A different kind of learning occurs when there is no exam to study for, no essay to write – just the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that have been learned to a real life project. From medicine to engineering and fine arts, experiential learning is where curiosity gets tested in the real world.
Applied, or work-integrated, learning is one of the fastest-growing areas for universities in Ontario, a testament to its tremendous value to students and employers. It began with practicums for students in health sciences, expanded later to those studying business and engineering, and today, spans all disciplines and faculties with hundreds of programs on university campuses. Through internships, co-op programs, community service learning and placements, students are working in businesses, sports franchises, community organizations and international development agencies. Students can also acquire experiential learning through programs on campus that encourage them to take on roles such as investment managers, campaign planners and entrepreneurs.
We have all been there.
Midnight before an exam in the university library trying to memorize the key concepts of a semester’s worth of work. We write the exam. We leave the room. The concepts leave our mind. The cycle continues: record, memorize, forget. In doing so, we lose something essential to education: critical thought. What happened to challenging assumptions and questioning concepts? What about open-ended questions? What about no-answer scenarios? These notions serve as the core of the Liberal Arts and, yet, most existing courses fail to develop these skills.
This article contributes to the literature on how teachers learn on the job anbd how schools and istricts can support teacher learning to improve student learning and incorpiorate changing standards and curricular materials into instructional practices.
This article contributes to the leterature on how teachers learn on the job and how schools and districts can support teaching learning to improve student learn ing and incorpirate changing standards and curricular materials into instructional practices.
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore faculty and administrators’ perceptions of multicultural initiatives in higher education. A demographic survey was used to select the study participants, which consisted of 10 faculty members and 10 administrators with at least two to five years of experience working with diverse student populations in Maricopa County, Arizona. Data was obtained through the use of focus group sessions and coding was done by utilizing Liamputtong and Ezzy’s (2005) three column format and NVivo10. The four major themes that emerged were: 1) Leadership support is needed to facilitate diversity policies and programs, 2) Curriculum and programming need to be adapted to
engage students and enhance learning beyond the classroom, 3) Incorporating multicultural education created a welcoming environment in which students felt respected and safe to express themselves, and 4) No special instruction needed because incorporating culture does not necessarily enhance learning or the retention of knowledge. Findings indicated that faculty,
administrators, and those in key leadership positions are at odds when deciding how best to meet the needs of diverse students. As the diversity of students increases on college campuses, it will be important for academic affairs professionals to be prepared to meet the needs of these diverse student populations by constructing learning environments in which a diversity of perspectives are represented (Bolman & Gallos, 2011; Kuk & Banning, 2010). Study results suggest that important steps institutional leaders can take to achieve this goal are to: (1) carefully draft definitions and policies of what constitutes a multicultural program, (2) ensure that these definitions and policies are clearly communicated, understood, and implemented by all members
of the academic community, and (3) provide ongoing education to students and staff about the
benefits of multicultural initiatives within the campus and the community at large.
Currently, there is great interest across Ontario in the expansion of pathway programs between colleges and universities. Through strategic partnerships, two Ontario-based postsecondary institutions (a college and a university) have developed innovative and effective pathway programs that facilitate the transition of students between institutions for the completion of degrees, diplomas, and certificates. These programs support the training of highly qualified, market-ready graduates. This paper reports on a mixed-methods study of the successes and challenges of a particular Ontario college and university
pathway program, with a focus on the Bachelor of Commerce Pathway program. Preliminary results indicate that pathway students were more academically successful than their traditional university student counterparts but did experience a number of challenges in transitioning from college into university. Principal challenges included inefficient communication between
program administrators, academic advisors, and students; lack of orientation activities for pathway students; lack of college student preparedness in communication and critical thinking skills; and difficulties experienced by college
students integrating into the social–cultural life of the university.
The stakes are getting higher for teachers daily as more and more states adopt hiring, granting policies based on teacher evaluations. Even more concerning is the limited discussion about whether foirri nngo,t ahnigdh t-estnaukrees- tdeeaccishieorn se vaarelu baatisoend coann tmhee erta ttihoen ainlet etnhdaetd f ioruintgc oimneef foefc itmivper toevaecdh setrusd (eans tp arcimhiaervielym meneta,s uarnedd a bty w ohbaste rcvoastti.o Tnh deaseta h aignhd- svtaalkuees-added svcaolirdeist)y ,w pilelr icmenptraogvee fsitruedde,n atn adc thuiernveomveern) tt.h Taht,i si fp rneomt imsee ti,s ccohualldle rnegseudl tb iyn vaa rniuomusb vearr oiaf bploesss aibnlde ausnsiunmtepntdioends c(oen.gse.,q rueelniacbeisl.ity,
The paper presents a discussion of faculty development in 22 of Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. We report the findings of a survey which collected information on administrative structure, funding, mandate, faculty development activities, publication, incentives for faculty participation, assessment of faculty needs and evaluation. We conclude by raising a number of questions which faculty developers might address as changes in the social, political and economic environment present new challenges to colleges and universities.
