Category Archives: CTL Idea Exchange

The Sound of Silence: The Value of Quiet Contemplation in the Classroom

meditatinggirlTwo events occurred in my art history class recently that set me thinking about the role of “quietness” in learning. As I returned the latest writing assignment I was reminded that at least one of my solid A students rarely speaks up in class. She’s a good student – always on time, does well on exams and assignments, participates in group work, but rarely contributes to whole-class discussion. She is probably one of the 33% of students in any classroom who are natural introverts (Cain, 2012). My second encounter with quiet learning came later that evening as we started discussing the role propaganda played in the art of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era. I asked an obvious question: “What is propaganda?” and waited quietly (there’s that word again!) for an answer that would launch the discussion. Nothing. Knowing that students often need at least 10 seconds of reflection before offering an answer I started silently counting … one mississippi … two mississippi … three mississippi … all the way to ten. Still nothing. What do you do when the silence becomes uncomfortable?

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Eight Tips for Writing Good Multiple-Choice Questions

multiplechoiceDo a quick Google search on “worst multiple choice questions” and you’ll come up with something like this:

Macbeth was probably written to honor:

(a) Macbeth; (b) Shakespeare; (c) James I; (d) God whose ancestors came from Scotland

With the half-way point of the semester behind us, and final exams around the corner, we thought we’d provide some tips for writing good multiple-choice questions. The eight tips below, drawn from the Teaching Professor’s Faculty Focus Blog, are based on Maryellen Weimer’s years of experience as a faculty member and from Kansas State University’s IDEA Paper No. 16: Improving Multiple-Choice Tests.

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CTL Idea Exchange – Episode 4

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Lena, thank you for participating! And so… what do YOU think?

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CTL Idea Exchange – Episode 3

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX0ms7knCWc]

Thank you to Matthew for his time and participation! We covered a lot of ground in the interview, and Matthew brought up a number of interesting and important ideas. Please share your thoughts with Matthew and other Macomb faculty by leaving a comment below!

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CTL Idea Exchange – Episode 2

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RTPDUV9oX0]

Thank you, Mark, for participating! If you’d like to try out Skype (which is one of the most popular communication tools on the web), check out the Skype website to create a free account, and let us know if you need help!

Do you agree with Mark’s views on the proliferation of online learning? Let us know what YOU think. Join the conversation by leaving your comments below!

CTL Idea Exchange – Episode One!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApvYptKNWSM&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Thank you for watching the first episode of the CTL Idea Exchange. Monique is eager to receive your feedback on facilitating group projects. Please join the conversation by leaving comments!