It comes as news to no one that 8am classes are too early for some students.
A recent study published in Frontiers of Neuroscience, and reported at NPR finds that “the ideal start time would be more like 10 or 11am.” Most traditional-aged college students just aren't wired to be awake and productive at 8am.
Over the last sixteen years, I have taught an 8am class probably about 2/3rds of the semesters.
I like 8am classes. When I taught at Clemson I had a 45 minute commute and four sections crammed into a TTH schedule. Starting at 8am meant I could avoid traffic and finish up the day at a reasonable hour.
I don’t mind getting up early and going to bed before 10pm. I’m basically worthless in terms of higher order thought after 6pm. My natural rhythms sync with 8am classes.
This is not true for many students. I became well-familiar with the research when a team of students in an 8am technical writing class tackled class scheduling for their group project. The genesis of their interest was their loathing of their 8am technical writing class, a section they felt they’d been conscripted into because of curricular requirements combined with a shortage of
sections. For several, the choice was either take it at 8am or don’tgraduate.
What messages do our students receive from their parents, their high school teachers, their older peers, and siblings before they enter college? When I ask my first-year students the answers are, “Now you are on your own,” or “No one will help you when you are in college!” and “You are responsible for your own work.”
Notice something here? All these messages focus on the individual’s sole responsibility to succeed in college without the help of others. You are independent now.
I was taking advantage of some down time, cleaning out some of my old files on my computer, when I ran across a great article I saved that covered student personality types. When I originally read this article, I only had several years of experience working in the distancelearning realm. Now, years later, I have seen all these student types at one time or another, and
throughout the years, noticed several others worthy of mention.
Before moving into some observations, I do need to provide some context for the environment in which I work. Our population consists of postgraduate students working in middle management positions. The classes are small, 18 students to one instructor, and progress through the year as a group. The yearlong curriculum is not self-paced. The college delivers
the content in a mix between asynchronous and synchronous modalities. Blackboard is the asynchronous platform that delivers the lesson material using a combination of computerbased instruction, online exams, and discussion board forums. We use Blackboard Ultra and/or Defense Connect Services for the synchronous portions of the curriculum, which
include delivery of student briefing products. Of course, there are the standard necessities like email, telephone, and administration that accompany facilitation.
Whatever the budget or maturity level of a given educational institution, there is a trend toward putting assessments online. With this comes new opportunities, but also new challenges. In a recent webinar hosted by edWeb.net, administrators from the Hampton
Township School District in Pennsylvania point out that there is a wrong way to do online assessments. Here are a few of their top tips for making sure you do them the right way.
Motivating students to be enthusiastically receptive is one of the most important aspects of mathematics instruction and a critical aspect of any curriculum. Effective teachers focus attention on the less interested students as well as the motivated ones. Here are nine techniques—based on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation—that can be used to
motivate secondary school students in mathematics.
Academic dishonesty is a persistent problem in institutions of higher education, with numerous short- and long-term implications. This study examines undergraduate students’ self-reported engagement in acts of academic dishonesty using data from a sample of 321 participants attending a public university in a western Canadian city during the fall of 2007. Various factors were assessed for their influence on students’ extent of academic dishonesty. More than one-half of respondents engaged in at least one of three types of dishonest behaviours surveyed during their tenure in university. Faculty of enrolment, strategies for learning, perceptions of peers’ cheating and their requests for help, and perceptions and evaluations of academic dishonesty made unique contributions to the prediction of academic dishonesty. High self-efficacy acted as a protective factor that interacted with instrumental motives to study to reduce students’ propensity to engage in dishonest academic behaviours. Implications of these findings for institutional interventions are briefly discussed.
Le comportement académique malhonnête persiste dans les institutions d’enseignement supérieur, et ses implications à court et à long terme sont nombreuses. La présente étude examine l’adoption d’un comportement académique malhonnête par des étudiants de premier cycle, grâce aux données d’un échantillon de 321 participants qui fréquentaient une université publique dans une ville de l’ouest canadien à l’automne 2007. Différents facteurs ont été évalués en fonction de leur influence sur l’étendue du comportement académique malhonnête des étudiants. Plus de la moitié des étudiants échantillonnés ont adopté au moins l’un des trois types de comportements malhonnêtes au cours de leur passage à l’université. La faculté à s’inscrire, les stratégies d’apprentissage, la perception quant au comportement tricheur des pairs et quant à leurs demandes d’aide, et les perceptions et évaluations de la malhonnêteté académique constituent des indices uniques pour ce qui est de prédire le comportement académique malhonnête. Un degré élevé d’auto-efficacité, de même que certains motifs essentiels, avaient un effet protecteur dans la réduction de la propension des étudiants à s’engager dans des comportements académiques malhonnêtes. L’article aborde brièvement les conséquences de ces résultats au cours d’interventions en institution d’enseignement.
