Faculty Focus

The Flipped Classroom Unplugged: Three Tech-Free Strategies for Engaging Students

active learning

Throughout this summer article series, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions about the flipped classroom in higher education. We’ve shared ideas for student motivation, student engagement, time management, student resistance, and large classes. Since this is the final article in the series, I reviewed my notes and the findings from the Faculty Focus reader survey on flipped classroom trends (2015), and there’s one more topic we need to address: creativity.

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PA018: Using Media in Our Classes

Professional Adjunct Podcast

Technology can be a distraction if it is not used properly says Assistant Professor Jeff Hammond of Metropolitan State University in Denver. We met with Professor Hammond to discuss his presentation, “Instructional Design Strategies for Informational Media Presentations,” which he will lead at the upcoming Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Atlanta, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. In our conversation, he brings up some interesting questions about the use of media and technology.

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What Happens When Students Study Together?

study group

I’m a strong believer in the benefits of students studying together, even though students don’t always understand or even experience the benefits. Oftentimes the potential gains of group study sessions are compromised by student behaviors. Students will saunter into study sessions, mostly not on time, sit around, check their phones, and socialize. When they finally start reviewing their notes, the text, or the homework problems, it’s all pretty superficial. There are very few questions, explanations, or confessions of confusion. The most intense conversation takes place over what they’ve heard from others about the exam and their hopes that it will be easy.

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Five Ways to Teach Students to Be Learning Centered, Too

study group in library

Have you ever wondered if your students are as concerned about their learning as you are? If you prioritize student learning, you may be the only person in your classroom with that goal. Learning-centered teachers seek to coauthor classroom experiences with their students, whereas students may seek only to be taught passively. How might you inspire your students to share accountability for their learning? These five considerations can help you teach your students to be learning centered, too.

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PA017: Online Synchronous Sessions

Professional Adjunct Podcast

More and more colleges and universities are using ‘live chats’ and ‘virtual office hours’ to connect with students. On this episode, Jim and Beth review the article, “Build Community, Extend Learning with Online Synchronous Sessions” by Rob Kelly, published on Faculty Focus on March 14, 2014. Jim has used ‘live chats’ in his classes for several years, and during the podcast he shares his insights based on those experiences.

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A Dose of Reality for First-Year Students and How We Can Help

Students get tests back.

By the third or fourth week of most courses, students have had a reality check. They have taken the first exam, received feedback on their first paper, or otherwise discovered that the course isn’t quite what they had expected or hoped it would be. Here are a few reminders as to what many beginning students and some others might be thinking at this point in the semester.

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An Introduction to Teaching through the Seasons

female professor in front of small class

It all started 56 years ago with a brown paper sack. This no-frills carrier contained a stash of glue, crayons, scissors, and strips of construction paper. These were my teaching tools. According to my mother, I carried this sack with me everywhere. Naturally drawn to showing and explaining things, I later graduated to using a small chalkboard. When our cat had kittens, they became my pupils, though admittedly they were less attentive than my stuffed animals.

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PA016: An Interview with Dr. Oliver Dreon

Professional Adjunct Podcast

On this episode, we talk with Dr. Oliver Dreon, chair of the Teaching Professor Technology Conference and an associate professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. In the first half of our conversation, Dr. Dreon talks about the upcoming conference and what makes this conference different from others. We also talk about how technology is changing how we teach and how students learn.

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New Higher Ed Survey: OER May Triple in Use as Primary Courseware Within Five Years

Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education have the potential to triple in use as primary courseware over the next five years, from 4 percent to 12 percent, according to a survey of more than 500 faculty by Cengage Learning. In addition, the use of OER for supplemental learning materials may nearly quadruple in size, from 5 percent to 19 percent. These and other findings are available in a new report, Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Evolving Higher Education Landscape.

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Note-Taking Strategies to Improve Learning

student taking notes in class

This post shares a couple of items that pertain to student note-taking.

I’m always on the lookout for strategies that develop students’ note-taking skills, and economics professor Mark Maier shares a good one in the recent issue of College Teaching. He assigns a “rotating note taker” in his courses. This student serves as the class note-taker, posting his or her notes on the course management system before the next class session. The notes are graded pass/fail and count for 1 percent of the final course grade. If it’s a fail, the student learns why and is assigned another day to take and post class notes.

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