagne's conditions of learnings in a general way. It is so important to remember that we do this in the F2F classroom each time we teach, and it is just as necessary in the online classroom.

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Faculty members must own the online learning process (essay) @insidehighered

Faculty members must own the online learning process (essay) @insidehighered | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

I shared faculty skepticism about online education for many years. True, my mind has been changed in recent years by online courses I’ve encountered that are easily as rich and meaningful as face-to-face courses. But caution is still warranted. Without careful and creative design, online courses can – and often do – amount to a stale collection of materials with little power to motivate or inspire.

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Six Things That Make College Teachers Successful | Faculty Focus

Six Things That Make College Teachers Successful | Faculty Focus | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

1. Study the knowledge base of teaching and learning.

You have chosen to teach in higher education because you are a subject-matter specialist with a tremendous knowledge of your discipline. As you enter or continue your career, there is another field of knowledge you need to know: teaching and learning. What we know about teaching and learning continues to grow dramatically. It includes developing effective instructional strategies, reaching today’s students, and teaching with technology. Where is this knowledge base? Books, articles in pedagogical periodicals, newsletters, conferences, and online resources provide ample help. Take advantage of your institution’s center for teaching and learning or other professional development resources.

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The 2015 Teaching Professor Conference | May 29-31 in Atlanta

The 2015 Teaching Professor Conference | May 29-31 in Atlanta | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Registration is now open for the 2015 Teaching Professor Conference, May 29-31 in Atlanta, GA. It’s the perfect venue to reflect, recharge, and rejuvenate while gaining a wealth of instructional ideas and valuable insights.

 

The opening plenary is led by Mark A. McDaniel and Henry L. Roediger, III, co-authors of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

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Our 14 Most Popular Articles of 2014, Part 2

Our 14 Most Popular Articles of 2014, Part 2 | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Today concludes our countdown of the top 14 articles of 2014. On Wednesday we revealed article number 14 on down to number eight. Today’s post reveals the seven most popular articles of the year. Each article’s ranking is based on a combination of factors, including e-newsletter open and click-thru rates, social shares, reader comments, web traffic, reprint requests, and other reader engagement metrics.

Here they are, articles 7-1, starting with number 7:

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Our 14 Most Popular Articles of 2014, part 1

Our 14 Most Popular Articles of 2014, part 1 | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the top articles of the past year. Throughout 2014, we published approximately 225 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics – including group work, course redesign, flipped learning, and grading strategies. In a two-part series, which runs today and Friday, we reveal the top 14 articles for 2014. Each article’s ranking is based on a combination of factors, including e-newsletter open and click-thru rates, social shares, reader comments, web traffic, reprint requests, and other reader engagement metrics.

Today’s post lists articles 8-14, starting with number 14.

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“What if students revolt?” Considering Student Resistance: Origins, Options, and Opportunities for Investigation

“What if students revolt?” Considering Student Resistance: Origins, Options, and Opportunities for Investigation | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

“What if the students revolt?” “What if I ask them to talk to a neighbor, and they simply refuse?” “What if they do not see active learning as teaching?” “What if they just want me to lecture?” “What if my teaching evaluation scores plummet?” “Even if I am excited about innovative teaching and learning, what if I encounter student resistance?”

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The 11 Skills Underlying 21st Century New Literacies ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

The 11 Skills Underlying 21st Century New Literacies ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it
The second major shift emerges with the uptake of the social networking sites and participatory technologies. Now, we no longer talk about a single literacy but multiple literacies. Literacies take many forms and encompass a varied body of social skills and cultural competencies. In their popular white paper "Confronting The Challenges of Participatory Cultures" Jenkins et al talked at length  about the development of these new literacies and how they come to shape the new learning forms that take place in the virtual space. According to Jenkins et al, these new literacies involve several social skills that are developed through collaboration and networking.

Via Dennis T OConnor
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, November 29, 1:15 PM

This overview article lists 11 literacy skills that resonate with me. As an online educator they all apply to my work. However the three that most closely describe the program I work in are:


6- Distributed cognition:
The ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.


7- Collective intelligence:
The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.


10- Networking
The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.