In the emerging knowledge-based economy, employers are requiring new levels of skill from labour market entrants. As employers’ expectations of postsecondary graduates increase, Ontario’s publicly funded colleges and universities are working to provide students with much of the knowledge, skills, and training needed for success in the community and in the changing workplace. As a result, there has been a movement within the postsecondary education (PSE) sector to provide a closer integration of learning and work as a strategy for workforce skills development (Fisher, Rubenson, Jones, & Shanahan, 2009).
In particular, work-integrated learning (WIL) programs such as co-operative education, internship, and apprenticeship are frequently endorsed as educational modes of delivery to support such integration. Offering work-integrated learning experiences for students requires a significant investment of human and financial resources to be effective. Faculty in particular play an important role in designing, supporting, and implementing WIL opportunities for students. Despite a growing recognition of the essential role played by faculty, very little is known about their perceptions of and experiences with WIL. To shed light on this issue, this report provides the results of the WIL Faculty Survey conducted by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) in partnership with 13 Ontario postsecondary institutions.
The report is part of a broader multi-phase project being undertaken by HEQCO on WIL in Ontario’s PSE sector.
The WIL Faculty Survey was designed to better understand faculty experiences with and perceptions of WIL as an element of postsecondary curriculum. Guided by a Working Group comprised of representatives from the 13 participating postsecondary institutions, the study sought to address four primary research questions:
1) How do faculty perceive the value and benefits of WIL to students, faculty members, and postsecondary institutions?
2) Do faculty views about WIL differ by employment status, program, gender, years of teaching, previous employment experience, or their own past WIL experience?
3) How do faculty integrate students’ work experiences into the classroom?
4) What concerns do faculty have about introducing or expanding WIL opportunities in postsecondary institutions?
The survey instrument was developed in consultation with the Working Group and was pre-tested with 25 faculty members. The survey was administered online from March to May, 2011, with e-mail invitations to participate sent to 18,232 faculty from the 13 partner institutions (6,257 college faculty and 11,975 university faculty). In total, 1,707 college faculty and 1,917 university faculty completed the survey to an acceptable cut-off point, for an overall response rate of 19.9%. Close to two-thirds of college faculty and roughly half of university faculty respondents reported having experience teaching in a program in which students participate in a co-op or apprenticeship. Fewer faculty had experience personally teaching a course with a WIL component, with 47.5% of college faculty and 28.9% of university faculty currently or previously having taught a course involving WIL. Among those who had taught a course with a WIL component, field placements were the most common type of WIL among college faculty, followed by mandatory professional practice (student placements required for licensure or professional designation). For university respondents, mandatory professional practice was the most common type of WIL taught, followed by applied research projects.
Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) are spaces that allow for improving one’s pedagogy, seeking intellectual stimulation, meeting other colleagues who are interested in similar topics, or simply fulfilling service duties assigned by a higher institution, among others. As a senior lecturer in my former institution, I facilitated an FLC in which my goal was to create a community where my colleagues and I could engage with educational content, material, and research from different perspectives in the United States and abroad. I also wanted to create a space to connect with others and reduce faculty burnout. The FLC I
facilitated dealt specifically with Cross-cultural Perspectives in Higher Education. Therefore, I sought to engage with colleagues in this learning community to challenge how biases about race, ethnicity, gender, and international issues interact with how we teach, how we engage our students in critical topics in our classrooms, and how we connect with, and support, our colleagues in the university community.
Educational research shows that close student-faculty interaction is a key factor in college student learning and success. Most literature on undergraduate mentoring, however, focuses on planned programs of mentoring for targeted groups of students by non-faculty professionals or student peers. Based on the research literature and student and faculty testimony from a residential liberal arts college, this article shows that unplanned “natural” mentoring can be crucial to student learning and development and illustrates some best practices. It advances understanding of faculty mentoring by differentiating it from teaching, characterizing several functional types of mentoring, and identifying the phases through which a mentoring relationship develops. Arguing that benefits to students, faculty, and institutions outweigh the risks and costs of mentoring, it is written for faculty who want to be better mentors and provides evidence that administrators should value and reward mentoring.