There has been substantial discussion, research, and debate about the role of academic freedom within higher education, primarily centered on the university model. Not as well documented or understood is the issue of academic freedom within colleges and institutes in Canada. In this paper, we exam- ine the current state of academic freedom in colleges and institutes using a historical analysis of two Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Ontario. Beginning with an overview of academic freedom within universities, we then examine the development and evolution of colleges and institutes and discuss how or if academic freedom applies to them. We consider issues of collegial- ity, faculty engagement, and governance as they impact the concept and practice of academic freedom within these institutions. We also discuss the different origins, intents, roles, and governance models of universities in contrast to colleges and institutes, which are generally representative of the broader Canadian higher education landscape.
The focus of the article is to provide recommendations for how to design learning environments to foster
greater creativity. I bring together art education research, creativity research, and learning sciences research to provide recommendations for how to design learning environments to foster creative learning outcomes.
If we are serious about accessible online learning, we must talk openly about disability as if it is right here, right now – because it is.
This article presents a case study of a technology-enhanced face-to-face health sciences course in which the principles of Universal Design for Learing (UDL) were applied. Students were offered a variety of means of rep- resentation, engagement, and expression throughout the course, and were surveyed and interviewed at the end of the term to identify how the UDL- inspired course attributes influenced their perceptions of course accessibility. Students responded very positively to the
course design, and felt that the weaving of UDL throughout the course resulted in increased flexibility, social presence, reduced stress, and enhanced success. Overall, students felt more in control of their own learning process and empowered to make personal choices to best support their own learning. This course design also led to in- creased satisfaction from the perspective of the instructor and reduced the need for intervention by the campus disability services department.
This article presents a case study of a technology-enhanced face-to-face health sciences course in which the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) were applied. Students were offered a variety of means of representation, engagement, and expression throughout the course, and were surveyed and interviewed at the end of the term to identify how the UDL inspired course attributes influenced their perceptions of course accessibility.
Students responded very positively to the course design, and felt that the weaving of UDL throughout the course resulted in increased flexibility, social presence, reduced stress, and enhanced success. Overall, students felt more in control of their own learning process and empowered to make personal choices to best support their own learning. This course design also led to increased satisfaction from the perspective of the instructor and reduced the need for intervention by the campus disability services department.
Education is vitally important to a person’s personal, social and academic development. Achieving one’s education potential affects a person’s ability to take part in the labour market, live independently, participate meaningfully in society, and realize their full potential.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) recognizes the importance of creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person can contribute fully to the development and wellbeing of the community and the Province. The Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education, without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services. This protection applies to elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities, both public and private.
Background: A growing empirical base suggests that there is a positive relationship between teacher social interaction
and student achievement. However, much of this research is based on standardized summative assessments, which,
while important, may have limited applicability to timely instructional decision making. As such, in this work, we examine
the relationship between teacher social interaction and interim benchmark formative assessments, which have been
argued to play a more useful role in instructional decision making.
Instructors have temporary experiences with groups of students each semester. Even so, these brief moments have the power to change lives. As professors, we decide the impact of our semester-long relationships. We decide to what degree we will work towards student engagement and transformation within our courses. If you would like to create a community of engaged learners within your classroom, it takes more than regurgitating the most compelling content, and it goes beyond collaborative pedagogical practices. The secret to inspiring and transforming students rests in the power of building a community of learners.
Faculty development has become a priority at many academic institutions as a way to improve the quality of academic programs and to respond to emerging faculty, student, program, and industry needs.
To create effective faculty development programs, it’s important to get the faculty members’ perspectives on what is actually needed. Without this input and the opportunity for faculty to collaborate and engage in growth and dialogue around common topics of interest, the essence of faculty development is lost.
