Tuesday, June 20, 2017
under the right circumstances. In Buffy Smith's Mentoring At-risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education, she notes three actions that mentors should do in order to help students including: (1) telling students what they should do (advising), (2) advocacy, defined as motivating and connecting students with individuals on campus, and (3) showing and empowering students how to acquire the highest degree of capital from the mentoring relationship (academic apprenticeship). Many institutions include mentoring as part of their first-generation programs. Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist provide a really nice overview of mentoring in their article for Inside Higher Ed. The article focuses on what faculty can do in the form of mentoring to help students succeed. One of the points they make is about the relationship itself as they note, "Individual faculty mentors also should recognize the backgrounds, resources and needs of their students, rather than assuming that students are all the same and have all of the resources they need. Students benefit from faculty mentors who see them as whole people. By recognizing who a student is beyond their role as a student, faculty members can develop trusting relationships with them."
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
overview with definitions that are helpful. One of the areas I am always interested in looking at is how to help learners develop their critical thinking abilities. It is one of the many topics we teach in the College Success Skills course and I often share with students that people who can solve problems will always find a job. Agnes Tiwari, Patrick Lai, Mike So, and Kwan Yuen tackle this issue in their study and found that PBL did aid in the development of critical thinking skills versus students who only received traditional lectures. Serkan Sendağa and H. Ferhan Odabas also found that using PBL in an online environment increases learners critical thinking skills. Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver found that using PBL methods can also improve learners collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation. Now you should be really intrigued and want to learn more about how you can implement PBL into your courses. Look for a follow-up post soon that will share some tips on how you can do just that. By the way, if you are already using PBL, be sure and post your comments so that we can all learn from your experiences.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
evaluate yourself. What worked well? What didn’t? What would you change if you could teach the course over again? Answering even these few questions will pay dividends well worth that slight delay in getting you to your much-deserved summer break." Continue reading here.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
self-guided learners. They need to be adults who can learn things on their own so that they will be able to handle the problems of the future. That was one of the reasons I was excited to attend the American Association of Community Colleges conference in Louisiana last weekend. As I participated in a session about innovative learning going on at several of the City University of New York schools, I marveled at how most of my colleagues are wrestling with the same issues that we are encountering. Today I encountered a special section in the The Chronicle of Higher Education that talks about a student leadership development program at CUNY. The program is aimed at creating leaders for the future. The City University of New York’s Futures Initiative, founded in 2014, is a program that advocates for both authentic innovation and equity. According to Cathy Davidson, the Initiative’s founding director and a distinguished professor of English at CUNY’s Graduate Center: “Normally when we think of innovation in higher education, we think of extremely well-funded programs for typically wealthy students who plan on going into jobs at the very top of the technology world. Not necessarily innovation that serves the good for the most people. Our credo is that unless your innovation has equity built into it, it’s not really innovation.” It certainly raises a lot of questions as we come to the end of the spring semester.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
letter to students about finals back in December 2016. It is still a great piece and the relevance echoes throughout higher education. I also found it very useful in teaching College Success Skills (CSSK 1023) as we spend a good amount of time on helping students figure out how they learn best. Weimer begins where we also begin in CSSK--start with a plan. Very often students jump into finals prep with no game plan and that is surely a recipe for disaster. One of my favorite parts of the post is this gem: "Believe in yourself. Your brain is plenty big enough to handle any question I might toss at you. You’ve just got to get the information stored in a place where you can retrieve it. Build connections between the new material and what you already know. Short-term memory is like a sponge—once it gets full, it drips. If you truly understand something, it’s much less likely to leak out." I strongly encourage you to share this letter with your students. We have sent it to the student who are participating in study groups and have received some positive feedback from them as well (letting your students know it is peer-endorsed may get them to read it). You might also remind them that the Academic Learning Center provides assistance for all students and the Long Night Against Procrastination is occurring on May 2 from 4:00 until 10:00 pm in the Magnolia Building on the Mid City Campus.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
article on NPR.org that encouraged us to not schedule early classes because our students learn better later in the day. It also said, "College classes start too early in the morning for students' brains. While most colleges have start times of around 8 a.m., Jonathan Kelley advises NPR Ed that the ideal start time would be more like 10 or 11 a.m. The reason: People fall into different 'chronotypes,'which people know as 'early birds' and 'night owls.' In this sample, night owls outnumbered early birds by far. The reasons for this are biological, says Evans. There has been evidence over time from specific studies indicating that teenagers' body clocks are set at a different time than older folks, she says. Medical research suggests that this goes on well into your 20s, so we decided to look at college students. While there is no ideal start time for everyone, up to 83 percent of students could be at their best performance if colleges allowed them to choose their own ideal starting time for a regular six-hour day, according to Kelley." Food for thought. By the way, we are strongly encouraging our study group student participants to plan some meeting time to discuss how they plan to finish the spring semester strong so please encourage your students to spend some time on this idea as well.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
active learning has proved to be adept at but there is still room for improvement. Reading James M. Lang's latest post, tells me that the faculty at BRCC are joined by colleagues around the world who are facing the same situation. One of the quotes from the post that really stuck with me is, "The arrival and widespread adoption of new technologies has occurred in increasingly intense bursts. In The Distracted Mind, Gazzaley and Rosen point out that, if you assume a benchmark of 50 million worldwide users, radio arrived at that level within 38 years of its invention. The time frame shrinks with each new invention: telephone, 20 years; television, 13 years; cellphones; 12 years; the internet, four years. Social media amped up the curve: Facebook, two years; YouTube, one year. And the winner, at least at the time of their writing the book? "Angry Birds" took over our lives in 35 days." We know our brains grow and adapt. We know that we continue to learn throughout our lives. We know a lot about how technology disruption changes things for us no matter the delivery modality. What we don't know is how to effectively use the technology (usually smart phones or tablets) without causing what education scientists call the "lingering effect." I think we do what we have always done and that is to try different approaches using the new tools. But we must share our results with each other and grow the research resources so that we can improve student success and continue to add tools to our teaching toolkit. What do you think?
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
relevant, I tried to explain why I cared about it and how it connected to wireless communication. I could tell that he did not care about either of my reasons. This bothered me for weeks, perhaps, months. Well, it still kind of does. But, it led me to wonder what could I have done differently? Last year, now working as a researcher in literacies at MSU, I found my answer." Sometimes it is beneficial to look at what we are teaching and consider why we are teaching it. Maybe like Rohit, it will help you enhance your teaching skills. He didn't stop there. He decided to write down his five ways that we can make learning relevant for our students which you can access here. He closes the post with what could be his teaching philosophy saying, "Our goal is to have them on-board with the things that we have learned to value and care about, so they can be good, literate, and emotional citizens who value each other and the world they live in."