With a little bit of courage and creativity, college instructors can make "play acting" an effective classroom learning activity for their students.
Student grade appeals can be an unpleasant, time consuming annoyance. However, there are steps the wise college instructor can take to avoid them.
There are a variety of reasons why students do not participate in class. By being mindful of them, an instructor can take steps to overcome those barriers and make classes more enjoyable for all.
Learn why some parents inappropriately intervene when their children run into problems at college and why this should be a rallying call for action.
Learn how to help students who fear math, especially summer college students.
When it comes to applying Habit #1 - Be Proative - adjuncts and new full-time faculty are at a distinct disadvantage. Through no fault of their own, they may not understand the scope of their power and authority.
Help for Adjuncts and New College Teachers
Why do I ask? I am looking for the topics that interest you readers. Here’s what I am wondering:
- What do you want to read about?
- Do you have some advice you would like me to post?
- Do you have any specific questions?
- What problems are you having?
- Would you like me to send you money?
If you answered yes to the last question, this is the point where I could ask you for your bank account number and password so I can deposit huge suns of money directly in your account. Hold off on that information. I would prefer not to be arrested for Internet fraud. 😉
What College Students Don’t Like
In February, I posted an article entitled Is It Wrong to Grade on Class Participation? In that article I pointed out the importance of clarifying class participation expectations and giving students feedback. Something a student said to me recently prompted me to write this follow-up article.
A Valuable Classroom Assessment Technique for College Instructors
I realized that I have made no less than three references to this concept without explaining it.
Here is the explanation that I have owed you.
Angelo and Cross, in their book Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (see References page), describe what they call the Minute Paper. While many authors cite their work, I honestly don’t know if they were the first to write about this assessment tool. They may have been. The Minute Paper has been I have adopted by thousands, make that millions, of teachers under a variety of names like One Minute Paper, One-Minute Paper, 1 Minute Paper, and Fred. Okay, I am kidding about “Fred,” but there are a lot of free spirited, nonconformist instructors, so it may have happened. “Students, before you leave take out a blank sheet of paper. I want you to do a Fred.” I wonder how many students would return for the next class. Anyway, I prefer the term One Minute Paper (OMP), and that will be my default nomenclature.
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People addresses an important aspect of interpersonal communication. Covey begins with a claim that really applies to me. He says, “We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first,” (p. 237). As with Covey’s other habits, this one has some unique applications for college faculty members. I will begin with one of the most important things college instructors need to understand about understanding. Covey doesn’t cover this.