Motivation and the College Instructor

I would complete the review of my syllabus, start to move on, and then interject, “I almost forgot something. Did I mention that I won’t be teaching you anything this semester?”

The 1st of 7 Principles of Good Teaching

When was the last time you told a student how sorry you were that he didn’t have the time to complete his paper and then give him another week? My guess is probably never, at least not without deducting from his grade. So don’t expect your students to feel sorry for you with your busy schedule. Don’t expect them to give you a week to answer a question or give them help with a problem.

Connecting with Other Adjunct Instructors

Adjunct Social Networking with Blogs

A few weeks ago, I posted the following discussion question on the LinkedIn Group, Able Adjuncts:

Adjunct Hurdles & Pitfalls – I want to help adjunct faculty avoid the pitfalls I have observed. What helps adjuncts helps students and deans, like me. I would appreciate hearing what, in your opinion, those issues are so I can add them to my blog postings on www.adjunctassistance.com. ..... (read more)

The 7 Principles of Good College Teaching

Principle 4: Prompt Feedback

David Royse (2001) (see my References page) gives an especially good summary of Chickering and Gamson’s findings after many years of research into teaching and learning. Here are the seven principles as paraphrased by Royse: ..... (read more)

YouTube and the College Instructor

Use YouTube Videos as Teaching Aids

Each time I check for online I find more and better videos, ones well suited for the college classroom.  There are variety of reasons an instructor should use this vast resource. ..... (read more)

Dealing With Difficult College Students

You are going to wonder why I am telling you this story!

I recently read The Devil in the White City. This book weaves together the fascinating history of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition with the macabre, heinous acts of one of the world’s worst serial killers. ..... (read more)

College Instructor – Mini-Lesson #1

A simple way to lose your job.

There will always be students who enroll in courses and drop during the term. I put them into three categories:

  • There is the “infant mortality” group who attend one class and then get while the gettin’ is good.
  • There are those who don’t apply themselves and then, well into the course, realize that they are doomed to failure and drop.
  • And finally, there are those who dislike their instructor and don’t feel he is doing the job. They usually hold out until shortly before or shortly after mid-term. By the way, they often complain “to the boss.”

So, how does an instructor keep students in class? Forget it. Why bother? In fact, don’t worry about it if your goal is to lose your job, because you’re history if you lose a significant percentage of your students. ..... (read more)

Student Evaluations

Make Sure Your Evaluations Aren’t “Evil-uations”

Does this apply to you?

To many (most?) college instructors, “student evals” are a once-a-term event that prompts a bit of anxiety and not much more. Your students complete them, they are sent in a sealed envelope to someone at your college who reviews them, and later you receive the results. The moment arrives. Drum roll!!! With fear and trepidation, you open the envelope. There are the ratings and comments from students. They are good, bad or indifferent. You close the envelope, file it (possibly in the circular file), and you move on. That is, you move on unless they were really bad. ..... (read more)