While student data systems are nothing new and most educators have been dealing with student data for many years, learning analytics has emerged as a new concept to capture educational big data. Learning analytics is about better understanding of the learning and teaching process and interpreting student data to improve their success and learning experiences. This paper provides an overview to learning analytics in higher education and more specifically, in e-learning. It also explores some of the issues around learning analytics.
Academe’s Me Too movement has thus far focused on professors harassing students, or senior professors harassing junior professors. And that makes sense, given the obvious power differential between those groups: in many cases, students depend on faculty members for not only grades but mentorship, recommendations and professional opportunities. Much the same can be said for the dynamic between junior and senior faculty members. Yet a recent case
highlights the fact that professors, too, may be vulnerable to abuse by students.
Garrison Institute looks a little like Hogwarts. The retreat center is housed in a former monastery amid tranquil green hills overlooking the Hudson River, 60 miles north and a world away from New York City.
Inside the airy chapel on a recent summer afternoon, about 35 educators from the U.S. and at least five foreign countries are seated quietly, shoes off.
"Just notice your breath, the sensation of your air coming in, going out," says Christa Turksma, a Dutch woman dressed all in white with silver-white hair. She's one of the co-founders of Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators, or CARE for Teachers.
Among the many things that faculty members worried about in our Covid-19 switch to remote teaching was how to provide course materials when students could no longer walk into a campus library. The distance between our students and every volume, every assigned reading, every computer station seemed to underscore what was different and newly difficult about teaching and learning in a pandemic.
New research has revealed students’ preferences for their lecturers’ personalities, and if you are neurotic,
disagreeable, closed off and unreliable, you may want to look away now.
We have heard recently of lecturers rating students; now students have got their own back. Looking at five
personality traits -- openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism -- a survey of more
than 260 students, from three London universities, found that conscientiousness was the most desired trait in
Some thoughts about change—not so much what to change, as the process of change, offered in light of its slow
Yes, lecture is a good example. In a recent survey, 275 econ faculty who teach principles courses reported they lectured 70 percent of the class time, led discussion 20 percent of the time, and had students doing activities for 10 percent of the time. The article cites studies in that field from the mid-’90s reporting similar percentages. Maybe some other fields have changed more, but evidence supports a continuing reliance on lecture in many fields.
However, lecture isn’t the only example of where we’re slow to change. Many aspects of teaching—course design, approaches to testing, assignments, and grading—have also changed little. Granted, some faculty do change, a lot and regularly, but not the majority. The question is, “Why?” Here are some possibilities I’ve been considering.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to call on students to get them to participate. They would be fully invested in our courses, and would come to class eager to play an active role in the day’s activities. They would understand that more participation equals more learning. We wouldn’t be sergeants at the front of the room, putting our conscripts through their paces. Rather, we’d be facilitators — helping our students when we can, asking guiding questions, suggesting new paths of inquiry.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to call on students to get them to participate. They would be fully invested in our courses, and would come to class eager to play an active role in the day’s activities. They would understand that more participation equals more learning. We wouldn’t be sergeants at the front of the room, putting our conscripts through their paces. Rather, we’d be facilitators — helping our students when we can, asking guiding questions,
suggesting new paths of inquiry.
But of course we don’t live in an ideal world. Instructors everywhere struggle with quiet classrooms, with discussions that die before they get started. Our questions hang in the air for what feels like minutes, and students seem to be trying to find out how little they’ll have to do before the end of class arrives. While there are things we can do to create better class discussions, it’s hard to get away from the prospect of cold-calling.
Let’s quickly look at the difference between the two:
IQ is a score based on a standardized test of your intelligence EQ is a measure of a person’s level
of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is more important than IQ.
he postelection climate has heightened concerns about managing incivility in instructional settings and society as a hole. In October, I wrote an essay for Inside Higher Ed that explored how understanding what constitutes lassroom incivility can help faculty members minimize its dangers while maximizing the teaching and learning pportunities it presents. In this article, I will describe how, in order to deal with the challenges that incivility poses, aculty members must move beyond seeking solutions to every case of incivility they might encounter -- an mpossible task. Instead, we must consider the contexts and larger forces driving civility issues in higher education. uch a macro-level approach can help faculty members understand incivility better and thereby manage it moreeffectively.
Like most professors who teach composition, I require my students to write multiple drafts — three, in fact — of each essay. That’s not because three is a magic number. It’s just a number that fits well with the amount of time we have in the semester, and it reinforces the idea of working through multiple drafts. If there is a "secret" to good writing, I’m convinced, multiple drafts is it.