Two institutions with major diversity initiatives have their work cut out for them in terms of improving campus climate for minority graduate students. Studies released by a student group at Yale University and by a graduate school at the University of Michigan suggest ongoing concerns that could have implications for retention as they work toward diversifying the Ph.D. pool. And since many minority undergraduates are pushing colleges and universities to find and hire more minority Ph.D.s as faculty members, these findings could have an impact at all the places that might do so.
It’s hard to believe that we have less than a month left until September. The beginning of the month of August marks the acceptable time to get ready for back to school. For many this may simply involve picking up some pencils, notebooks, a new backpack, and possibly some fresh new kicks.
However, for those joining the 447,000 Ontarian undergrads, this checklist goes way beyond object necessities. Being a fifth year student, I pretty much got the drill locked down when preparing for the upcoming year. Look over my class schedule and plan accordingly, check in on my finances and budget for the upcoming year, and finally list out methods in which I plan to upkeep my personal wellness. At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in fulfilling each step, but it is nice to be moving towards a general direction. This definitely was not the case in my first year.
As an instructor for large classes, it is a challenge for me to get a range of students to speak up in class. When I invite comments (“Who would like to add or ask?”), there are always a handful of students that rescue me—I think of them as my Hermiones—but the other 100-200+ students remain silent. I contrast this with my small online classes, where I hear from everyone on a regular basis. One August night a couple of years ago, I was lying in bed, thinking about how to incentivize more students to contribute in class, and came up with Fired Up and Ready to Discuss.
There is a lot to cover on the first day of class. You establish procedures and convey expectations. You review the syllabus and, if you’re teaching a lab, safety protocol. You also spend some time teaching some material. While you might not make an assignment for the first day, you still should use some time on the first day to talk about your expectations for students’ work and how you assign grades.
Be very clear. Establish criteria for each assignment and put them in writing. That is, you must clearly tell students what you expect them to do and how the assignment should look when they turn it in. Some instructors communicate exactly how long each assignment is supposed to be and even go so far as to indicate what font and spacing students should use.
The interest inventory is a simple tool to help you acquaint yourself with your students. Unlike the many icebreakers, the interest inventory is a paper-based activity and students do not have to give answers aloud in front of class. The interest inventory, therefore, helps you get to know your students privately and allows you to ask different questions than you would during
The old expression that you never have a second chance to make a first impression is certainly true in the classroom. Early in my career, I tried several first-day-of-class strategies, ranging from briefly introducing the course and dismissing students early to spending the entire time reviewing policies and procedures, but I began to feel that I was missing an important opportunity. Students are never more attentive than they are on the first day of class, when they’re eager to determine what kind of professor they’re dealing with, and although it is tempting to delay the real work of teaching and learning until the class list has stabilized, it can be difficult to change even the subtle norms that are established during this initial class. Several years ago, I tried a new approach, and I’ve been using it with great success ever
So here’s an interesting question: How do you effectively connect with students, form relationships, and be present in their lives in an online platform? Community is such a valuable commodity that is often overlooked. Students want to know their facilitator will support them, be active in their course, and create a sense of belonging. “Instructorstudent relationships lie at the heart of humanizing, serving as the connective tissue between students, engagement, and rigor” (Pacansky-Brock, Smedshammer, and Vincent-Layton 2020, 2). We must never underestimate the impact of authentically relating to our online students.
Online learning can feel very isolated and stressful for our learners. Many are raising families or are single parents working full or part time jobs, dealing with aging parents or sick siblings, or working through a major crisis in their life—all while completing their education in a virtual setting.
Research is hardly easy. As Martin Schwartz points out in his 2008 essay “The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research,” solving research problems requires us to immerse ourselves in the unknown. However intimidating it may be to overcome this infinite amount of ignorance, we believe there is a special set of traits that will equip an under-graduate researcher to successfully solve research problems. Creativity, judgment, communication, organization, and persistence are all equally important skills to make the leap from gaining knowledge from others’ discoveries to making discoveries on your own. Having and honing these skills, skills that encompass every level of research in every disci-pline, are key to an undergraduate developing the founda-tion for a successful career in research. As a group of under-graduate researchers and mentors, we want to motivate students to solve problems and make discoveries, and to start a discussion on how to forge the right path for each student toward research success. Following is our list of key skills.
Faculty development has its own set of fundamentals. More than 20 years ago, I co-authored a grant establishing the faculty development center at the University of Central Arkansas. Over the years, I have served as faculty coordinator, co-director, and director. My experiences may benefit others who are working in the field or plan to in the future. Here are five fundamentals for designing and delivering effective faculty development: