What Your Students Don’t Know …

… won’t hurt them.  That is correct, isn’t it?

Wrong!  There is so much students need to know and often don’t.  Think of it this way, what do you need to know to pilot a space shuttle?  Write everything down.  Think you got it all?  It’s doubtful, just like it’s doubtful your students know everything they should.  How can they?  Often times they don’t even know what they don’t know.  The result?  It may be problems in your class.  It may be problems in other class or even the problems registering for other classes.  It may be when they complete their coursework and apply graduate.  Ouch!  Those are the ones that the dean often hears about.

In this category, I will talk about many, many things.  I have some humorous anecdotes to share.  (It’s a character flaw – making fun of someone’s mistakes behind his or her back.  Oh well, the names will be changed to protect the guilty.)  In particular, I will give you my thoughts about what you should tell your students that maybe lays just a tad outside the scope of your course.  Think of these as learning outcomes that aren’t on your syllabus, but never-the-less ones that a good instructor incorporates in the class.  They will range from general education outcomes to, and this is the most important one, the student’s role in the learning process.  Some students don’t understand their role and if they do they don’t fulfill their obligation.  Oh well, at least we try.  Stay tuned.

© 2010 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.


About Dr. Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

My name is Paul Hummel, and I often introduce myself to others as a recovering engineer. If you are familiar with the Dilbert cartoons, let me simply say that I lived all of that. I started my college saga at Illinois Institute of Technology. Eventually, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I worked for many years in industry, and during this time I did some college adjunct teaching. During my career I held several managerial positions in industry, the last as Director of Technology of a division of a Fortune 500 corporation. Then, in 1996, with minimal planning or forethought, I found myself working as a manufacturing consultant on behalf of Elgin Community College (ECC). My career in higher education began to take shape. I fell in love with ECC and with the mission of community colleges in general. I worked fulltime and occasionally taught college courses for my institution and two other colleges. After a couple years I set a goal to move over to the “credit side of the college” and eventually become a college administrator. In 2006, having earned my doctorate in education, I achieved that goal. I was hired by Waubonsee Community College as Dean for Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I have had the great fortune of working at two excellent colleges. The insights I want to share are drawn from the various college positions I have held. At ECC, in addition to my consulting role, I coordinated non-credit professional development training programs for three years and spent four years advising students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. That position helped me understand college education from the perspective of today’s college students. After seven years at Waubonsee, I retired April 30, 2013. I now devote my knowledge and skills to upgrading and expanding the websites I created beginning with Adjunct Assistance. I have three other websites: College Teaching Tips, Keys for College Success and Lighthouse for Learning. A lot of work lies ahead for me in terms of upgrading and expanding each of these websites, but I could not be more excited about fulfilling the vision I have for helping college instructors and their students succeed.

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