Category Archives: Teaching and learning strategy

How to Create Video Lessons

Lecture-01

Choosing to produce videos for your students can make an incredible difference in their education. If you read last month’s blog post, you’ll remember it focused on faculty experiences utilizing this resource. While we explored the “Why” of creating video lessons for class, we hardly touched upon the “How”.

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Why I Create Videos for My Students

this image shows a computer screen displaying a video paused on an instructor teaching at a blackboard.As the use of technology grows, meeting your students’ learning needs becomes more feasible. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on instructors Shaun Sarcona (MACA), Sam Sarkissian (BIOL), and Mark Champagne (CHEM) who create videos and post them online for their students. Although the three instructors represent different concentrations in the college, their stories all followed similar narratives.

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How to Connect with the Modern Learner

“If you want to change a relationship, change the way you act in it.”

When Dr. Christy Price, psychology professor from Dalton State College, began her keynote speech at Macomb Community College’s Faculty Development Day, her intent was to inspire continued action toward the increasing students’ successful behaviors. Price’s research on modern learners provided insight as to who our students are as a population and how instructors can reach them.

picture of President Jim Jacobs at Faculty Development Day

President Jim Jacobs reviewing the College Highlights at Faculty Development Day

She organized her findings into the five following categories for engaging Millennials.

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The Scholarly Professor: Evidence-based Practice and Student Learning

classroomexperimentThis academic year we set our focus on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: an approach that uses discovery, reflection, and evidence-based methods to research effective teaching and student learning. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is an outgrowth of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and its conviction that teaching in higher education can and should be scholarly work. We’ll have much more to say about SoTL … its origins, its methods, its benefits, and how to get started in your classroom … but this month we’d simply like to introduce you to the approach.

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Shape Up Your Syllabus!

The beginning of fall semester is a constant battle to redefine the balance among school, work, family, and personal time. It can be overwhelming, but there is a simple step you can take to help lighten that load. Update your First Day Handout!

Syllabus …Thrilled? You should be! The most effective syllabi are integral resources and communication documents for students and instructors alike. Revising your first day handout will help keep you organized for each class session and ward away repetitive questions about assignment due dates and absence policies. Here we offer some helpful resources to make updating your first day handout more efficient.

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The Best Recipe for Most Effective Lectures

RecipeWhen it comes to brain food, higher education offers the richest dishes. Instructors are master chefs in a fully stocked kitchen with a main course in mind and a hundred different ways to prepare it.
And, as you know, the preparation of a lesson is just as important as the delivery. It can make the difference between a bland dish and one bursting with flavor. Here’s one recipe to help you brew up a memorable course.

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Click it -> Learn it -> Share it: Social Media’s Role in Education

Can YouTube video clips improve the lessons you teach? Will encouraging students to use Twitter reap academic benefits? Does blogging provide an effective means for instructors to connect with their class?

SocialClassroomIn short, yes, all of the above are possible.

Before continuing, let’s define “social media”, that often-used term. Whereas media refers to a means of communication (newspaper, television, or radio), social media takes those channels one step further, allowing people to interact with the presented content and with each other. The ability to have a two-way conversation is what sets it apart from traditional media.

Though the expression is beginning to feel stale, the opportunities social media provides for communication and learning are still fresh for educators across the globe. Continue reading

No, no, don’t go over your notes … you need to get into notes.

During the semester we frequently provide students with opportunities to interact with (1) their peers, (2) the professor, and (3) the course content. Interacting with peers usually means group work and discussion; interacting with you often takes the form of questions and dialogue. Interacting with the content can mean reading the textbook and other sources, identifying and mapping key concepts, articulating and questioning disciplinary assumptions, and taking notes. This month we’ll focus on simple strategies for helping students improve their note-taking skills.

Notebook Open Page

In her June/July 2013 Teaching Professor article, How to Help Students Improve Their Note-Taking Skills, Maryellen Weimer writes:

“A lot of students need the teacher’s notes because they aren’t very good note-takers themselves. They practice stenography rather than note-taking, trying to get down the teacher’s words exactly. That way, even if they don’t understand, they can memorize what the teacher said and find it on the test. But that’s not learning. … (As) they are preparing for an exam (students) will tell you they plan to ‘go over’ their notes. To that I have always responded with horror ‘No, no, not go over … you need to get into your notes.’”

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Five Tips on Retaining Student Engagement

Daydreaming

Summer is just around the corner and our minds are beginning to wander. It can be tempting to daydream, especially after the past four frosty months, but we need to stay focused. Now is the time to reinforce the lessons taught throughout the term and confirm that your students are capable of applying them. We’ve spoken with some instructors at Macomb Community College and they have provided a few tips on how they manage to keep engagement and retention high through the end of the semester.

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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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