I’ll get right to the point because I know you don’t have much time. A new semester is looming, and you are overwhelmed. It could be because you’re early in your teaching career and still feeling your way. Or it could be related to the impossible amount of work you are facing, as teaching loads grow ever heavier. But some of it arises from a common problem that you can help to alleviate yourself: You are overpreparing for class.
A guided meditation on the word “empathy.” An ambidextrous drawing where a student used both hands to illustrate and write about the word “renaissance.” A video on the word “ingenuity” where the student spoke the entire final paper into Siri without typing. A violin background score with birds flying into the sky to explain the word “unknowable.”
These are examples of student final projects in an M.B.A. class titled Creative Thinking: Designing Sustainable Innovations that I taught in Rome and where we used principles of Leonardo da Vinci to understand the creative process. Many students in this class were specializing in finance, accounting, supply chain and other “hard” disciplines, and some were pursuing joint J.D. degrees. Thus, this was probably the first time in their careers that they had worked on a nontraditional final project.
As dean, I travelled to San Francisco a few years ago with most of my college’s faculty members and doctoral students for a national conference in our field. I didn’t rent a car, because everything on the agenda — leadership meetings and donor visits — was within walking distance of our hotel. Then a major donor from a faraway suburb called and wanted to meet near his home.
Unfortunately, the local rental dealerships were sold out of standard vehicles, but — "good news" — a luxury convertible was available for the same price. I pondered for a moment and declined. Why? I was worried about the optics. That is: how it would look if people from my campus saw me driving away from the hotel like some movie star, thereby confirming prejudices about rich, privileged deans.
Was I being silly, even paranoid?
Students who engage in active learning learn more -- but feel like they learn less -- than peers in more lecture-oriented classrooms. That's in part because active learning is harder than more passive learning, according to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Based on their findings, the researchers encourage faculty members to intervene and correct what they call students' "misperception" about how they learn.
One of the most intriguing, and perhaps intimidating, aspects of walking into a class for the first time and introducing yourself is deciding who you will be. The teaching persona you present to your students on that first day of class will set the tone for the rest of the semester.
As teachers, we get to consciously decide who we will be in the classroom. The creation of our teaching personas deserves careful consideration and is something I frequently discuss with my graduate students prior to their first teaching opportunity. In reflecting on the evolution of my teaching persona over the last two decades, and in discussing how my colleagues have developed and refined their own teaching personas, I offer an overarching recommendation for the basic elements of a teaching persona that will enhance the engagement of the teachers and students and contribute to a vibrant community of teachers and learners in the classroom. Simply, I recommend that through our teaching personas, we bring PEACE to our classrooms.
Have you ever become so frustrated with students and overwhelmed by your workload that you start questioning what you are doing? At times it can feel suffocating. Baruti Kafele, an educator and motivational speaker offers a perspective of being mission-oriented to educators and others working with young people in our nation’s classrooms. He suggests affirming your goals and motivations to facilitate successes among students. However, in the college classroom, it is also essential that we, as faculty members, remember and affirm our purpose, acknowledge the contributions we make in students’ lives and professional
pursuits, and respect the call or passion that brought each of us to the teaching profession.
With over a decade in training and management of college teachers, I saw late policies ranging from “not one second late, period” to “any time before the last day of class, no penalties.” It is easy to do a Google search and see a plethora of comments at both ends of the spectrum, and most folks are pretty convinced their individual strategies work. What I have noticed in my administration experience, and some 19 years in the classroom, is that balance leads to a better experience for both the students and faculty.
With that in mind, I proffer several principles for accepting late work and address two concerns of the “no late work ever” folks. Additionally, I share an epiphany one of my faculty members had after changing her policy.
Every semester I teach a journalism course at the University of Kansas on design basics for 80 to 100 students. One day I noticed that a student who attended every class had not been turning in his weekly journal assignment.
I asked him to see me after class. As we talked in my office, he began to cry and revealed he’d been under a lot of personal stress — taking classes while trying to work 30 hours a week at IHOP to help his mother and pay his own bills. His biggest need was money, and I managed to get him some immediate financial support from the university. But he was also enormously relieved just to tell me what was going on in his life — he had no idea, he said, that professors noticed students.
At most colleges and universities, summer offers a blessed break from the regular meetings of the academic year. It’s a relief to have a few months’ free from having to jockey for air time, listen to long-winded people opine on matters they know little about, navigate petty factional skirmishes, or shore up colleagues whose ideas are routinely shot down.
