Many enrollment leaders are considering offering transfer incentives to students enrolled at other colleges, according to a new report.
If you’re already feeling jittery about enrollment trends, please put down that coffee before reading any further. The rules of competition are changing.
One of the reasons I love teaching is that each semester provides a fresh start: empty grade books, eager students. I also cherished this time when I was a student myself: poring over course syllabi, purchasing new textbooks, meeting my professors. Although I reside on eastern South Dakota’s frigid plains, the first day of class consistently brings me a warm feeling.
But once the newness of the semester fades, it’s not long before I casually share with a colleague something a student did or (more commonly) failed to do. This habit started in graduate school. Years ago, student shaming provided a humorous means of connecting with my fellow TAs: in my early 20s, commiserating over student issues felt normal, even cool. Perhaps, too, a case can be made that swapping stories of students’ shortcomings had little effect on our students themselves. They didn’t hear us laugh at their misspelled words or poorly constructed sentences. Yet, 10 years later, I’m haunted by the thought that I might
have spent more time complaining about my students than championing their success.
Universities must monitor the impact on student stress and staff workload as they shift away from “high-stakes” exams and towards using technology to conduct “continuous” assessment, a report says.
A paper published by Jisc, UK higher education’s main technology body, says digital tools offer “a host of opportunities for students to capture and reflect on evidence of their learning, to use and share formative feedback and to record progress”, adding that it “may be more effective to assess learners continually throughout their course instead of through a final exam”.
The most powerful self-revelation of my adult life occurred while I was eating a Cubano sandwich in a Florida strip mall. I was running some teaching workshops at a university in Fort Lauderdale and had an open slot for dinner. On the recommendation of my host, I walked from my hotel to a small Cuban restaurant nestled amid a random assortment of storefronts. As I usually do when I dine alone on the road, I brought a book.
Alumni relations is the misunderstood sibling of fund raising. The two have much in common — interacting with people who are no longer studying and working at your campus — and one can lead to the other. But they are different. Good alumni relations has
many nonfinancial benefits, and if it becomes "all about the money," you risk alienating both regular alumni and major donors.
Student evaluations of teaching reflect students’ biases and are otherwise unreliable. So goes much of criticism of these evaluations, or SETs. Increasingly, research backs up both of those concerns.
On the other side of the debate, SET proponents acknowledge that these evaluations are imperfect indicators of teaching quality. Still, proponents argue that well-designed SETs inevitably tell us something valuable about students’ learning experiences with a given professor.
For Black and Brown children in the United States, a major part of their schooling experience is associated with White female teachers who have no understanding of their culture. That was certainly my experience. My K-12 schooling was filled with White teachers who, at their core, were good people but unknowingly were murdering my spirit with their lack of knowledge, care, and love of my culture.
Educational institutions have a great responsibility of graduating all students with the essential knowledge and skills necessary for success in their chosen field. As faculty, we are responsible to do our best to retain as many of our students as possible. This is key for any institution of higher learning we represent.
While the term student retention may sound a little clinical, and one we may not consider in the midst of setting up, managing, and teaching our online courses, it is one we cannot ignore. Your institution may have a specific expected student retention rate for each instructor, such as 95% or better. The pressure is on to make sure you meet or exceed that expectation to remain as a top performer. Whether you are an experienced instructor or new to online teaching, meeting the faculty expectation may require developing or revising your retention strategies. Here are eight simple strategies that will help you to keep your
students engaged and improve retention:
Imagine constantly feeling pulled in multiple directions while trying to balance life as a college student and a mom. Keeping up with readings, devoting time to studying while also working to pay for childcare and tuition can often result in making choices that puts both roles in question. Whether a student mom is missing a child’s soccer game for a course, or missing class because of a sick kid, these are all common struggles that students who are moms face every day. Student moms have a very challenging role to balance. The guilt of not being present as a mom with the constant student demand of papers, exams, and class expectations can leave student moms exhausted and at risk for dropping out.
Whatever the budget or maturity level of a given educational institution, there is a trend toward putting assessments online. With this comes new opportunities, but also new challenges. In a recent webinar hosted by edWeb.net, administrators from the Hampton
Township School District in Pennsylvania point out that there is a wrong way to do online assessments. Here are a few of their top tips for making sure you do them the right way.
