If professors are finding that students in class aren’t learning, one remedy is to make sure we’ve made time to teach them how. In this week’s Teaching & Learning post, Lars Erik Larson summarizes two easy ways we can make our assignments and our fields more accessible and transparent to undergraduates, particularly first-generation and non-traditional students.
Teaching & Learning Collaborative
This week’s offering from the Teaching and Learning Collaborative is actually a question that super hardworking professors committed to their students’ learning and success might ask themselves as they address the 87th email asking “what exactly are you looking for in this assignment?” or “what can I do to make up the points I missed when I overslept and missed the quiz last week?” Is there such a thing as a “Helicopter Professor?” Spoiler alert if you don’t have time to read the whole precis: Yes, actually, there probably is. Author Kristie McAllum offers some warning signs, explains why failure should not be avoided at all costs, and provides some tips for hovering a little bit further away in the article cited in this Teaching Tip of the Week.
“The air is starting to cool. The days are getting shorter. The rain is coming back. It can only mean one thing – letter of recomendation season has returned (also, pumpkin spice everything),” according to Zachary Simmons, psychological sciences.
“Most of us have never received any formal training in how to write a letter of recommendation,” Simmons writes as this week’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative (TLC) contributor. “Rather, we have pieced together a working knowledge of how to do it based on letters we have read, people we have talked to, and a liberal dash of discipline-specific intuition. By now, we are all veterans of many of these letters, which brings with it a sense of confidence and expertise in our writing. It can also lead to complacency: turns of phrase recycled one too many times or accolades that end up sounding so rehearsed that they lose their potency.” See more with links to resources at this link.
This week, as a third installment in the Teaching and Learning Collaborative blog series on mental health information for faculty and academic staff, meet the new and returning professional psychologists at the UP Health and Counseling Center. When we have concerns about students, who are the professionals that might help us know what to do, and who often help our students through challenging points in their college career? This week’s entry should help faculty know who to call.
Retrieval practice is essential for deeper, durable learning. In this week’s TLC Blog, Jeffrey White introduces books that discuss strategies for incorporating the practice of recall into learning and teaching, including Make it Stick by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel and Small Teaching by James Lang.
For more information contact White at x7141 or email@example.com.
As the year gets underway, all faculty are reminded that the Teaching and Learning Collaborative exists to provide a range of resources and tips to help us hone our teaching craft. Each week, upbeat will publish a Tip of the Week; these will be archived in the very searchable TLC website, www.up.edu/tl. There you will find brief articles, videos and podcasts, as well as links to syllabus statements, Teaching Toolkits containing ideas for cross-curricular initiatives such as internationalization and ethics, and much more. TLC commits to presenting brownbag discussions and workshops each semester, which are driven by faculty concerns and expertise. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The middle of midterm season forces us to come to grips with the fact that many students resort to cramming for exams. It seems to work well enough, but two days later it’s as if learning the material never happened. Employ the tools of recency, frequency, and potency to help students cram less and remember more. To flesh that tantalizer out, read on at this link to the TLC blog.
Faculty members who are interested in having students use video, design, or audio tools in their classrooms can visit the Digital Lab and schedule a consultation and collaborate on a multimedia assignment, according to Jose Velazco, Clark Library. The Digital Lab provides instruction on software, loans, equipment, and will work one-to-one with faculty to create engaging assignments meeting curricular goals and offering professional development opportunities for students.
Visit the lab’s Faculty page to view sample assignments.
To arrange a consultation, contact Velazco at email@example.com.