While competency-based education is growing, standardized tools for evaluating the unique characteristics of course design in this domain are still under development. This preliminary research study evaluated the effectiveness of a rubric developed for assessing course design of competency-based courses in an undergraduate Information Technology and Administrative Management program. The rubric, which consisted of twenty-six individual measures, was used to evaluate twelve new courses. Additionally, the final assessment scores of nine students who completed nine courses in the program were evaluated to determine if a correlation exists between student success and specific indicators of quality in the course design. The results indicate a correlation exists between measures that rated high and low on the evaluation rubric and final assessment scores of
students completing courses in the program. Recommendations from this study suggest that quality competency-based courses need to evaluate the importance and relevance of resources for active student learning, provide increased support and ongoing feedback from mentors, and offer opportunities for students to practice what they have learned.
While competency-based education is growing, standardized tools for evaluating the unique characteristics of course design in this domain are still under development. This preliminary research study evaluated the effectiveness of a rubric developed for assessing course design of competency-based courses in an undergraduate Information Technology and Administrative Management program. The rubric, which consisted of twenty-six individual measures, was used to evaluate twelve new courses. Additionally, the final assessment scores of nine students who completed nine courses in the program were evaluated to
determine if a correlation exists between student success and specific indicators of quality in the course design. The results indicate a correlation exists between measures that rated high and low on the evaluation rubric and final assessment scores of students completing courses in the program. Recommendations from this study suggest that quality competency-based courses need to evaluate the importance and relevance of resources for active student learning, provide increased support and
ongoing feedback from mentors, and offer opportunities for students to practice what they have learned.
Articulation agreements between colleges and universities, whereby students with two-year college diplomas can receive advancement toward a four-year university degree, are provincially mandated in some Canadian provinces and
highly encouraged in others. In this study, we compared learning in collegetransfer and direct-entry from high school (DEHS) students at the University of Guelph–Humber in Ontario, using eight factors related to learning: age, gender, years of prior postsecondary experience, learning approach, academic performance, use of available learning resources, subjective course experience, and career goals. Our results show that while college-transfer students tend to be older than DEHS students, they do not significantly differ in either learning approach or academic performance. This is an important finding, suggesting that college-transfer programs are a viable option for non-traditional university students. We conclude that the academic success of college transferstudents is attainable with careful consideration of policies, such as admissions criteria, and the drafting of formal articulation agreements betweeninstitutions.
Les ententes d’articulation entre les collèges et les universités (qui permettent aux étudiants de programmes d’études collégiales de deux ans d’être admis dans un programme universitaire de quatre ans) sont prescrites dans certaines
provinces canadiennes et fortement encouragées dans d’autres. Chez des étudiants de l’Université de Guelph-Humber en Ontario, la présente étude a comparé huit facteurs liés à l’apprentissage, entre les études universitaires après un séjour au collège et les études universitaires directement après les études secondaires (DEHS), soit l’âge, le sexe, les années d’expérience postsecondaire, la méthode d’apprentissage, le rendement scolaire, l’utilisation de ressources d’apprentissage disponibles, l’expérience subjective en matière de cours et les objectifs de carrière. Nos résultats démontrent que, tandis que
les étudiants qui passent par le collège ont tendance à être plus âgés que les étudiants DEHS, leurs méthodes d’apprentissage et leurs résultats scolaires restent sensiblement les mêmes. Cette constatation est importante et suggère que les programmes avec transfert collégial sont une solution acceptable pour les étudiants non traditionnels. Nous concluons que la réussite scolaire des étudiants qui transitent au collégial est réalisable si on étudie attentivement les politiques, comme les critères d’admission et la rédaction d’ententes d’articulation formelles entre les institutions.
There is a global trend toward improving programs and student experiences in higher education through curriculum review and mapping of degree programs. This paper describes an action research approach to program improvement for a course-based MEd degree. The driver for continual program improvement came from actions and recommendations that arose from an
institutionally mandated, year-long, faculty led curriculum review of professional graduate programs in education. Study findings reveal instructors’ perceptions about how they enacted the recommendations for program improvement,
including (1) developing a visual conceptualization of the program; (2) improved connections between the courses; (3) articulation of coherence in goals and expectations for students and instructors; (4) an increased focus on action research; (5) increased ethics support and scaffolding for students; and (6) the fostering of communities of practice. Study findings highlight strengths of the current program and course designs, action items, and research needed for continual program improvement.
Active learning is "anything that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things
they are doing" (Bonwell & Eison, 1991, p. 2).
Felder & Brent (2009) define active learning as "anything course-related that all students in a
class session are called upon to do other than simply watching, listening and taking notes" (p.
Active learning strategies can be as short as a few minutes long.
Active learning techniques can be integrated into a lecture or any other classroom setting
relatively easily. Even large classrooms can involve learning activities beyond the traditional