Now that it’s September, the prospect of returning to meeting-heavy days may seem enervating. But what if we made 2019-20 the year in which we change the traditional dynamics of our meetings? Could we find ways to make them more productive, less
contentious, and more open to voices that usually get muffled or silenced?
When I first began teaching online courses, I did so with a fair amount of uncertainty and trepidation. Could I replicate in a digital environment what I believed was essential for an in-person course? What I learned, however, was that I didn’t need to replicate my face-to-face pedagogy exactly. I could find different, albeit related, techniques and practices to achieve a
similar outcome online.
You wait with anticipation. You receive the email: Course assignments are posted. You click on your Course Assignment. And—you’re assigned to teach a course that you have never taught before. Maybe you feel excitement, maybe you feel anxiety, or some mixture of the two. Emotion aside, how do you plan a new course?
As a new faculty member, late work was the cause of many headaches.
I wanted a policy that would recognize there may be valid reasons why a student might not submit an assignment on time, but I did not like the idea of then having to judge the merit of excuses that might be provided or attempt to decide if they were truthful.
I wanted a policy that would acknowledge the merit of a completed assignment, so I did not want to deduct a letter grade or certain percentage of points just because it did not meet a deadline; a value I took to heart after reading O’Connor (2011).
I wanted a policy that would put the responsibility for completing late work entirely on the student, so I did not want to use class time or send reminders out of what was missing and when it was due.
I wanted a policy that would offer the opportunity for a student to submit work after it was due, but I did not want the hassle of keeping track of any new, individual deadlines and individual point deductions (Vatterott, 2009) for assignments that would
occur if I allowed late assignments.
Canada ranks first among OECD countries in the proportion of the adult population whose highest level of education is a credential from a community college or similar type of educational institution. Canada’s rate of attainment of this type of educational credential is more than three times the average for OECD member countries, and only three member countries have rates that are more than half Canada’s rate. This paper explores the factors that contribute to Canada’s high rate of short-cycle tertiary education attainment relative to other countries. The factors examined include: the role and prevalence of short-cycle postsecondary institutions in different countries; the proportions of students who begin postsecondary education in a college rather than a university; college graduation and transfer rates; and different approaches to workforce preparation. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of some of the implications of the international differences that were explored.
Of all students who started college in fall 2016, 73.9 percent persisted at any U.S. institution in fall 2017, while 61.6 percent were retained at their starting institution. The persistence rate is the percentage of students who return to college at any institution for their second year, while the retention rate is the percentage of students who return
to the same institution.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the 2018 edition of Habitats: Students in Their Municipalities. This annual publication is comprised of a series of case studies on municipal-level topics and issues affecting undergraduate students. Written by students from OUSA’s member institutions, these submissions aim to highlight both successes and challenges in municipalities across Ontario, providing insight into how students feel about issues within their communities.
OTTAWA, July 4, 2018 – The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) released a poll today, revealing that while paid work placements related to a student’s field of study are seen as the best form of experience to help new graduates get a good job, nearly half of students still are not able to participate in them.
Most graduate students and postdocs know they should give serious thought to their next career steps, but they aren’t sure how to navigate the career exploration process. After all, for those with doctoral training, there are a dizzying array of possible career “destinations” both inside and outside academe. Collecting information about even a few of those options can quickly become overwhelming and hard to sustain along with your current job.
Some scholars have questioned academe’s reliance on letters of recommendation, saying they’re onerous for the professors writing them or speak more about connections to “big-name” scholars than substance, or both.
A recent study explores another concern about letters of recommendation: whether they’re biased against the women they’re supposed to help. The short answer is yes.
Behind the doors of the University of Toronto’s Simcoe Hall, the school’s governing council voted in favour of passing a controversial policy that would mandate students who are experiencing a mental health crisis to take a leave of absence. The policy drew criticism from students who said it neglects to include the voice of those who are living with a mental health issue.
The changing nature of work is a hot topic these days and policy makers across the globe must grapple with the challenges it presents. In our search for solutions, we need to remember that the future of work is inextricably linked to the future of education.
It is this linkage that makes Joseph Aoun’s new book, Robot-Proof, a must-read for anyone who is thinking about workforce development or education policy – though, of course, if you’re thinking about one, you should be thinking about the other.