Sep 16 2015
Facts and Fantasies about How Students Learn
What is the best way to learn content and skills in a new discipline? How much can we trust our intuitions about how we learn to guide decisions about how we should study new material?
Students and instructors wrestle with these questions. Popular culture is rife with advice about how to study, but not all of this advice is well-grounded in evidence.
Sep 09 2015
The ADA Syllabus Statement: Moving Beyond the Boilerplate
As an instructor, you want your students to learn. You don’t want a student to struggle unnecessarily, especially when a simple accommodation like a distraction-free test environment or a recording device for lectures would have made the difference between success and failure. You want to create the conditions in which accommodations are viewed not as inconveniences but as integral parts of an inclusive classroom, an environment where our diverse bodies and minds are valued for their differences.
Apr 28 2015
Include High-Impact Teaching Practices to Make Learning Stick
Research on high-impact practices (HIPs) such as undergraduate research, learning communities, capstone courses, study abroad, internships and service learning documents the association between participating in those activities and achieving desirable learning outcomes.
Apr 08 2015
Develop Expertise in Students by Creating Cognitive Apprenticeships
Learning in a discipline involves more than acquisition of content knowledge. Development of expertise requires students to develop skills in reasoning and strategies for solving disciplinary problems or applying disciplinary models to real-world applications. Fields with tradition of teaching through apprenticeships include trades and crafts dominated by skills and tasks that students can easily observe (e.g., building a cabinet, tailoring a piece of clothing). Academic disciplines present challenges because disciplinary strategies for reasoning and problem solving are cognitive strategies and are not readily observable. Nevertheless, students must acquire these skills to develop advanced skills in the discipline.
Apr 01 2015
Improving Student Learning with (Almost) No Grading
Strategies allowing students to know what they know (as well as what they don’t know) and those that help students become appropriately self- confident are linked to improved student learning. Here are three strategies that may assist our students in becoming better learners while not burying us in grading.