Thursday, October 30, 2014

Teaching Tip: Dr. Maria DaCosta on Projects that Impact the Course.

Dr. Maria DaCosta, Department of Economics, discusses how she designs student projects to encompass diversity and create a meaningful impact on course content:

I ask the students to select the topics for the group projects. By doing that I am catering to their preferences and foundations. Each student is to submit up to three topics, and then I set up the groups, matching topic choices while taking into account the diversity of the group in terms of gender, major, background, and class performance. Then, I adjust the last part of the course content to reflect the group project topics, covering the topics that seemed to be of great interest more in depth and filling in the gaps where I see them. The final exam will have at least one or two questions based on each presentation, to reinforce the significance of these projects. 

Interviewed by: Jon Pumper

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching – Lehman, Conceição

A common challenge in teaching an online course is connecting with your students: video lectures—while more flexible than traditional lectures—simply cannot recreate the same dynamic interplay of face-to-face class time. This book traces the ways in which you can create a sense of ‘presence’ in the virtual classroom, including practical samples of strategies, interactive models, and activities that will help foster a vibrant student-instructor relationship. Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching can be checked out from the CETL library, and is located in the ‘Instructional Technology’ section on the bookshelf next to Cindy’s office. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teaching Tip: Dr. Sean Ford on Worthwhile Purpose

Students stress out immensely over getting the right grade. Dr. Sean Ford, Department of English, emphasizes the importance of providing students with perspective:

I always encourage students to not write for a grade. Students need to be aware that there are objectives and requirements to fulfill, but if I can encourage them to discover and shoot for a worthwhile purpose each time, then the grade will come. I think for students coming right out of high school –who may be more accustomed to more prescriptive prompts–this is a new concept: allowing space for inquiry, for discovery, for achieving, and accomplishing things yourself, rather than strictly adhering to a rubric.  

Interviewed by: Jon Pumper

Monday, October 27, 2014

Teaching with Your Mouth Shut – Donald L. Finkel

Each chapter in this book explores a different way to teach while keeping your mouth shut. It never assumes to suggest a singular “right-way” to teach; it serves as a tool for reflection rather than as a stringent manual. With thought-provoking case studies, stories, and concise commentary, Donald L. Finkel encourages all those who have a stake in education to consider a host of new teaching possibilities, all revolving around the concepts of democratic learning and student self-fulfillment.