April 25, 2013 – 3:00am
Why did you decide to go to college?
Asking that question of new students in a more formal way might help colleges find ways to encourage more students to complete their programs, according to a new study from University of Rochester education researchers published in The Journal of College Student Development.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/25/new-study-links-student-motivations-going-college-their-success#ixzz2RtFaiBQr
Inside Higher Ed
The following is from the linkedin blog group:
and was posted by Nelson King.
Our student evaluation contains the question “Course was appropriately organized and paced” and a similar question “The instructor was prepared for the class”. Both questions are on a 5-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
I am concerned about the differences in semantics (how interpreted) of words such as “organized”, “paced”, and “prepared”. I am highly prepared with a richly populated Moodle course that follows the sequence of the course. The “due dates” of assignments appear automatically as Moodle upcoming events so they don’t have to scroll and find. I even create an agenda as an event repeating the readings and due dates. However, I still get a lot of complaints that “Sir, I can’t find anything” [unorganized]. I have flipped many of my courses so I can push critical thinking in predominantly group-based problem solving during class. The questions are structured with ambiguity to promote problem definition and framing but students see this as [unstructured, unorganized, and fast-paced]. They won’t finish on time if they dawdle or don’t come prepared. Note that I only grade the assignment if the majority of groups are able to complete the assignment as there is variance each semester.
I suspect these evaluation questions have origins from the era of instructor-led courses. I suspect that most students interpret these words as:
• Organized – tell me/remind me what I need to do next so I don’t miss any assignments
• Paced – minimal pressure to complete the work
• Prepared – tell me what I need to know (memorize) to do well on exam – give me the Powerpoints – ask me questions that I understand
I interpret these words as:
• Organized – content of the course is laid out in a structured manner in a learning management system, assignments can be located, and due dates are clearly visible via event notices and agenda of the day
• Paced – enough pressure to reinforce being prepared and develop team collaboration skills to move through the required questions in the time allotted
• Prepared – I have carefully developed the questions to maximize critical thinking at the level of the class (per semester) in the group problem-solving
STUDENTS piling on debt to go to college might attract all the attention, but colleges have been on a borrowing spree as well, nearly doubling the amount of debt they’ve taken on in the last decade to fix aging campuses, keep up with competitors and lure students with lavish amenities.
Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/education/edlife/many-colleges-and-universities-face-financial-problems.html?pagewanted=all&goback=%2Egde_1203287_member_233962586&_r=0
Research has indicated that student performance is significantly correlated with cell phone use. A study by Duncan, Hoekstra, and Wilcox (2012) demonstrated that students who reported regular cell phone use in class showed an average negative grade difference of 0.36 Â± 0.08 on a four-point scale. Students also underestimated the number of times they accessed their phones while in class. While students reported an average access rate of three times per class period, observation data showed the rate was closer to seven times per period. An interesting finding is that other students are distracted when students text in class (Tindell and Bohlander, 2012). So while a student may claim heâ€™s only hurting himself when texting, studies show that others are affected also.
So what is the answer to this new form of passing notes in class? Faculty must assess their own feelings about their students using cell phones in the classroom. This will include the type of class one is leading.
Other faculty may incorporate the use of the cell phone in the course planning. The ability to quickly access the web for discussion information can be beneficial for the students. It also can encourage participation when paired with software like Poll Everywhere.
Once the instructor has a clear understanding of the potential positive or negative impact of allowing cell phone use, he or she must clearly state policies in the syllabus. If the faculty member allows phone use, he or she then must clearly state how the cell phone can be used. If no cell phone use is allowed, this too must be clearly stated and students need to know the repercussions for violating the policy.
Sydney Fulbright, PhD, “Cell Phones in the Classroom: What’s Your Policy?” Faculty Focus, April 15, 2013
There’s no question that technology has transformed the classroom. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile-computing devices, social media and online-learning resources, and classroom-based tools such as interactive whiteboards and document cameras, digital literacy has become increasingly important for today’s students. But developing strong technological skills is only half the battle; mastering the subject matter using these tools is equally important.
Read More Here: http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2012/06/honor-roll-50-must-read-k-12-education-it-blogs
At the star-studded Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT) event earlier this month, where professors gathered to discuss innovative strategies for learning and teaching, Harvard’s professor Eric Mazur gave a talk on the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture. The idea is getting traction. Here’s more about the practice.
Student evaluations can be either the most painful or falsely ego-boosting things we faculty members read. Sadly, they’re becoming more and more important as American universities veer toward private-enterprise models of educational management. Based on the concept of the customer survey, they have been taken public by a range of Web sites, most famously Rate My Professors. (To read more, click the link below)