Zac Wendler needed a new syllabus. An assistant professor of English, literature, and world literatures at Ferris State University, he was tired of the same routine at the beginning of every semester: He would hand out his syllabus — five or so pages of text — and students would glance at it and wait for him to walk them through it. Then for the rest of the semester, they would ask him questions that could be easily answered if they had read the syllabus.
Does that sound familiar? It rang a bell for me. As I listened to Wendler’s presentation at this year's Conference on College Composition and Communication in Portland, Ore., I thought about my own syllabus. It has swelled to 11 pages of single-spaced text, even after I changed the departmental policies section to a nine-point font.
When I think about my highest goal as a teacher, it is to help create responsible citizens who take care of each other and their world.
And the best way that I can help form human beings who do good is to teach them empathy. I’d like to think that the ability to
understand and share the feelings of others is something that everyone is born with, but I also think that it is important enough to
be explicitly taught just in case.
For nearly two-thirds of my 30-year career in higher education, I have served as a middle manager of one sort or another: department chair, dean, program director. For the other third, I have been middle-managed.
Of course, even as a low-level administrator, I had plenty of people above me telling me what to do. I also had people below me who, given the chance, gladly told me what to do.
The point is: I know what it’s like to be on both sides of that transaction. Specifically, I know firsthand how department chairs can make faculty lives easier, and I also know what they do (all too often) that makes faculty lives more difficult (dare I say "miserable"?). Accordingly, I’d like to identify — for the benefit of new and future department chairs especially — what I consider the five biggest morale killers for college faculty.
“Teaching vs. research” as a global false dichotomy will be the focus of this study. A modest but very universal evidence is revealing itself in world university rankings in every year. It is not deniable that university rankings are not well taken by intellectuals. They contempt the ranking criteria for being inappropriate and irrelevant for the social, moral, and academic values prevalent at universities. They severely criticize the exploitation of competitive, market-driven potentials of universities. So many eminent scholars display their sense of humour by labelling these ranking ritual as “University Olympics” or as “horse race”. It is obvious that such a contest propagates the profitable positions of high-rank universities. Fortunately, egalitarian values still reign supreme in higher education. However, equality does not necessitate justice. Justice requires discrimination when needed. It is impossible to ignore the existence of collegial hierarchy. The diversity is a reality among the universities in every country. Neither the students nor the researchers are all alike. Their uneven aptitudes and proficiencies result with ordered categories. These and many other facts compel the ranking culture to endure despite the opposing criticisms mentioned before. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to omit the inter-institutional differences. Instead of resisting the comparative information one can exploit it for the common concern or at least to reinforce the curiosity. Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking summarizes annual performances of prominent universities all around the world
since 2012. Ranking criteria involves Teaching, Research, Citations International Outlook, and Industrial Income with differential weights. The purpose of this study is to display the correlations between the variables used as criteria to rank the world universities for 2018. It has been hypothesized that Pearson product-moment correlations would have been significantly high and positive. Moreover, the correlation between Teaching and Research will be the highest one among all
the other paired criteria in every different context.
Keywords: Higher education, teaching and research, university ranking.
Paré, D. E., Collimore, L.-M., Joordens, S., Rolheiser, C., Brym, R., & Gini-Newman, G.
(2015). Put Students’ Minds Together and their Hearts Will Follow: Building a Sense of Community in Large-Sized Classes via Peer- and Self-Assessment – Appendix. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it can be difficult to know where to turn. There are many excellent resources online that you can use to find out more about depression, including treatments, where to get help, and support for family and friends.
Below is a selection of some of the best websites, organizations and other helpful resources available to anyone who has been diagnosed with or suspects they are suffering from depression.
When the enrolment numbers came in, Joanna’s heart sank.
The new program she had spent years developing and campaigning for had finally launched this year. Since that initial announcement, she had spent what little free time she had helping the school’s marketing team get the word out and dreaming of the kind of numbers that would let her bring in a few other instructors to help teach the program.
In Canada there are growing discussions concerning the role of publicly funded universities and the impact of academic research. The integration of neoliberal practices and market rationalities place pressure on universities to “go public” in order to demonstrate relevance and accountability. Researchers are encouraged or even required to engage the public through knowledge mobilization activities. Our study provides an empirical analysis of knowledge mobilization in order to understand its perceived impact on public criminology, and more broadly the production and dissemination of criminological research. We argue that the institutional shift toward knowledge mobilization is perceived as a tool of institutional governance to demonstrate organizational accountability that shapes the production and dissemination of criminological knowledge.
Think back to your first few years of teaching. If you’re like most educators, you probably made your share of mistakes. To be sure, we all do things differently now than we did when we were first starting out. Thank goodness for that!
When Faculty Focus put out a call for articles for this special report on teaching mistakes, we really didn’t know what to expect. Would faculty be willing to share their earlier missteps for all to see? Would the articles all talk about the same common mistakes, or would the range of mistakes discussed truly reflect the complexities of teaching today?
Names … why do we have such trouble learning them? For those of us who struggle with names, it never gets easier, no matter how many tricks we try. It can be embarrassing—to ourselves and to others. I remember once visiting a mall while out of town and hearing someone calling my name.
Soon, a vaguely familiar person was greeting me with enthusiasm. “I am so happy to see you! It’s
been so long? How are you?”
Who is this?, I’m thinking to myself. Course rosters roll through my mind. Nothing. No associations. No connections. Finally, in embarrassment I admit. “I’m terribly sorry but I can’t remember your name.
