Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

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Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

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  • Ten Tips for More Efficient and Effective Grading

    (from Faculty Focus). Ten Tips for More Efficient and Effective Grading. Many instructors dread grading, not just because grading takes up a sizable amount of time and can prove itself a tedious task, but also because instructors struggle with grading effectively and efficiently. However, effective grading does not have to take inordinate amounts of time, nor does one need to sacrifice quality for speed. The following tips can help instructors grade more effectively while enhancing student learning

  • A Mountain of Grading

    (from Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching). A Mountain of Grading. Now that the final exams are almost over, do you find yourself facing a large mountain of grading? And, perhaps, you wonder if you are spending more time grading than your students spent completing that assignment?  Consider the notion of “light grading” where you limit your comments or notations to those your students can use for further learning or improvement.  Here are some suggestions on how to do that.

  • Ending the Semester

    (from Georgetown University The Teaching Commons). Ending the Semester. A semester is a marathon effort, and, by the time you reach the end of it, it’s quite possible that everyone—you and the students both—will be exhausted, and perhaps very ready to leave the course behind. But one last thoughtful push can ensure that the course’s conclusion is meaningful in its own right. Think about a) looking back, b) gathering feedback, and c) looking forward regarding this semester's courses

  • Fizzle or Finale: The Final Day of Class

    (from Duquesne University Center for Teaching Excellence). Fizzle or Finale: The Final Day of Class.Many courses end with a fizzle.  Frank Heppner (2007) aptly says, “In most classes, The Last Lecture was about as memorable as the rest of the class had been – that is, not very.”  The final class should bring the course to an appropriate conclusion or finale.  “For many..., the last day of class comes and goes without ceremony, yet it provides an opportunity to bring the student-teacher experience to a close in a way that students appreciate and enjoy” (Lucas and Bernstein, 2008). How can you make the final day into a finale? Some ways are: give a momento, “pass the torch,” and make emotional connections.

  • Assigning Course Grades

    (from University of Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning). Assigning Course Grades. The end-of-course grades assigned by instructors are intended to convey the level of achievement of each student in the class. These grades are used by students, other faculty, university administrators, and prospective employers to make a multitude of different decisions. Unless instructors use generally-accepted policies and practices in assigning grades, these grades are apt to convey misinformation and lead the decision-maker astray. When grading policies are practices that are carefully formulated and reviewed periodically, they can serve well the many purposes for which they are used. What might a faculty member consider to establish sound grading policies and practices? With careful thought and periodic review, most instructors can develop satisfactory, defensible grading policies and procedures.

  • Stop Giving Them Answers: Make Them Think!

    (from Faculty Focus) Stop Giving Them Answers: Make Them Think! Higher education has recently changed in faster and more dynamic ways than anticipated. COVID-19 is an immediate factor, but the access to information is more prevalent now than 15 years ago. Many students’ learning habits do not include long nights in the library reading through textbooks or searching through library stacks. Information is at students’ fingertips, and the desire for immediate access to information is only growing. There is a real sense in which students want answers now, and as educators, we are tasked with cultivating the intellect, which is a laborious process. “Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful” (Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel, 2014). In other words, deep learning is hard work. We know this, and we are faced with convincing students that deep learning is meaningful and rewarding.

    Consequently, we are charged with developing and refining our students into professional learners who are efficient at thinking critically, completing tasks, and ready to enter the “real world.” As Nagro et al. (2018) stated, accomplishing this means structuring our classrooms to emphasize student choice and allowing authentic learning through individual and group activities.

  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything

    (from Pocket Worthy). The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything. There are two types of knowledge and most of us focus on the wrong one. The first type of knowledge focuses on knowing the name of something. The second focuses on knowing something. These are not the same thing. The famous Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, he created a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else. There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique: 1) Choose a Concept, 2) Teach it to a Toddler, 3) Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material, 4) Review and Simplify (optional). 

  • The Sound of Silence Can Be Deafening and the Questions You Ask Your Students Can Provoke It

    (from Stanford University’s Tomorrow’s Professor) The Sound of Silence Can Be Deafening and the Questions You Ask Your Students Can Provoke It. A colleague recently told me that the students in his undergraduate class “didn’t want to talk.” I probed, “What kinds of questions have you asked your students?” He replied, “Well, the first question I asked this morning was ‘What is the main point of the article I assigned for the day?’” Nobody said anything. I pointed out that even I might be afraid to answer such a question. Such questions pose a severe challenge to the confidence of undergraduate students, because the instructor knows the answer and they don’t. When it comes to answering questions about “facts,” there are many ways to be wrong, but only one way to be right. When faced with this dilemma, students are understandably silent. I suggested that he come up with nonthreatening questions: questions that didn’t put a student’s self-confidence and reputation at risk.

  • The Big Bang of Motivation: Questions That Evoke Wonder in Our Students

    (from Faculty Focus). The Big Bang of Motivation: Questions That Evoke Wonder in Our Students. Many college and university professors name student motivation and engagement as their top challenge. It’s a common belief that motivation is a character trait that is either present or missing in each student. However, if we look back upon our personal histories as learners, we can all think of times when we participated half-heartedly. Many of us can also recall teachers who kindled in us a deep connection to the topics in their courses despite an absence of such interest when we first entered their classrooms. We became highly motivated to participate in the learning process, perhaps even developing a lifelong interest in the field. How did these teachers ignite this interest in us? While the topic of human motivation still contains many mysteries, researchers have discovered fascinating clues about what sparks a desire to learn. Amidst all of the factors that influence human motivation to learn, wonder might be seen as the “big bang” because it is such an essential starting point in any passionate path of inquiry.

  • Extending the Shelf Life of Your Instructional Videos: Six Common Pitfalls to Avoid

    (from Faculty Focus) Extending the Shelf Life of Your Instructional Videos: Six Common Pitfalls to Avoid. When instructional video is produced thoughtfully and used to promote active engagement, it can improve student motivation, learning, and performance, make content more memorable, and bring highly visual material to life. Video has other benefits as well. It allows students to watch lectures at their own pace, rewinding and re-watching as needed. It lets instructors assign lectures as homework, opening up class time for interaction. And it can reduce the total time faculty need to spend preparing and delivering the same material for different semesters or audiences. Once you’ve recorded a video, you can–theoretically–use it again and again.

    I say “theoretically” because it’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, there are a number of small mistakes that can shorten the shelf-life of video unnecessarily, limit its reusability, and compel you to re-record sooner than you’d like. Here are six strategies that can help you avoid these pitfalls and make videos that last