And, like most of my colleagues, I regularly have students work in "peer editing" or "workshopping" sessions where they read and offer comments on one another’s work.
None of this is groundbreaking pedagogy. In fact, it’s pretty standard fare for a college-level writing course.
Several years ago, I read an essay, "Notes From a Career in Teaching," written by Murray Sperber, a retired professor of English and American studies. He shared this advice: Teach according to your personality. Vary your teaching methods. Don’t take attendance.
Take a hard line on late and incomplete work. Give students lots of options for major assignments and exams. Get
out of the way.
In my world language and social studies classes, I have a long-standing policy that some might find harsh: I don’t allow students to retake quizzes and tests. I believe in preparing students to be ready the first time. I believe in teaching them skills and rigor.
This morning, I had the opportunity to talk with CBC radio morning shows about academic freedom: what is it and
why is it important to professors. And most importantly, why is it so important that it’s at the centre of a 4-week strike
that has no end in sight?
Academic Freedom has been contorted by many forces: in popular terms, by sensationalist reporting that focuses
on individual instances of a professor doing something bad but being protected from reprisal. But it’s not really that.
Last week, in my final rhetoric class of the semester, we did an end-of-term exercise that I’ve assigned for the past few years. I use notecards to write a series of prompts meant to encourage students to reflect on the semester and what they’ve learned. Each student comes to the front of the classroom, takes a notecard, and responds to the prompt in front of the class. There are also doughnuts.
Among the prompts is this one: "Before this class, I thought rhetoric was [fill-in-the-blank]. Now I think rhetoric is [fill-in-the-blank]." I got the format from Kimberley Tanner, who calls such prompts "retrospective post-assessments."
For 25 years, I have diligently, thoughtfully, and fastidiously written comments on my students’ essays. In my neatest hand, I’ve inscribed a running commentary down the margin of page after page, and at an essay’s conclusion I’ve summarized my thoughts in a paragraph or more. I’ve pointed out problems in the argument and explained basic mistakes of grammar and style. I’ve demonstrated my enthusiasm for a sharp idea and a well-hewn sentence. I’ve carefully moderated my tone, combining praise with correction. I’ve read papers that moved me to tears, literally, and others that left me frustrated — and tried to be sensitive in letting my students know that in either case.
I might never have sought an online teaching assignment if my husband hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer. Faced with a foreseeable future of his multiple hospital stays, home recovery, and anticipated need for my amateur nursing — all while trying to care for our two children — I jumped at the chance to temporarily transition to an online teaching schedule.
Having the option to work remotely and asynchronously was a godsend. I figured my online students would have no idea if I were moderating online discussions or grading papers while sitting next to a spouse hooked up to an Oxaliplatin IV. During this family crisis, I knew I would miss being in the same room with students, and the instantaneous give-and-take of a physical classroom. I only ever envisioned online teaching as a short-term reassignment.
We have an assessment system that is designed for our convenience as instructors and administrators, rather than for the learning needs of our students.
Currently, 41 percent of exam accommodation requests at the University of Alberta involve some form of extra time and are related to mental health. In an opinion piece last August in the National Post, as well as in an academic article in the Education and Law Journal in 2016, Queen’s University law professor Bruce Pardy argues that extra-time
accommodations are not legitimate and should not be granted because they tilt the playing field against the best students. He compares tests and exams to sprint races, in which it would be absurd to allow extra time or give a head start to some competitors on the basis of disability. He identifies an important problem, but his solution is the wrong one. Extra time is not the only solution to accommodating mental illness in exams, but for reasons that are
very different from those he quotes. In a very effective response published by the Huffington Post, Ontario Human Rights chief commissioner Renu Mandhane covers most of the essentials. Let me add an academic perspective.
But it was the “non-official” leadership work—reading and writing professionally, webinars for groups like the Center
for Teaching Quality, interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues, building community partnerships for my students, and summer residential graduate work at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English—that really kept me energized as an educator. The extra work, connections, and opportunities I got from these endeavors kept me motivated to remain in the classroom.
The prevailing statistics on cheating are disheartening. Some put the rate at 75%. That means three out of every four students admit to some kind of academic dishonesty at some point during their higher education.
We all know that this is not a new phenomenon. Cheating is as old as higher education itself. Older, really, if you look outside the classroom. Classicists tell us that cheating scandals occurred even during the ancient Olympic Games.
So is there really a way to solve a problem with such ancient roots?