Your students have questions, but they rarely ask them—especially at the beginning of the semester. They feel awkward or embarrassed, or maybe it’s just inertia. Whatever the cause, the vast majority of student questions go unasked. For teachers, this is wildly frustrating because we can’t answer the questions they don’t ask (though some questions can be anticipated). In many cases, the unasked questions represent anxieties and uncertainties that negatively affect students’ performance in class and inhibits their learning. This is a particular problem in the sophomore composition class I teach. It has a reputation as a difficult class, so many students arrive intimidated and nervous.
In summary, the OECD assessment of the strengths and challenges of the Canadian postsecondary vocational education and training (VET) system is as follows:
Transgender and gender-nonbinary students share what keeps them from feeling safe and thriving on campus.
The federal law known as Title IX is meant to protect students from discrimination based on their gender identity. But many gay, lesbian, and transgender students say they face an array of challenges and safety issues on their campuses. The Chronicle interviewed more than a dozen of them to hear more about what keeps them from thriving in college.
Outcomes‐based education (OBE), namely the emphasis in education systems on learning outcomes and their assessment, has had one of the largest and most significant impacts on postsecondary education (PSE) in recent decades. Not only does OBE present clear statements to describe students’ skills and abilities, it also provides the vehicle by which postsecondary institutions can assess and improve the quality of their programs and demonstrate the value of these programs to both employers and the general public.
The purpose of this non-experimental, cross-sectional, descriptive research was to survey faculty and staff perceptions of mentorship in a postsecondary institution in order to determine gaps and strengths in the current mentorship
environment. The anecdotal activities we present reflect our educational practice environment through the work of our Mentorship Team. Data were collected utilizing Zachary’s Mentor Culture Audit tool. The culture building block measured 4.65 on a 7-point Likert scale, suggesting the presence of a weak mentorship culture. However, the infrastructure building block measured only 3.41, showing that organizational resources and supports are below average. We also present eight hallmark category results to further identify strengths and gaps. This is the first assessment of our mentoring culture at an organizational level. Other postsecondary institutions may benefit from formally assessing the gaps in and strengths of their mentorship culture toassist them with acquiring adequate resources to further develop and sustain their mentoring activities.
Colleges are feeling heat to prove that their students are learning. As a result, a growing number of colleges are
measuring intended “learning outcomes” as well as issuing grades. But fewer are using standardized tests than was the case a few years ago.
Those are findings of a new survey from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The liberal education organization received responses from chief academic officers at 325 of its member institutions, including community colleges and four-year institutions (public and private as well as a couple of for-profits).
In 2008, the OECD launched the AHELO feasibility study, an initiative with the objective to assess whether it is possible to develop international measures of learning outcomes in higher education.
Learning outcomes are indeed key to a meaningful education, and focusing on learning outcomes is essential to inform diagnosis and improve teaching processes and student learning. While there is a long tradition of learning outcomes’ assessment within institutions’ courses and programmes, emphasis on learning outcomes has become more important in
recent years. Interest in developing comparative measures of learning outcomes has increased in response to a range of higher education trends, challenges and paradigm shifts.
AHELO aims to complement institution-based assessments by providing a direct evaluation of student learning outcomes at the global level and to enable institutions to benchmark the performance of their students against their peers as part of their improvement efforts. Given AHELO’s global scope, it is essential that measures of learning outcomes are valid across
diverse cultures and languages as well as different types of higher education institutions (HEIs).
Midterm evaluations bring a host of institutional measures to reach out to underachieving students. However, what might make the most difference to students’ success in their courses is to enable them to assess their own performance and set goals as well as to ask questions of and provide feedback to the instructor. Instructors can give students this reflective opportunity through an online journal assignment in which students do the following:
Report their overall grade in the course
Report their attendance record (when attendance is required) Reflect on their performance, whether
it meets their expectations
Provide goals for the rest of the course (often in the form of a GPA, but can also be learning outcomes)
Provide feedback and ask questions
Faculty are crucial for students. They serve as instructors and mentors. They connect students with a network that will help them succeed and get good jobs in the future.
But they can also get in the way.
As the student population shifts away from the traditional 18-year-old heading off to live in a dorm to students who are older and lower income, institutions and their faculty members are struggling to find mutually agreeable ways to support nontraditional students.
Problem statement: Graffiti is about self-expression. When youth cannot find people to listen to them, they may express their strongly felt, internal experiences and emotions safely by writing on public property. Thus, graffiti can be handled as a counseling issue. When this self-expression of a thought, wish, or attitude comes from prospective teachers, the difficult
work of sorting these issues out may help us develop better teacher-education programs and produce better teachers. Thus, this work takes the issue of graffiti by prospective teachers as an interdisciplinary issue, bridging counseling and teacher training.
This word was spoken triumphantly and repeatedly as self-speak by a talented pre-service, k-12 special education teacher during my course Library Resources for Children. Until I heard her say it several times through the semester, I hadn’t seen how one word can hold an entire teaching philosophy. I hadn’t considered how the power of that word multiplies when it takes
the form of self-speak. I hadn’t realized how much it scared me to think that that word might follow her into a k-12 classroom.
