Students are never more attentive than they are on the first day of class, when they’re eager to determine what kind of professor they’re dealing with, and although it is tempting to delay the real work of teaching and learning until the class list has stabilized, it can be difficult to change even the subtle norms that are established during this initial class. Several years ago, I tried a new approach, and I’ve been using it with great success ever since...
I have no hard proof, but I suspect that this opening day reading helped set a tone that encouraged this broader openness and that it will inspire me and my students to maintain that tone throughout the term...
The interest inventory is a simple tool to help you acquaint yourself with your students. Unlike the many icebreakers, the interest inventory is a paper-based activity and students do not have to give answers aloud in front of class. The interest inventory, therefore, helps you get to know your students privately and allows you to ask different questions than you would during oral introductions...
Each new semester as I walk down the hallway to my classroom, I am a little nervous, even after 27 years of teaching experience…and I’m okay with this. I think when I get to the point where I don’t feel this anxiety, I won’t be as effective a teacher. After all, I will be walking into that classroom for the next four months and it’s important to make a good first impression. Below are 10 tips to help you get off to a great start...
So now...how to go about learning your students' names??
One of the most frequent comments I hear from faculty throughout the year is that many have a tough time learning students names. We all know the importance of learning student names as soon as possible and the impact it has on student success. I thought I would share a great list that I found (divided by ways students can learn each other’s names, and things instructors can do both in and out of class to learn names). Visit 20 Tips for Learning Student Names to check out these helpful tips!
I was excited that the techniques I use most made the list too, so I’ll share them here:
14. Association Techniques
Associate any students who have the same name as someone you know to help you remember them. This method of “anchoring” a student with someone else you know can help you establish a system for remembering other students. For example, if you know who Leah is because she looks like your neighbor, you can learn that “the person who usually sits next to Leah is…” and so on.
When calling roll, annotate the class list and take note of any memorable features beside the student’s name. For example, “Stacy has curly blonde hair.” Additionally, using the above association technique can be useful here.
I will also make an effort to show them I am trying to learn their names by repeating them often when I address them in class. It’s okay to say “remind me of your name again…” if you happen to forget. Feel free to share any tried and true name-learning tips that you have!
How to Capitalize On Your Students' Digital Habits
CLC subscribes to the Magna 20-Minute Mentor. Just go to Blackboard, select the Communities tab at the top right, and select TLETC. The first link, Magna Professional Development Resources, will allow you to connect to the 20-Minute Mentor Commons, where you can search for which titles interest you.
Check out the following 20-minute videos that each speak to ways you can capitalize on your students' digital habits!
How Can I Engage Generation C?
In just 20 minutes, this presentation covers the nature of the Generation C phenomenon and how it relates to classroom management, formative assessment tools, and low- and no-cost techniques for enhancing student engagement. From cell phones to Post-Its, this presentation is full of practical tips on how to connect with students.
How Can I Leverage Force Multipliers in the Classroom?
This presentation will show you how to enhance your productivity and improve your efficiency by accessing a host of what could easily be described as virtual teaching assistants. You’ll learn how to get help with all the things that matter to you: grading, teaching, interacting with students, conducting research, and kindling students’ interest in learning.
How Can I Inspire Creative Confidence in the Classroom?
Learn a step-by-step method for cultivating your students’ creativity in any subject area while deepening their engagement with course content and strengthening their presentation skills. You’ll learn how to use 21st-century approaches and techniques, like transactive thinking and creativity tools, to help your students imagine, innovate, and implement.
Managing Misbehavior in the College Classroom
Dear Cult of Pedagogy,
I just finished my first year of teaching at the college level. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I had a lot of behavior problems. In almost every class I had a few students who would talk or text right over my lecture. I never expected to have these issues in college, but I do, and I don’t know what to do about it. Do you know of any resources that can help me deal with this issue?
When faculty members mention classroom misbehavior, probably the most frequent example cited is talking and/texting in class. How do YOU deal with such behavior?
One of my favorite sites, Cult of Pedagogy, offers up some solutions here: www.cultofpedagogy.com/misbehavior-college-classroom/ It has great practical examples for Quick Fixes (such as tips for using proximity), Long Term Solutions (such as examples of developing class rules), and resources for developing a system.
Another great option is right here through the TLETC, where Cheri Sinnott, faculty member in BSS is offering a 5-week online class "Classroom Management in the College Classroom":
"Problems with discipline" is the number one reason that administrators fail to rehire teachers or award tenure. Teachers report student misbehavior to be their primary source of career-based stress, and former teachers report it to be the number one reason that they left the field (www.behavioradvisor.com). Many college instructors are subject matter experts and have not participated in specific training related to classroom management. Participants in this course will learn about classroom management strategies that support positive student behavior.
To register, click here or visit the TLETC website.
The Importance of Learning Students' Names
Faculty Focus article 8-2-17
Names … why do we have such trouble learning them? For those of us who struggle with names, it never gets easier, no matter how many tricks we try. It can be embarrassing—to ourselves and to others.
According to the article "learning your students' names positively affects their attitudes about the course. They feel more valued and invested in the course. When the instructor knows their names, they say they feel more comfortable getting help. It’s easier to talk with the instructor. They think it improves their performance. Finally, they said it affects what they think about the course and the instructor."
Check out this Faculty Focus article (AND the comments after the article) for some great tips on how to remember students' names.
**How do YOU learn your students' names?? RESPOND TO THIS POST and let us know!**
Introducting...Magna 20-Minute Mentor!
