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Apr 17, 2013

The Crossword Puzzle as Threshold to Higher Order Thinking

One of the most difficult tasks we encounter with students is moving them beyond a mere accumulation of factual material in class.  Often our transmission of lower-order thinking skills (remembering and understanding) is somewhat akin to the proverbial giving of a fish to the hungry individual.  Increasingly in the 21st century, we are recognizing the need to teach our students how to fish; that is, the skills for higher-order thinking. One effective threshold to the top level on Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001) of learning, creating, is perception shifting, or learning to look at a given issue or… More

Author: francine_glazer

Apr 09, 2013

Gamification as Motivator

There’s an intriguing new theory of learning out there called Gamification. While this may sound like educational gaming, actually it is not. Gamification suggests that our students (at least the digital natives among them) are used to the kind of incentive structures that are built into digital games. If that’s the case, why can’t we incorporate similar incentive structures into how we teach? That’s the question that gamification scholars are exploring---and you don’t even need technology to do it.  The theory is really about motivation and engagement.  In understanding gamification, it helps to think about your own experience with games.… More

Author: francine_glazer

Apr 02, 2013

With the Community, Not Just In It

“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”         --Mark Twain Community engagement, gaining ascendancy in recent years for some disciplines, brings great promise for students and teachers as a memorable and meaningful approach to education.  A burgeoning literature characterizes many aspects of this pedagogy, and a number of clear principles help ensure a quality community-based learning experience for all participants.   Validity of the “text” Try thinking of the community as a text, specifically selected for maximum impact within and beyond the classroom. In this way, selection of a community site or partner… More

Author: francine_glazer

Mar 20, 2013

PollEverywhere, Redux

One of the best parts about sending out these Weekly Teaching Notes is receiving feedback from you. The note from Cheryl Hall a few weeks ago about Poll Everywhere generated a small avalanche of email!  Here’s a selection of your responses. Some of our faculty and librarians are already enthusiastic users of Poll Everywhere, which enables students to use their cell phones as clickers and for short answer responses. Ken Distler (, a librarian at Wisser Library, writes that he has used Poll Everywhere many times in library instruction and information literacy classes.   “It's a marvelous tool for helping to… More

Author: francine_glazer

Mar 13, 2013

How Do We Address plagiarism?

“I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”   – John Bartlett   How do we prepare our students, coming from vastly different cultures, to recognize and avoid plagiarism? Differing cultural definitions complicate this issue. In the United States, using someone else’s words without acknowledging the source is considered theft of their ideas; in parts of Asia, it is not. Is the inclusion of a citation a way to give 'credit where credit is due,' or does it insult the reader's intelligence by implying that he or she does not know… More

Author: francine_glazer

Mar 06, 2013

Got a Minute for My Worldview?

“By setting aside time for students to get to know each other in the early weeks of the course, professors underscore the importance of the initial student-to-student interchanges, acknowledge the value of the student viewpoints and the contributions of each member of the class, and open the way for students to begin to value other students as resources – all qualities of a working community” (Duffy and Jones 1995, p.129). In this week’s teaching note, I offer two suggestions for helping students become more aware of their own positionalities and growth within the context of your course.  In the classroom,… More

Author: francine_glazer

Feb 27, 2013

Student Engagement Technique: Silent Discussion

Rationale: This well-established yet underutilized technique is one of my favorites because it supports critical thinking, active engagement, and social, dialogic learning. From a brain-based education perspective, it also stimulates areas of the brain that oral communication does not, theoretically encouraging the formation of important neural pathways. Finally, it helps build classroom community because it is a communication equalizer, permitting many of the quieter students a stronger voice.   Procedure: Ask each student to write a response to a prompt. Have students form small, circular groups. Ask each student to pass her response to the right and then read and… More

Author: francine_glazer

Feb 20, 2013

Not Just Fun and Games! Structure Class Demonstrations to Reinforce Learning Goals

Classroom demonstrations that illustrate an important process, phenomenon, or application of a concept can generate interest and engage students with course material. Although students enjoy classroom demonstrations, they sometimes remember the activity but do not remember the course learning goals that instructors want to promote when they design the demonstration. An effective demonstration connects student memories of the classroom experience with the concepts the activity was designed to demonstrate. Strategies that transform an entertaining demonstration into an effective learning experience Identify the learning outcome(s) you intend to promote with the classroom demonstration. For example, a demonstration that illustrates a counterintuitive or surprising outcome… More

Author: francine_glazer

Feb 13, 2013

Did You Just Tell Us To Take Out Our Cell Phones?

If students want to use their phones in class let them! Many of you probably shook your heads and then reread the opening statement, but no need to do so.  Engaging students with the use of technology is, when done well, a positive learning strategy in campus classrooms. In addition, we, as faculty, look to find new and exciting ways to engage our students to ensure they are acquiring, processing, and recalling new information in order to learn to think critically in the “professional world.” One of the ways I have integrated technology into the classroom is by using Poll Everywhere… More

Author: francine_glazer

Feb 06, 2013

The Past is Always With Us

Our brains are not built to remember unconnected facts; if material doesn’t relate to something else that is important to us, we forget.  Not only do we need prior experiences as an anchor, but the quality of our prior assumptions, conceptual knowledge and biases can all influence what we learn, for better or worse. If you’d like to experience the importance of prior knowledge firsthand, take a challenging class in a new area.  Notice how much you try to use your prior knowledge to anchor new material and see how many misconceptions you have!  Despite these well-known findings, most of… More

Author: francine_glazer

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Paul Kutasovic Paul Kutasovic
Department: Economics
Campus: Old Westbury
Ranja Roy Ranja Roy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department: Mathematics
Campus: Old Westbury
Laurie Harvey Laurie Harvey
Director of Client Services
Office: Information Technology and Infrastructure
Campus: Old Westbury