illustration by Clare Reid I often talk to faculty about the importance of explaining what they’re looking for in the tests, papers, and projects they assign to students—and sometimes I get pushback. “Doesn’t that just give them the answers?” they ask. In other words, “Doesn’t that just amount to spoon feeding?” Well, as Balloo and… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Scholarship
illustration by Clare Reid Whether we find ourselves in face-to-face classrooms or unexpectedly virtual ones, teaching well involves a lot of on-the-job, and frequently self-directed, training. Very few of us who teach in colleges and universities were given formal pedagogical instruction in our graduate programs. Fewer still were given any help thinking through the way… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid As we continue to move our courses online for the summer semester (and beyond, perhaps), we have an opportunity to think about the various tools and technologies that are at our disposal in order to enhance our students’ learning experience. But it can be overwhelming—with so many tools with so many… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid In light of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgetown will not be using this semester’s student evaluations of teaching to help make merit decisions—which actually makes the current moment a good, less-fraught moment to look thoughtfully at this kind of student feedback.
illustration by Clare Reid What we are facing in these times is monumental: moving what we are doing into a distance delivery format online. The task at hand feels in a lot of ways insurmountable; we all know and have read that a regularly-scheduled and planned online course takes 6-12 months to properly design and… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid People may be thinking more than usual about teaching online, given the spread of COVID-19 and the possibility that classes may by necessity become temporarily virtual—and great learning can happen in online courses, but only if students stay engaged. Unfortunately, the online space can be one where students more easily disengage…. Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid Our students, by and large, are terrified of failure. In consultation after consultation, I help faculty in a variety of ways try to design learning experiences that allow for students to fail, but to do so productively, safely, and to start to be ok with that failure. Failure is one of… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid Yes! David Labaree’s 2019 book A Perfect Mess (U Chicago Press) is the concise history of higher education in America that I’ve been wanting to read. Far more than a mere taxonomy of institutions (though I was tickled to learn what “A&M” actually means—er meant!), we get a history of the… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid Are teaching and learning things we do to our students, or with our students? Catherine Bovill, a Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement and member of the Learning and Teaching Team at the Institute for Faculty Development at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently a Fullbright Fellow at Elon University, thinks… Read more »
illustration by Clare Reid A positive classroom climate—one in which students feel personally connected to one another and where they feel respected and seen by the professor—can feel like a luxury. But, as Barr reminds us in his 2016 review of the literature (IDEA Center), climate matters.