TAing does make a difference

Study suggests grad students may outperform faculty members in the classroom and may also benefit from time away from their dissertations.” (From Inside Higher Ed.)



A new semester…

A new semester of research, classes, writing, TA/GA responsibilities, conferences and more. It’s a lot. Don’t forget to take some time off.

Stress overwhelming you? Need to talk?

Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers

Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers

Check out the following recent Inside HigherEd essay calling for the establishment of “communities of teachers” in higher education institutions where faculty members can exchange perspectives on the college teaching practice. What opportunities exist in your respective academic departments to hold meaningful conversations and share advice on effective teaching?

Using Formative Assessments to Evaluate Student Participation

Using Formative Assessments to Evaluate Student Participation

As Teaching Assistants, we recognize that classroom participation and student engagement are both critical elements in a meaningful learning experience.  Evaluating participation and engagement, however, can often be pretty “fuzzy” based on teacher observations and student attendance records alone.  Check out the following Faculty Focus article that highlights how formative assessment strategies can be used to evaluate college students’ classroom participation.  How do you evaluate engagement and participation in your college classroom? 

Proficiency-Based Curriculum

Proficiency-Based Curriculum

Check out the following Inside Higher Ed article on the University of Maine – Presque Isle’s ongoing adoption of a proficiency-focused approach to its curriculum development starting with general education and then moving onto academic majors.  What implications do such curricular revisions hold on college teaching practices and course design in achieving such proficiency-based student learning outcomes?

“Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline”

“Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline”

Check out this recent NYTimes article release on the growing emphasis in promoting undergraduate students’ creativity through college/university curricular offerings.  In what ways do the courses that you teach at Rutgers spark students’ critical thinking skills and “out of the box” creativity?

PEAK: General Education through Minors

PEAK: General Education through Minors

Check out the following Inside Higher Education article on the The College of Idaho’s PEAK program that allows undergraduate students to complete general education requirements by completing one major and three minors in different academic domains.  How do you see this curricular revision at The College of Idaho influencing the undergraduate students’ learning experience?  What implications would the PEAK program’s interdisciplinary curriculum hold over faculty, Teaching Assistants, and other college educators’ roles in the classroom? 

Digital Storytelling: An Electronic Mode of Active Learning

Digital Storytelling: An Electronic Mode of Active Learning

Happy spring semester to you!  

As you prepare your course assignments for the new term, check out the following Faculty Focus article on digital storytelling — an innovative, student-centered assessment approach that promotes creativity and critical thinking skills in learning new course content.  The article defines digital storytelling in the statement, “Students choose a topic, whether a personal experience or a persuasive essay, then find images to illustrate the topic and add a voice narrative. The experience teaches students how to understand the underlying significance of experiences and issues and how to express that significance to an audience.”  How do you see digital storytelling fitting in the assessment infrastructure and student learning experience for your course?

Student-Generated Assessments

Student-Generated Assessments

In light of final exam season and teaching preparations for the spring semester, check out the following Faculty Focus article surrounding an online class instructor’s student-centered approaches to developing assessments and course learning objectives.  In what ways do your students have a voice on how their learning is assessed in your college course(s)?  How would such student-centered pedagogical approaches appear in a traditional, in-person college classroom setting?

Preparing Ph.D. Students for the Art of Teaching

Preparing Ph.D. Students for the Art of Teaching

Check out the following commentary from The Chronicle of Higher Education on the importance of preparing Ph.D. students as experienced and effective teachers.