Free Speech on College Campuses

A recent survey has found that more college campuses are becoming less rigid on their free-speech policies, but naturally, this may sometimes be difficult to uphold these privileges and alleviate any animosity created in the classroom when discussing controversial topics. If you are interested in this topic, the TA Project will be holding a workshop next semester named “Dealing with Controversial Topics” that will be discussing these very issues! This workshop will be on 3/1/16 at 12PM at the Busch Campus Student Center Room 120 ABC.

Podcast by Maryellen Weimer on “How to Keep Your Teaching Fresh”

The weekend is here! If you are going venturing somewhere this weekend and you are in need for something that deviates from radio music, you should look into this free podcast by Maryellen Weimer on “How to Keep Your Teaching Fresh.” Click here for the free podcast!

Complaining about Students Nowadays

A wonderful piece by Dr. Maryellen Weimer on the cancerous effects of complaining about ‘students these days’ .. In fact, despite continuously complaining about students being unprepared, unenthusiastic, unmotivated, etc., there is little data that supports that “students these days” are any different from “students those days!”

Approaching the Beginning of the “Job Search”

By far the most nerve-racking period of time for a Ph.D. student — finding a “job.” Between research and teaching, it seems like time flies by. Here is a helpful time table to help you keep on track!

The Use of Humor in Classroom: Appropriate or Not?

As instructors, we take what we teach seriously, which is often results in bland and dry material for students. Dr. Maryellen Weimer discusses how we can use humor (article linked here), to engage students and create a sense of community in our classrooms.

A trade-off between meeting preset deadlines and mastery of the material.

Rutgers University Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research’s Twitter often posts great articles! See this tweet about The Atlantic‘s on focusing mastery of skills over meeting (e.g., degree, semester, exam) deadlines.

Fear of Mistakes

Instructors often take on many roles. One of which is being a parent to the students, and like every parent, we often fear allowing our students make mistakes. Our fear is somewhat rational, however, because mistakes influences their grades, mistakes uses valuable time covering the same content, and mistakes impacts students’ motivation. For a more lengthy discussion, view this article: Are We Afraid to Let Students Make Mistakes? by Dr. Maryellen Weimer.

A Tip to Help Struggling Students

Because higher education demands large classrooms of students, the struggling students often slip through the cracks. Dr. Micah Sadigh, a professor at Cedar Crest College, has found great success in: A Simple Invitation: Please See Me! to encourage to have one-on-one meetings with him!

What are the top five teaching challenges?

The top five teaching challenges according to Reader Survey are:

  1. Students arriving to class unprepared
  2. Students unprepared for the intensity of college
  3. Budget cuts
  4. Motivation
  5. Technological distractions

Read more at: Reader Survey Finds Unprepared Students a Persistent Problem

Focusing on your Learners by Involving them in the Process (FLIP)

An article by Dr. Barbi Honeycutt about three ways we can “FLIP” a classroom without technology or what she calls “unplugged”: 3 Ways You Can Use Index Cards to FLIP Your Class: Another ‘Unplugged’ Flipped Strategy