As a new semester approaches, and we put the finishing touches on our syllabi, the issue of how to motivate students is very much on faculty minds. Behind every assignment, reading, and in-class activity lurks the same question: Will they want to do this?
There’s only one first day of class. Here are some ideas for taking advantage of opportunities that are not available in the same way on any other day of the course.
What is your learning style? Identifying your learning style serves you and helps you use it to your advantage to learn new skills efficiently. Your learning style is your approach to learning based on your preferences, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Learners can be grouped into main categories:
Those who learn through reading and writing prefer to read and write rather than listen. In fact, they enjoy reading books and can follow written directions with ease. Visual learners learn best through maps and diagrams as opposed to verbal directions. While auditory learners prefer verbal directions and enjoy working in groups and discussing information. They remember best
through listening and may find it difficult to work quietly. These type of learners often read with whispering lip movements.
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At one point during my year spent adjuncting, a former graduate school classmate who was now a tenured professor told me that I was lucky. I didn’t, he helpfully explained, have to attend department meetings, and I was only teaching one course.
Anyone familiar with adjunct life -- the anxiety about money, the constant search for the next job, the terrible work conditions -- knows that this classmate-turned-professor’s comment was ignorant at best. Now, having finally landed a tenure-track professorship, I understand better the extent of his ignorance. It went beyond his obliviousness to what a $3,000-a-semester job
This fall I will again be the job-placement officer for my department — a position I have held more often than not for almost 20 years, in three different English departments. The role of the job-placement officer is to guide graduate students through the painstaking, drawn-out, and nerve-racking process of applying for positions in their field: from deciphering ads and preparing materials to interviewing with committees and, in the happy event, negotiating offers with chairs and deans.
When you first joined the faculty, chances are your orientation included an overview of your responsibilities as a member of your new academic community. You were probably informed that you had an obligation to support the success of your students and colleagues, were expected to be an exemplar in terms of your scholarship and contributions to your discipline, and were required to devote a percentage of your time to departmental, college, or university service.
If we are serious about accessible online learning, we must talk openly about disability as if it is right here, right now – because it is.
Si nous sommes sérieux au sujet de l’apprentissage en ligne accessible, nous devons parler ouvertement du handicap comme si c’était ici, maintenant - parce que c’est le cas.
For two decades I have taught 150- to 200-student sections of introductory financial management to majors in all business programs, plus business minors from diverse fields. Although the course has its fans—some even change their majors to finance each semester— many students find the material daunting, become distracted, and behave in ways that impede the learning of others along with their own. Distractions always have lurked in college classrooms; texters and Web surfers are merely the note passers and campus newspaper readers of the digital age.
It had happened before, sitting at the computer, working on a syllabus, again, fluctuating between excitement about a new course and a vague sense that life itself was being sucked out of me one sterile byte at a time. I was fighting boredom. And this was supposed to interest students? I tried to imagine it igniting their curiosity, but instead I saw them staring at it with the
enthusiasm saved for the fine print on a life insurance policy. But they must read it. It is their life insurance policy for a future full of knowledge and wisdom! It defines how we’re going to relate! As I sat there writing my syllabus I had a vision of the Ferris Bueller video of the professor droning on and on while asking for input: “Anyone? Anyone?” That was not where I wanted to go. I had to stop and rethink what I was doing.
It’s the first day of class. They shuffle in, spot similar life-forms, and slip in with that group. Hipsters sporting wild hair and tats, buttoned-up and serious young scholars, middle-aged moms and dads, maybe a couple of aging hippies. One or two sad souls choose spots isolated from the others; they don’t want to identify with them for reasons of insecurity, arrogance, or
After struggling for months to receive the accommodations she was entitled to, one student shares her story as a lesson for university administrators, faculty members and front-line staff.
Education is vitally important to a person’s personal, social and academic development. Achieving one’s education potential affects a person’s ability to take part in the labour market, live independently, participate meaningfully in society, and realize their full potential.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) recognizes the importance of creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person can contribute fully to the development and wellbeing of the community and the Province. The Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education, without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services. This protection applies to elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities, both public and private.
As Canadian universities and colleges face increasing pressure to provide better mental-health services on campus, students are looking to give schools fresh ideas on how to tackle the issue.
At most institutions, faculty participate in some sort of annual review. A discussion of student evaluations is usually part of these conversations, and they aren’t always easy interactions. Sometimes the issue is the rating results—they aren’t high enough, maybe they dropped in one course, perhaps they have stayed the same for some time, or maybe there is some question about why they’re so high. Sometimes it’s what the academic leader concludes about the teaching based on a few negative student comments, or it could be the action the department chair recommends. And sometimes, it’s the faculty member who doesn’t know what to say or becomes defensive.
Last week, a student named Mary visited me during my office hours and presented me with an interesting dilemma. In one of her classes, a professor had distributed a study guide with a series of questions to help the students prepare for an upcoming exam. Mary, being the millennial student that she is, decided to upload the study guide into Google Docs and invite the rest of the class to contribute to the document. Students answered the study guide questions from each of their individual notes and then refined the answers from their peers.
The goal of attracting more international students is an increasingly common theme in discussions on the future of post-secondary education in Canada. The goal of making Canada a premiere destination for post-secondary students from around the world has been repeated throughout the past decade by provincial and federal levels of government and leaders in the post-secondary sector from coast-to-coast. “International students in Canada,” the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy noted, “provide immediate and significant economic benefits to Canadians in every region of the country.”1 The panel advocates for a doubling of the number of international students studying in Canada over the span of a decade, from just under 240,000 in 2011 to over 450,000 in 2022.
In the online class environment, students enjoy many advantages, such as increased scheduling flexibility, ability to balance work and school, classroom portability, and convenience. But there are potential shortcomings as well, including the lack of student-instructor interaction and a student not understanding the instructor’s expectations. A key mechanism to convey expectations while increasing student-instructor communication is relevant, timely, constructive, and balanced instructor feedback.
The union representing Ontario college faculty is taking the Progressive Conservative government to court after it terminated a task force that was trying to fix the growing problem of part-time and contract work.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says the College Task Force was a key part of the arbitrator’s decision last year, ending a bitter dispute between faculty members and Ontario’s 24 colleges that culminated in a record-long, five-week strike.