Blog Archives

High-Impact Practices for Achieving Greater Student Learning Outcomes and Retention

University communities across the country continually are striving to find ways to best maximize student engagement.  At the center of this issue is a question about which pedagogical practices are most effective at achieving student learning outcomes and maximizing retention. The Association of American Colleges and University (AAC&U) has identified ten practices that have shown to have significant positive effect on students’ learning outcomes.  Each one of the ten

Connecting with the Disconnected Student

In the modern age of smart phones, smart devices, smart appliances, and smart cars, we are more connected to technology, news, people, and information than ever before. Students obtain information and interact differently today than in the past as learning environments and technology have evolved. Institutions and faculty are evolving in their teaching and learning methods whether learning takes place in a brick and mortar classroom or an online

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Best Grading Practices: A Student’s Perspective

One of the biggest areas of concern for students is their grades. Many students incur a significant amount of stress agonizing over their scores on exams or assignments. Although students must work hard to obtain good grades, there are a few things you can do as an instructor to alleviate a bit of the stress. Providing clear instructions for assignments and providing accurate, specific, and timely feedback are critical

Faculty embrace experiential learning and critical reflection in a general education science course

Brad Reynolds and Tom Wilson received a Beyond the Classroom ThinkAchieve grant to fund an experiential learning activity in a general education non-laboratory science course.  During fall 2012, students in Bio/ESC 1100 (Conservation of Biodiversity) were given the option to participate in a hands-on field experience and reflection activity in lieu of taking the final exam in the course.  Instead of just listening to a professor talk about conservation,

The Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

The Seven Principles By: Dawn M. Ford It was in 1987 when Chickering and Gamson wrote about the seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education.  Years later, those principles still hold up, so it’s good to review them every now and again to keep us fresh. Principle one is that contact between students and faculty should be encouraged.  It’s important that students know that faculty care about them. 

Create a Community of Learning on the First Day of Class

It’s almost that time again – the first day of class.   I have sometimes struggled with what to do the first day; do I dive right in or just cover the syllabus and let the students go?  The literature tells us that the first day of class is important, if not critical, to the success of a course and the students.  The first day sets the tone because students