When I learned that my own teaching philosophy existed on the pinhead of a single word whenever I’ve thought it at myself, I needed to send this email to that amazing up-and-coming teacher:
Within the past decade, the unprecedented growth in non-tenure/tenure track faculty has led to speculation as to the learning environment and learning outcomes for students. Both nationalmedia and researchers have raised concerns about the growth in short-term contract faculty, yet there is little evidentiary data to support policy development. Our study of sessional faculty
in Ontario’s publicly funded universities provides much needed data and insight into the current pressures, challenges, and adaptations of the rapidly rising number of university instructors who work on short-term contracts, also known as sessional faculty.
One of my doctoral students just got a tenure-track assistant professorship. That’s excellent for her, but a decade ago, it wouldn’t have rated mention in a newspaper column. Of course, that was before the amount of tenure-track openings dropped like a barometer during hurricane season. Today, getting a tenure-track position feels more like a "Man Bites Dog" event.
During that same period, undergraduate enrollment at American colleges and universities continued to rise — as it has for decades. Clearly more and more students need to be taught, so where have all the teaching jobs gone?They’ve gone to the same people who have been doing a lot of our undergraduate teaching all along: contingent faculty members, meaning graduate students and adjuncts. That’s not exactly news to anyone who has been watching the faculty labor market — or to the graduate students doing so much of the work. In the humanities, we’ve seen nontenure-track jobs (NTTs) multiply year after year. As David Laurence of the Modern Language Association has shown in PowerPoint talks he’s given on the subject, the proportion of faculty jobs that are tenured and tenure-track has been dropping steadily over the past two generations.
Why competency-based education?
Although competency-based education (CBEd) may seem relatively new to postsecondary education, the concept has been widely discussed throughout American education since the 1990s (Jones & Voorhees, 2002; Mulder, Gulikers, Biemans, & Wesselink, 2009). In fact, colleges including Western Governors University, Sinclair Community College, and Kings College were pioneering CBEd initiatives over a decade ago (2002). Several factors have focused current attention on CBEd in higher education in recent years, including the demand for expanded access to education, the need to reduce the cost of postsecondary education, and a shift from traditional models for learning. Online learning technology, for example, which supports the notion of learning anytime, anyplace, anywhere, also requires higher education to adjust and rethink the traditional educational system.
As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing your notes is faster — which comes in handy when there's a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.
For one thing, research shows that laptops and tablets have a tendency to be distracting — it's so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture. And a study has shown that the fact that you have to be slower when you take notes by hand is what makes it more useful in the long run.
Background/Context: The increasing number of districts implementing mentoring and induction programs suggests that policymakers are aware of the need to increase the support available to new teachers. The argument underlying many of these programs is based, at least partly, on assumptions about beginning teachers’ emotional responses to their work. Yet while considerable research has studied the effects of induction programs, few researchers have rigorously collected data on how beginning teachers’ affective experiences seem to impact their career plans.
Two former college presidents, both longtime scholars of higher education, discuss their new book on the problems - - real and imagined -- facing academe.
Academic program reviews — or APRs, as they are known in administrative-speak — are both a blessing and a curse.
A well-executed internal review can be a blessing when it leads to a helpful external review that allows your department to shine and be appreciated for its strengths. The curse, of course, is that someone (often the department chair) has to convene a committee (not another committee!) of faculty members (already feeling overburdened) to write a self-study before any external reviewer can be brought to campus for a "tweed on the ground" evaluation of your program.
In this qualitative self-‐‑study, we explore how curriculum theory informed the learning of teacher candidates within an intensive semester that serves as the foundation for a Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP). Wanting to immerse teacher candidates in educational theory and position them as learning professionals from the first days of their program, we engaged them with the work of eleven curriculum theorists (Appendix A). Guiding questions for this inquiry include: How
did teacher candidates take up and negotiate theory as part of their emerging professional identities? How did teacher candidates understand the relationship between pedagogy and their learning of/through curriculum theory? How did teacher candidates embody diverse theories and understand the significance of this within and beyond this foundational semester? And finally, as teacher educators, how is our pedagogy developing through self-‐‑study?
Readers of Faculty Focus are probably already familiar with backward design. Most readily connected with such
researchers as Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, and Dee Fink, this approach to course construction asks faculty to initially ignore the specific content of a class. Rather, the designer begins the process by identifying desired learning goals, and then devising optimal instruments to measure and assess them. Only thereafter does course-specific content come into play—and even then, it is brought in not for the sake of “covering” it, but as a means to achieve the previously identified learning objectives. Courses designed this way put learning first, often transcend the traditional skillset boundaries of their discipline, and usually aim to achieve more ambitious cognitive development than do classes that begin—and often end—with content mastery as the primary focus. Although the advantages of backward design are manifest, it’s probably still the exception to, rather than the rule of, course planning.