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.
Teaching & Learning Collaborative
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 a second installment on the Teaching and Learning Collaborative blog of resources for ways faculty and staff on the academic side of the University can attend to student mental health, Andrew Guest offers some information from The Jed Foundation – a national organization UP has started working with through their ‘campus program.’ This includes some informational resources about “What to do if…” that might be relevant when encountering students who give reason to be concerned for their welfare.
This year the Teaching and Learning Collaborative is hoping to add some information to its usual good fare about ways faculty and staff on the academic side of the University can attend to student mental health. As an opening foray, Andrew Guest (chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences) writes on the TLC blog with an introduction to the idea and with a request for questions and insights from the community.
If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground in the world of education technology, you’ve likely heard of VoiceThread. It’s a widely-known tool that’s used in everything from online graduate courses to kindergarten classrooms. Now, according to Ben Kahn, academic technology services, the University has added VoiceThread to its toolbox, so now you, too, can discover what VoiceThread is all about.
The way it works is simple. VoiceThread allows you to add images, videos, audio files, documents, or any other type of media to a “slideshow” that everyone in a class can talk about. Literally. With their own voice. You just look at something, press a button, and speak. That’s it.
Give feedback to your students on assignments. Ask students to comment on an image or essay. Better yet, ask them to do an assignment in VoiceThread (yes, it’s in Moodle). There are many possibilities!
Because VoiceThread is so versatile, it’s often used by enterprising faculty in unique and surprising ways. It provides a more intimate way to respond to deeply introspective student work for theology lecturer Rebecca Gaudino. “There’s a simplicity and immediacy to VoiceThread that I really appreciate”, says Dr. Gaudino. “Students upload a file for me, and I can respond via audio or video, a response that seems fitting for these sorts of reflections. I’ve even had students respond to my comments.”
To find out more about VoiceThread and read more about what your fellow UP faculty are doing with the tool please visit The Teaching & Learning Blog.
If you would like to learn more about using VoiceThread at UP, please contact Kahn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
It is highly likely, across the past few months, that America’s 2016 election has worked its way into your classroom or even your curriculum. In this week’s Teaching & Learning Tip, Lars Erik Larson corrals a series of insights from NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt (pictured), who helps explain some unexpected roots beneath our political differences, and why it’s so hard to hold a civil conversation about them. This link offers ideas taken from his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, as well as a link to his post-election insights from a TED talk last month. Haidt’s perspectives offer instructors the background to help foster one of the last spaces left for civil discussion: the college classroom.
Do you wonder why some students eligible for accommodations through accessible education services (AES) do not actually use their accommodations? According to Melanie Gangle, accessible education services, in a recent qualitative study, students identified six key reasons: (1) Desire for self-sufficiency, (2) Desire to avoid negative social reactions, (3) Insufficient knowledge about their accommodations, (4) Quality and usefulness of DSS and accommodations, (5) Negative experiences with professors, and (6) Fear of future ramifications.
Gangle has the following suggestions for faculty who would like to support more students in utilizing their AES accommodations and demonstrating their competencies in course assessments:
- On the first day of the semester when reviewing the syllabus, spend a moment highlighting the section about AES and make a brief statement such as: “If you have an AES accommodation plan, please schedule an appointment with me soon so we can plan ahead for your accommodations in this class.” This simple statement creates a welcoming atmosphere while reminding students of their responsibility to communicate proactively with you about their AES accommodations.
- During the semester when you announce a general reminder about an upcoming exam, include a statement such as: “And if you have AES exam accommodations, remember to talk with me no later than X date (1-2 weeks in advance of exam) so we have time to make arrangements for accommodations.” This strategy helps reduce last-minute accommodation requests while encouraging students to communicate with you.
- Would you like support in reserving space for exam accommodations that involve extended time and/or alternative setting? Contact your dean’s office for assistance reserving exam space.
- The traditional time-limited exam format assesses course competencies while simultaneously assessing how quickly your students can read, write, analyze, etc. If reading speed, writing speed and analytic speed are not essential learning outcomes for your course, consider exam alternatives such as take-home exams; online exams (via Moodle – contact academic technology services for more information); cumulative papers, projects, or presentations; outside-the-box formats such as creating a content-rich video, or a Wiki with appropriate citations.
- Talk with a colleague in your department or across campus to explore new strategies for assessing student mastery of course learning outcomes.
The AES office thanks faculty for all that you do to create a welcoming, supportive learning environment for all students, every day. Would you like to discuss these ideas further? Contact Gangle at firstname.lastname@example.org or x8236.
This week’s TLC Tip of the Week comes from early alert coordinator Gina Loschiavo, who has visited just about every department on campus this fall and fielded several recurring questions from faculty as they strive to implement Early Alert in their teaching and advising with students. We thought doing this in the form of an FAQ piece would be an efficient way to remind faculty about crucial aspects of the program.
- One Common Misconception: Early Alert is NOT just about grades. The Early Alert program is a referral program for all faculty, staff, students, and parents who are concerned about the physical, emotional, academic, or personal health of a University student. The Early Alert team can assess the situation, offer support to the student and reporting party, and provide referrals to the breadth of resources on-campus.
- How do I submit an Early Alert? Simply go to up.edu/earlyalert and click the “Submit an Early Alert” button. You will be taken to a form where you can provide information about the student you are concerned about.
- What happens after I submit an Early Alert? Early Alert reports are received by Loschiavo and reviewed by the Early Alert team to offer support to the reporting party and the student. After submitting the report you will be contacted to see if you have additional information to share or if you need guidance to support the student of concern. At any point if you have information you would like to share, please contact Gina.
- What should I do if I want to learn more about the Early Alert program? If you have questions about the Early Alert program or simply want to learn more, please reach out to Loschiavo at x7709 or email@example.com, or visit the Early Alert website at up.edu/earlyalert.