I learn by teaching. My life as an educator has prepared me to be 21st Century Literate.   

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Developing Students’ Self-Assessment Skills

Developing Students’ Self-Assessment Skills | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

I’ve been rereading some of the research on student self-assessment and thinking about how students develop these skills. They are important in college, all but essential in most professions, but they’re rarely taught explicitly. We assume (or hope) they’re the kind of skills student can pick up on their own, even though most of us see evidence to the contrary. Many students, especially beginning ones, routinely overestimate their ability and underestimate the difficulty of course content. How often did I hear this comment about my courses: “A communication course? Gotta be a piece of cake. I’ve been talking since I was 3.”

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Cruel Student Comments: Seven Ways to Soothe the Sting

Cruel Student Comments: Seven Ways to Soothe the Sting | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Reading students’ comments on official end-of-term evaluations—or worse, online at sites like RateMyProfessors.com—can be depressing, often even demoralizing. So it’s understandable that some faculty look only at the quantitative ratings; others skim the written section; and many others have vowed to never again read the public online comments. It’s simply too painful.

How else might you respond? Here are seven suggestions for soothing the sting from even the most hurtful student comments:

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Teaching Students to Take Better Notes: Notes on Notetaking | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Teaching Students to Take Better Notes: Notes on Notetaking | University of Nebraska–Lincoln | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Why is it important for your students to take notes? Studies find that notetaking helps students' focus attention, promotes more thorough elaboration of ideas, and encourages efforts to relate ideas and organize materials. In short, notetaking helps students to process information more deeply.

 

As an instructor, you can do a number of things to help your students take and use their notes more effectively. Here are some tips:

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Blowing Off Class? We Know

Blowing Off Class? We Know | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

The  stuff some colleges know right now about their students, thanks to data-mining of their digital footprints, boggles the mind. It may even seem a bit creepy.

 

Has their attendance slipped? Have they stopped logging in to read course packets or file assignments? Did they just drop the very class they needed for their major?

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Taking command of the college classroom

Taking command of the college classroom | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Students at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine work in six-person groups around computer monitors to diagnose a medical case.

 

The instructor roams the classroom, using an iPad application and when exceptional work is spotted on one group’s computer, the instructor taps a button on the iPad to transfer the work onto the large monitor.

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Kathy Schrock: 6 Apps That Target Higher-Order Thinking Skills -- THE Journal

Kathy Schrock: 6 Apps That Target Higher-Order Thinking Skills -- THE Journal | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it
A higher-order thinker is a critical thinker. What are the attributes of a critical thinker? In The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Richard Paul and Linda Elder describe a well-cultivated critical thinker as someone who:
raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing their assumptions, implications and practical consequences as need be; andcommunicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

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MONICA LOPEZ SIEBEN's curator insight, December 8, 4:31 AM

Muy interesante cómo clasifica las Apps (gratuitas, por cierto) en los niveles más altos de la taxonomía de Bloom y cómo el uso de esas Apps permite que aprendizaje de la competencia del pensamiento crítico. Muy bueno!

Maggie McGuirk Veres's curator insight, December 8, 10:55 AM

Kathy Schrock rocks.

Jimun Gimm's curator insight, December 16, 8:56 AM

당신의 통찰력을 추가 ...

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Unlocking the Mystery of Critical Thinking

Unlocking the Mystery of Critical Thinking | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it

Critical thinking. We all endorse it. We all want our students to do it. And we claim to teach it. But do we? Do we even understand and agree what it means to think critically?

According to Paul and Elder’s (2013a) survey findings, most faculty don’t know what critical thinking is or how to teach it. Unless faculty explicitly and intentionally design their courses to build their students’ critical thinking skills and receive training in how to teach them, their students do not improve their skills (Abrami et al., 2008).

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Professors of the Year Reveal What Makes Their Classes Stand Out

Professors of the Year Reveal What Makes Their Classes Stand Out | Teaching strategies for the college classroom | Scoop.it
"I have a lot of enthusiasm and genuine empathy for what the students are going through," Mr. Wadach said. "The average community college student is not a trust-fund kid. A lot of them are working full time, going to school full time and not getting help from their parents."
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