For non-traditional students who are working adults or are returning to school years later, the transition to college can be intimidating. Several of my students have expressed how hard it is to learn new concepts. Many feel their minds aren’t as “sharp” as they were the first time they attended college. Others talk about the stress that comes with having to balance family and work responsibilities with their course requirements. On more than one occasion, I have had to talk a student out of quitting a program because of one or all of these factors.
The ubiquity of online meeting software has made it increasingly easy for professors to include live online class sessions to both brick-and-mortar and online courses. I have learned in recent years that live online class sessions not only increase flexibility for students and the professor but can also be a powerful tool in creating community and engaging students in a range of dynamic learning opportunities. That said, I have also learned that in order for online class sessions to be more than just office hours or students passively listening to lecture, three careful considerations for course design and pedagogy are needed: structuring learning activities, communicating the expectations for participation and rational behind it, and grading.
Providing a high-quality education where students have the opportunity to take part in active learning is one of the most important things we can do for our students. Doing so, however, is much more involved than we may think. All of our instructional work functions within a broader teaching and learning ecosystem where intentions interact, for better or worse, with the expectations and assumptions we have for ourselves and our students. Falling into the trap of attempting to engage students in a large class discussion, where random students reluctantly respond or provide additional information, is one of the most
common teaching practices applied in the higher education classroom. The problem is, large class discussions can feel like a waste of time as students are unmotivated, unprepared, and therefore unwilling to speak.
Imagine you have completed a scholarly article, book or creative product that you intend as a contribution to your discipline. Who will evaluate your work, attest to its quality and determine whether it is published or exhibited? Who will review the work when you are up for tenure and promotion or contract renewal?
Now, in your mind’s eye, imagine a person who is likely to review the quality of your teaching for professional benchmarks.
I wager that you can put a name and highly familiar face to that second scenario. Colleagues in our departments and programs, whether department chairs, assigned mentors or members of a teaching committee, almost always conduct peer reviews of teaching. Frequently enough, we are responsible for inviting a colleague of our choice to review some course materials, visit class and craft a letter based on their observations. When it comes to our scholarship, however, peers external not only to our departments but also to our colleges and universities conduct reviews behind a double blind of anonymity.
We read with interest the recent opinion article, “Online learning isn’t as inclusive as you may think,” published by University Affairs in early May. We feel the authors provided a limited perspective regarding online education and online learners. We disagree with several of the
authors’ contentions and generalizations, which we outline below. We also direct the authors and readers to sources that may help to address some of the issues the authors raise.
First, the authors suggest online learning provides opportunities to those who might otherwise have been “excluded from or marginalized in higher education.” This is a generalization for which we feel perhaps the wrong words were chosen. At Athabasca University (AU), where we
teach, we see no indication that our students come here due to feelings of exclusion or marginalization.
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.
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."
By now, most final-year undergraduates across the northern hemisphere have found out what their years of toil (or Xbox playing) have amounted to in terms of the degree scores that will forever adorn their CVs.
In the UK, this was historically all about the relief or despair of finding out which side of the magic boundary you fell on between upper and lower second-class honours degrees; only the former are typically regarded by employers as a “good” degree. In a few cases, it was also the moment when extra dedication was justly rewarded with a first-class degree.
“Make sure you know which train or bus to catch, at what time(s), and the stop closest to your destination. Check the timetable! Even in large cities, bus services can be few and far between in the evenings. Avoid waiting alone at a bus stop at night, particularly in poorly lit or deserted
You might assume that this advice was written by a fearful parent for a nervous teenager embarking on their first solo trip to a distant town. In fact, it is taken from a training leaflet titled “How can I be safe while interviewing people?”, written for its postgraduate students by the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester.
This is just one example of the extent to which the modern culture of fear has infiltrated university campuses. The leaflet evokes a vision of urban Britain in which the perils of a bus journey and the dangers posed by visiting people in their homes demand “that someone knows where you are going”.
The exceptionally sad death of Malcolm Anderson at Cardiff Business School in February should serve as a warning light for universities in both the UK and further afield.
There is a high level of awareness and concern about student suicide, but it is important for every university leader, and perhaps every modern citizen, to realise that in most industrialised nations, including the UK, suicide is predominantly a risk among the middle-aged – and particularly among men in their late forties.