It happens nearly every semester: I get a paper so bad I don't know how to grade it. I'm not talking about a late paper, or one that's been plagiarized, or is too short or off topic. No, I’m referring to a species of essay that checks all of the superficial boxes but is so poorly written, so shoddily done, that it seems to demand a special response.
It’s actually hard for students to get a bad grade on a piece of writing in my courses. I do in-class workshops on topic choice, thesis construction, rough drafts, and revision. Students have many opportunities to find out that their essay is on the wrong track, and fix the problem. It’s almost impossible for them to leave the writing to the last minute. But there's always one ...
Whether we can actually teach students critical-thinking skills is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood issues in higher education today, argues John Schlueter.
Recently, I received an email from a student asking me the name of a writer -- a writer whose book we’d been reading for two weeks. (And discussing in class. And writing about in class.) It was not a textbook, anthology or unusual digital source. It was an old-fashioned printed book containing one play by one writer.
I knew that the student owned the book, because I had seen her with it in class, and in fact, she had told me she was enjoying the reading. However, when it was time for her to do an assignment on the playwright … well, she was stumped. She just didn’t know his name.
I had to explain to her, carefully, and with what I hope was compassion, that if she hadn’t picked up his name in the class discussions so far (or, I was thinking, in the course syllabus and calendar), then she could always try looking on the front cover of the book.
Using a cross-case analysis of online, on-campus and online university teacher preparation courses, this study critically examines the constraints and affordances of online teacher education in preparing teachers for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLO) urban schools. The results of the study indicate that while there was no significant difference between online and on-campus courses in terms of teacher acquisition of knowledge related to CLO instruction and assessment, questions remain about whether online teacher preparation can promote critical self-reflection, culturally responsive teaching practices, and collaboration within schools, when teacher learning is not supported and situated in schools and communities in an ongoing and structured way.
teacher education, urban education, linguistically responsive pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy, language education, identity, teacher beliefs
When I was offered my first full-time administrative job in 2006 — as an assistant dean in the graduate school — there were two naysayers to whom I paid close attention: my wife and a prominent senior colleague.
My wife wanted me to decline the job because she foresaw what it would be like to care for two toddlers with me gone all the time.
The senior colleague was John Miles Foley, an expert on oral literary traditions. Hearing that I would have to forgo a yearlong research leave to write my second book if I accepted the assistant dean’s job, he urged me not to do it: "If you go into administration now you will be making a mistake. There are a lot of people who can do that work, and it should be done by senior members of the faculty. Now is the time for you to build a real career in scholarship."
We all know raising children is different from teaching undergraduates. Yet as a father of four children — now all grown — I have learned much from parenting that I have been able to apply to the college classroom.
In particular, raising four teenagers taught me a lot about how to reach, engage, and motivate teenage students. The trick to effective parenting, I’m convinced, is to allow children to exercise their agency — encouraging them to make good choices through a clear system of rewards and punishments, with the emphasis on the former. I believe that’s true in teaching, as
There’s no doubt the job of teaching is a big and important one. With case studies, instructors can explain ongoing social issues using historical snapshots that present a complete picture of the past and a guide for the present.
Current discussions about literacy often focus on how economic changes are raising expectations for literacy achievement. The emergence of a so-called knowledge economy or learning economy requires more people to do more things with print. Less attention has been given, however, to how the pressure to produce more literacy affects the contexts in which literacy
learning takes place. This article looks at the literacy learning experience of an autoworker turned union representative, a blind computer programmer, two bilingual autodidacts, and a former southern sharecropper raising children in a high-tech university town. It uses the concept of the literacy sponsor to explore their access to learning and their responses to economic and
technological change. Their experiences point to some directions for incorporating economic history into thinking about cultural diversity and for using resources in school to addresseconomic turbulence and inequality beyond the school.
Years ago, the process of faculty evaluation carried few or none of the sudden-death implications that characterize contemporary evaluation practices. But now, as the few to be chosen for promotion and tenure become fewer and faculty mobility decreases, the decision to promote or grant tenure can have an enormous impact on a professor’s career. At the same time, academic administrators are under growing pressure to render sound decisions in the face of higher operating costs, funding shortfalls, and the mounting threat posed by giant corporations that have moved into higher education. Worsening economic conditions have focused sharper attention on evaluation of faculty performance, with the result that faculty members are assessed through formalized, systematic methods.
There is national and international recognition of the importance of innovation, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship for sustained economic revival. With the decline of industrial research laboratories in the United States, research universities are being asked to play a central role in our knowledge-centered economy by the technology transfer of their discoveries, innovations, and inventions. In response to this challenge, innovation ecologies at and around universities are starting to change. However, the change has been slow and limited. The authors believe this can be attributed partially to a lack of change in incentives for the central stakeholder, the faculty member. The authors have taken the position that universities should
expand their criteria to treat patents, licensing, and commercialization activity by faculty as an important consideration for merit, tenure, and career advancement, along with publishing, teaching, and service.This position is placed in a historical context with a look at the history of tenure in the United States, patents, and licensing at universities, the current status of university tenure and career advancement processes, and models for the future.