For me, as for many others at Cardiff University, the recent news coverage of Malcolm Anderson’s suicide has been a real blow. I did not know the accounting lecturer personally. The thing that was so shocking about reading the articles was just how familiar many of the details felt. I have heard numerous stories from colleagues who feel like they are barely holding on. People are struggling with unmanageable workloads and feel as though they are constantly failing.
Institutions across the country have been considering carefully scripted general-education courses in lieu of
traditional distribution requirements (see “No Math Required,” “Rethinking Gen Ed” and “Gen Ed Redesigns”). Some
months ago, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni issued a report pointing out the efficiencies that would be
realized by sequenced general-education courses with prescribed curricula, little student choice and lots of
The same organization also issued a letter deploring the fact that most college students could not identify James
Madison as the father of the U.S. Constitution (most chose Thomas Jefferson) and that 40 percent did not know that
Congress has the power to declare war. Their solution: a course on civic literacy required of every college student.
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."
Looking for inspiration on teaching or some specific strategies? David Gooblar, a lecturer in rhetoric at the University of Iowa and a blogger on teaching, writes about classroom issues in these pages. Here is a sampling of his recent columns.
After all, the basic science of nutrition hasn’t changed: People who consume more calories than they burn tend to gain weight. But just telling people to cut down on calories isn’t enough to change their behavior. (If it were, we’d all have our ideal BMI.) So what did the researchers behind the JAMA study do differently? They taught people how to adopt the sort of eating habits that naturally lead them to consume fewer calories.
Participants attended classes — once a week for the first two months, then less frequently throughout the year — to learn about healthy eating habits. Class size was small (with no more than 22 students), and the instructors focused on making "sustainable lifestyle changes, not simply following a temporary ‘diet.’" Moreover, based on early feedback, the researchers
modified their teaching to make it "less dense, less didactive, and more interactive." Instructors lectured less and began organizing classes around activities, including students cooking their own recipes.
Small class sizes? Fewer lectures? More active-learning activities? Does any of that sound familiar?
Can we map university-wide graduate attributes to specific program requirements? Can we develop and manage an integrated assessment process? In this article, we present a seven-month long project where we attempted to map generic university graduate attributes (UGAs) to required engineering program graduate attributes in a large Canadian research institution. The purpose of the project was to explore the intersection of the UGAs with engineering graduate attributes, evaluate the accreditation process, develop a mapping process, and examine management strategies for assessing both sets of graduate attributes, all the while keeping the continual improvement process attractive to students, instructors, and administrators. Using a modified dialectical inquiry, two groups worked on the mapping process: one from engineering, the other from social sciences (Education and Arts), to ensure objectivity of comparison. Both forward and backward mapping took place. Results demonstrated that, although generic, UGAs may not necessarily capture specific professional program graduate attributes. The study also highlighted the need for more revisions and updates of UGAs by including various stakeholders who can substantially contribute to the implementation and assessment of UGAs. Keywords: graduate attributes, engineering education, professional attributes, mapping, learning outcomes
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.
Writing and teaching are the two great common denominators of academic life (OK, the departmental meeting is a third). With few exceptions, no matter your discipline, you have to teach, and you have to write.
I co-teach a writing course for graduate students at the University of Iowa, and I’ve been surprised at how often discussions of writing evolve into discussions of teaching. It makes sense: Both involve translating ideas so they can be understood by other people. As we ease out of one semester and start planning for the next, I’ve been thinking about how we might apply writing strategies to our course planning.
Particularly now, when you have several weeks until the next semester starts, it’s worth thinking of your courses like you think about your writing — as the result of a series of drafts. You don’t expect to sit down and write a journal article in one go. Why would creating a course be any different? Acknowledge that drafting and revision are essential to any creative project and give yourself plenty of time.
Cheerful and helpful workers are beloved by their bosses, and just about everyone else, really. Enthusiastic optimists make for great colleagues, rarely cause problems, and can always be counted on.
But they may not necessarily make the best employees, says Adam Grant, the organizational psychologist and Wharton professor.
Speaking in Chicago at the annual conference of the Society for Human Resource Management, Grant said he separates workers along two axes: givers and takers, and agreeable and disagreeable. Givers share of themselves and make their colleagues better, while takers are selfish and focused only on their own interests. The agreeable/disagreeable spectrum is what it sounds like: some workers are friendly, some are grouchy.
aculty dread the grade appeal; anxiety prevails until the whole process is complete. Much has been written about ow to avoid such instances, but the potentially subjective assessments of written essays or clinical skills can be specially troublesome. One common cause of grade appeals is grading ambiguity in which the student and faculty ember disagree on the interpretation of required content. Another cause is inequity, whereby the student feels thers may have gotten more credit for very similar work or content (Hummel 2010). In the health-care field specially, these disagreements over clinical-skills assessments can actually result in student dismissal from the program and may lead to lawsuits.
Since the 1980s, research on employment conditions in post-secondary institutions has focused on the growth of contingent academic workers, or what the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has labelled “nonfull-time instructors” (Field, Jones, Stephenson, & Khoyetsyan, 2014). Very little attention, however, has been paid to administrative, physical plant, and other operational staff employed within universities and colleges. Using data from a study of University of Regina students and employees, academic and support staff, this paper confronts the broader conditions of labour around the ivory tower. Employment at a post-secondary institution is analyzed through the lens of living wage research advanced by the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) (Ivanova & Klein, 2015). The study reframes the notion of a living wage in a post-secondary institution to include work-life balance, job security, and the realities of dignity and respect in the university workplace.