Otto Helweg of North Dakota State University (email@example.com) shared this view of on one of the PowerPoint Commandments that appear in the June/July, 2004 issue of the newsletter.
Recently a national survey of 1,424 faculty members at five types of colleges and universities and from four different disciplines was completed to ascertain the extent to which Boyer's notions of scholarship have been institutionalized. And if so, whether they are being done at one kind of institution more than another, by some disciplines more than others, or by some kinds of faculty more than others.
The idea of collaborating on exams is a tough one for both students and teachers to get their minds around. For so long, testing has been about individual performance and competitive environments. And grades are still measures of individual mastery. Group grades hide those students who haven't prepared or can't competently handle the material.
Articles offering advice to new teachers appear regularly in our pedagogical periodicals. Most give good advice; occasionally one contains insights relevant to new and "old" faculty. The article highlighted below falls into that category.
I've been doing some thinking lately about how faculty develop as teachers. There's not a lot of literature, neither theory nor research, that describes how college teaching skills change or don't across a career. If growth and development occur, much of it is automatic, resulting naturally from processes that happen without much faculty awareness. This fact does not imply that we don't take our teaching seriously and work to improve, but most of us aren't terribly systematic about the development of our teaching skills. We grow and change more by happenstance than by design.
Principles of Accounting has the reputation of being a "hard and boring" course. It is difficult to motivate students to invest the time and effort necessary to succeed in the course. To meet this challenge, we have assembled a list of eight simple rules for keeping students focused and motivated. These rules are not original, and they aren't just for those of us who teach accounting classes. Indeed, most of these time-honored suggestions apply to any course students find hard and boring, and we think that makes them broadly applicable.
Many instructors would rather take a beating than deal with a case of plagiarism, but unfortunately this is as much a part of our job as teaching or grading or sitting on committees. What's the best way to respond to the problems of plagiarism? The tips listed below come from long and sad experience. (If any reader feels shock and dismay that students at religious colleges sometimes cheat, please take a moment to get used to the idea, then read on.)
The following essay was prompted by my recent experience at the 2004 Teaching Professor Conference. A panel of four students, in response to the moderator's questions about how they learned, persisted in talking about what teachers had done in their classrooms. Despite the efforts of the moderator, not one of the four panelists spoke about her own learning, or claimed responsibility for his own intellectual growth. Education had happened to them all.
A note from the editor: I did want to take a bit of space to thank those of you who participated in the first Teaching Professor Conference.
Students think some courses are harder than others. They also work more in some classes than in others. Faculty still routinely tell students that for every hour spent in class they should spend two hours studying out of class, even though much survey data has established that even students who do very well in courses do not spend two hours studying outside of class.
Most faculty would agree: our students tend to be better at memorizing than thinking. Professor of reading James Paul Gee, in an excerpt from his book, "What Videogames Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy," makes this point: "Learning isn't about memorizing isolated facts. It's about connecting and manipulating them." (p. 91) And this he contends is what videogames make players do.
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