Technology moves at lightning speed, Facebook’s algorithm has new rules daily and marketing strategies are ever evolving as the audiences we all seek to reach become increasingly fragmented. And yet, some of us find ourselves
in workplaces where the prevailing sentiment is don’t rock the boat—if it worked in the past, let’s not make any
If the culture at your college is all about not fixing what’s not broken, you may have a challenge ahead of you as you
try to suggest and implement some needed change. Turn that challenge into an opportunity with these tips for
shaking things up in a change-averse environment:
Over the last decade, there has been a steady increase in online learning enrollments. The proportion of college students taking at least one online course is at an all-time high and 66% of higher education institutions indicate that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy (Allen & Seaman, 2014). Universities are increasingly relying on adjunct faculty to meet this need;
as such, it is important for institutions to understand the unique motivations, characteristics and needs of online adjunct faculty to better support teaching effectiveness. A survey of 603 adjunct faculty teaching online courses provides an overview of characteristics of modern online adjunct faculty and highlights institutional adaptations necessary to accommodate a changing
“Without having to miss out on fun, just outsource your test to us, an expert will take it and you will get the awesome grade that you deserve. All at prices you will not believe. How does that sound?”
—Excerpt from one of many results of googling “take my test” This pitch is more than incredibly crass. It is really just outright pimping of hired poseurs to online students willing to “pay for performance.” With the massive growth of online education, such parasitic companies have sprung up like weeds, presenting a serious threat to program integrity.
In preparation for the coming semester, a faculty member recently asked me how to change deadlines on the LMS to midnight on
a given day. After helping the professor, I started thinking about why we might need to reconsider this option, both for our own good and for our students. How did so many of us come to accept the universality of a midnight deadline that casts professors in the fabled role of fairy godmothers, and what exactly turns into a pumpkin when the clock strikes twelve in this scenario?
All of us have had major classroom disruptions that try our patience and push our limits. These incidents can threaten our sense of control and generate fear of looking weak to other students. We fear that other students might do the same thing if we don't take a strong stance. Couple these feelings with the possibility of taking the disruption personally, and we have a recipe for disaster. It's important that we divide our response into two parts:
1. Immediate stabilization
2. Intervention to resolve these issues
Overview of the Special Report
This Special Report’s prime objective is to help policy decision-makers and educational leaders understand what
today’s classroom technologies are evolving toward, and, more importantly, why. It is hoped that examining current
classroom technologies will spur conversation as to how the practice of teaching is evolving and why that evolution
The most difficult challenge in putting this report together was to adequately address all of the key technologies
deployed in classrooms today. Technologies range from tactile objects in Pre-K to hyper-dense 3D modeling programs in
graduate-level science classes at research universities. They involve devices, interactive software and assessment tools.
Ultimately we chose to group technologies by function as they would be used in the classroom, regardless of curriculum
subject or grade level.
Continuous advances in health care and technology are contributing to a longer life expectancy. Institute of
Medicine (IOM) (2001). One major downside of this situation is that chronic conditions are now becoming the leading cause of illness, disability and mortality. Globally, many health care ministries are realizing the advantages of having health care professionals from different professions working together to provide interprofessional care as the most efficient and effective
means of supporting patients with chronic or complex needs (Russell et al. 2009). Our project focused on the needs of children with developmental disabilities, specifically Down syndrome and autism. Both of these chronic conditions benefit from teams of health professionals working collaboratively to provide integrated, efficient care for families. Although there is a wealth of
clinical expertise in this specialty, educating large groups of undergraduate health sciences students to provide interprofessional care in a busy pediatric setting is not feasible, nor is it feasible to train a two year- old child to simulate such a patient. In this research report, we have considered the feasibility of teaching large groups of interprofessional health
sciences students in a pediatric setting, while concurrently evaluating students’ understanding of how interprofessional teams function. Our study compared a series of facilitated and non-facilitated video vignettes demonstrating a well-functioning interprofessional pediatric team while it assessed one child with Down syndrome and one child with autism.
Engineering is synonymous with design. It is a skill that is inherently understood by experienced engineers, but also one of the most difficult topics to teach. McMaster University’s first-year Design & Graphics is a required course for all engineering students. The course has taught hand-sketching, 3D solid modeling, system simulation, 3D rapid prototyping, and culminated in a project in gear train design that requires a combination of the core course topics. Students chose their own three-member teams and lab sections were randomly assigned one of three modalities for completion of the design project: Simulation (SIM), in which they produced and verified a design using a simulation tool; Prototyping (PRT), in which they used a 3D printer to create a working plastic model of a design; or Simulation and Prototyping (SIM+PRT), in which they used both tools to complete a design.
This report builds on the work of the past decade by the research team of the College Mathematics Project (CMP) and the College Student Achievement Project (CSAP) based at Seneca College, of which the authors were members. In particular, the senior author was a principal author of the final reports of both CMP and CSAP over the past several years. However, the present paper, while drawing heavily from those reports, is the responsibility of its two authors.
The line between collaboration and cheating is fuzzy. It’s still clear at the edges, but messy in the middle. When students are working in groups, searching for a solution to a problem, looking through possible answers for the best one, or sorting out material to include in a presentation, that’s collaboration. When one student in the group solves the problem and everyone else copies the answer, that’s cheating. When one student fails to deliver material she or he’s been assigned and the rest of the group covers, that’s cheating.