Faculty Focus

PA014: Efficient and Effective Grading

On this episode, we discuss the article “Ten Tips for More Efficient and Effective Grading” written by Victoria Smith, PhD, and Stephanie Maher Palenque published in Faculty Focus on February 2, 2015. We discuss practical ways to apply these 10 tips based on our experience, such as using a comment bank, frontloading feedback, being mindful of attitude and approach, and avoiding surprises.

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Is It Time to Rethink Our Exams?

I’ve been ruminating lately about tests and wondering if our thinking about them hasn’t gotten into something of a rut. We give exams for two reasons. First, we use exams to assess the degree to which students have mastered the content and skills of the course. But like students, we can get too focused on this grade-generating function of exams. We forget the second reason (or take it for granted): exams are learning events. Most students study for them, perhaps not as much or in the ways we might like, but before an exam most students are engaged with the content. Should we be doing more to increase the learning potential inherent in exam experiences?

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Flipping Large Classes: Three Strategies to Engage Students

As we continue our ongoing series focused on the flipped classroom in higher education, it’s time to tackle another frequently asked question: “How can I flip a large class?”

I like this question because it’s not asking whether you can flip a large class, but rather what’s the best way to do it. Faculty who teach large classes are challenged not only by the sheer number of students but also by the physical space in the classroom. Having 100, 200, or 400+ students in class means teaching in large lecture halls with stadium seating and seats that are bolted to the floor. It’s not exactly the ideal space for collaboration and group discussions, so the types of flipped and active learning strategies you can use are more limited.

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PA013: Interview with Dr. Bridget Arend (Part 2)

On this episode, we continue our interview with Dr. Bridget Arend, director of university teaching at the Office of Teaching and Learning at the University of Denver. During episode PA011, we talked about the role of faculty in online board discussion assignments. On this episode, we discuss a book she co-authored with Dr. James Davis titled Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning: A Resource for More Purposeful, Effective, and Enjoyable College Teaching. For more information, check out their website at http://sevenwaysoflearning.com.

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A Memo to My Students Re: College and the Real World

To: My Students
From: Your Teacher
Re: College and the Real World

I just read about a senior engineering student who was presenting a design project in an upper-division business communications course. In the presentation, he talked about what he would do if he were a “real” engineer. His teacher asked him what it was about what he was doing that wasn’t “real” engineering. He’d designed the project. He was presenting it to a group of his peers. He answered, “It’s school—not real engineering.”

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Re: College and the Real World
appeared first on Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning.


Teaching Quantitative Problem-Solving Skills Lies in the Solution

Editor’s Note: One of the themes that emerged from our recent Faculty Focus reader survey was a request for more articles specifically related to teaching in the STEM disciplines. In response, we are pleased to present an article written by true leaders in STEM education and the authors of Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2016). As its name suggests, the book focuses on the practical application of research-based strategies for designing and teaching STEM courses. It has been called “hands-down the best instruction manual for professors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that you can find.” [Barbara Oakley, PhD]

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PA012: Time Management Tips for Online Faculty

On this episode, we discuss a couple of articles on time management published by Faculty Focus. We review some of the tips in these articles and share practical suggestions on time management.

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Trying Something New? Seven Things that Boost Success Rates

So, the fall semester is about to begin and you’ve decided to try something new in one or more of your courses. Maybe it’s a different quizzing strategy, a revised assignment, or a new group activity. Or perhaps you read

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Testing What You’re Teaching Without Teaching to the Test

Have your students ever told you that your tests are too hard? Tricky? Unfair? Many of us have heard these or similar comments. The conundrum is that, in some circumstances, those students may be right. Assessing student learning is a

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PA011: Interview with Dr. Bridget Arend (Part 1)

On this episode, we interview Dr. Bridget Arend, director of university teaching at the Office of Teaching and Learning at the University of Denver. Our discussion is a follow up to her presentation at the Teaching Professor Conference in June, where she led a session titled “Best of All Worlds: Combining Discussion Formats for Deeper Inquiry.”

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