The TLETC has recently purchased a subscription to Magna's 20-Minute Mentor Commons! This is an online collection of faculty development programs that offer solutions to common classroom challenges--in just 20 minutes! There are over 100 titles, relevant for faculty in all disciplines and at all levels.
Some of the most popular topics include:
We are working on eventually housing a link to this (and our other Magna subscriptions: Online Cl@ssroom and The Teaching Professor) on Blackboard, so that you can log into them easily without having to enter a password. However, at this time, they are there and available for you to explore at https://www.magnapubs.com/mentor-commons/
If you have visited the Magna publications website before, you can use the login/password that you have created. Those who are new to the site, will have to contact the TLETC for an authorization code to get started.
CHECK THEM OUT! Lots to explore here over the summer! :-)
Look what's coming in April (and early May)!
We have some big name speakers coming to campus as well as some of our full-time faculty members offering new, exciting workshops...all for TLETC credit! Visit the TLETC website at http://tletc.clcillinois.edu to register.
April 7: Dr. Tyrell Strayhorn returns!!
Fri. April 7 (9-11am)--Strategies to Help Faculty Foster Belonging for All Students
(If you weren't able to attend, you are still in luck...it was recorded! You can find the presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2YQwHw0TmM )
This session is JUST for CLC Faculty! Students spend a considerable amount of time, per week, in college classrooms working with faculty and instructional staff. Given belonging's importance to college student success, it seems reasonable to pay attention to how faculty might foster belonging using evidence-based strategies. In this session, Dr. Strayhorn makes these points using national trends, achievement data, and insights from his most recent research. He offers key strategies and tools for faculty who want to foster belonging and success for students. Come learn and leave ready to act!
April 24: CA/Theatre faculty Craig Rich shares his expertise from his sabbatical on using your voice correctly as you lecture
Mon. April 24 (1:30-3:30pm) --Freeing the Voice
Want to develop a more healthy, expressive, free voice? This workshop will focus on how the voice works and why it doesn't work. As a class, we will explore a series of exercises and techniques that can be used by faculty before giving a lecture, by staff before giving a presentation, or by anyone wanting to improve everyday communication. Participants should wear clothing that gives them a full range of movement, such as sweats or athletic/yoga gear.
April 24: Dr. Jane Thierfield Brown returns!
Mon. April 24 (3:30-5:00pm) --Higher Education and the Student with Autism
Transitioning to college can be daunting, especially for students on the autism spectrum. Dr. Brown will discuss the challenges of this transition for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One of the nation's top speakers on autism in post-secondary education, Dr. Brown is known for her wisdom and approachable teaching style. Don't miss out on this informative event!
May 3: EMPS/Earth Science faculty Ryan Cumpston shares his standing-room only presentation from the eLearning Conference
Wed. May 3 (2:30-3:30pm)--Improving Students' Self-Directed Learning with Non-Traditional Digital Open Education Resources
Modeling curriculum design to enhance students' abilities to become life long learners is a principle responsibility of contemporary educators. Self-direction is an important skill for today's students to master in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing, technology driven world. Open educational resources play a vital role in a faculty member's ability to design courses customized to maximizing growth of these skills in the diverse populations served at higher education institutions.
Assignment Helps Students Assess Their Progress
(from 2-6-17 Faculty Focus)
Midterm evaluations bring a host of institutional measures to reach out to underachieving students. However, what might make the most difference to students’ success in their courses is to enable them to assess their own performance and set goals as well as to ask questions of and provide feedback to the instructor. Instructors can give students this reflective opportunity through an online journal assignment in which students do the following:
My experience with the assignment
Since I make all grades available on our university’s learning management system, students can always see their grades, but they often don’t check or acknowledge that these grades are available. Further, because not all professors provide grades automatically, students may not fully understand their progress even when grades are available.
Students take anywhere from 50 to 400 words to complete this journal assignment, based on their needs. Their posts
The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies
Source: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/speaking-listening-techniques/ Visit this site to view the article on the web with comments from other faculty.
When I worked with student teachers on developing effective lesson plans, one thing I always asked them to revise was the phrase “We will discuss.”
We will discuss the video.
We will discuss the story.
We will discuss our results.
Every time I saw it in a lesson plan, I would add a note: “What format will you use? What questions will you ask? How will you ensure that all students participate?” I was pretty sure that We will discuss actually meant the teacher would do most of the talking; He would throw out a couple of questions like “So what did you think about the video?” or “What was the theme of the story?” and a few students would respond, resulting in something that looked like a discussion, but was ultimately just a conversation between the teacher and a handful of extroverted students; a classic case of Fisheye Teaching.
The problem wasn’t them; in most of the classrooms where they’d sat as students, that’s exactly what a class discussion looked like. They didn’t know any other “formats.” I have only ever been familiar with a few myself. But when teachers began contacting me recently asking for a more comprehensive list, I knew it was time to do some serious research.
So here they are: 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging. If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, this is your lucky day.
The 2017 Teaching Professor Conference will be held at St. Louis, Missouri from June 2-4, 2017. Registration before March 10, 2017 is $649 (with discounted pricing for multiple people). This is a great conference for reviewing the latest pedagogical research, learning new, innovative classroom instruction methods, gaining insight into best practices fo higher education teaching and learning, exploring active learning techniques for online teaching, discovering fresh course design and assessment tactics, and of course, networking!
More informaiton can be found at: http://www.magnapubs.com/2017-teaching-professor-conference/
The TLETC Blog is a great way to find out what is going on with regard to teaching, pedagogy, and educational technology.