FSI Tip: A “One-Minute Message” Engages all Students

To retain students in Engineering, ENGAGE students in Engineering. Retain
undergraduates, particularly underrepresented groups, by improving their
day-to-day classroom and educational experiences. ENGAGE’s free,
research-based resources can help you do this.

Source: www.engageengineering.org

One the statements that I hear a lot is “this topic that I’m studying doesn’t have anything to do with what I’ll be doing when I graduate.” Students sometimes lack the ability to connect what they are learning in the courses they are taking with what they will be doing when they graduate and “get a real job.” See if there are ways that you can relate the topics and lectures that you are giving to real-world applications. This will also help students connect to you, especially when you showcase your research as part of this process.

The Importance of Learning Students’ Names

In a recent study, more than 85% of students said it was important to them that their instructors knew their names. Their reasons were quite convincing.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

Knowing someone’s name and greeting them by that name when they come in your classroom is a great way to set the tone for the semester. It is the first steps in creating an atmosphere of collegiality. It also shows that as the instructor you are invested in this class because you took the time to learn the students’ names. Sometimes it is the most simple things that can have the most impact. 

Students Don’t Always Recognize Good Teaching, Study Finds – The Ticker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Source: www.chronicle.com

The results of this study are not surprising, but confirm what instructors have said for a long time. Many students judge good teaching by how well they succeed in a class rather than the way it was taught. 

How to Deal with Difficult Students | Tomorrow’s Professor Postings

Source: tomprof.stanford.edu

Dealing with students is never easy and it seems like more and more students like to complain and argue with you, the instructor. We can talk forever about what has led to this but that isn’t as important on a daily basis as it is to know how you can deal with difficult students. This article offers 8 strategies that you can use to help you deal with students who are being difficult. The last strategy refers to “knowing what you will never allow in class.” and setting your expectations from the beginning and being clear in your syllabus is the first way to deal with all students.

Waking up to Tired Teaching

Sometimes teaching gets tired because we’ve done what we’re doing a hundred times before. We march through the material along well-worn paths.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

This article addresses the issue of tired teaching. It’s so easy to become tired. There are so many demands on our time and it seems easy to fall into the trap of just doing what I did last semester because I’ve taught this course lots of time, right? This article gives six strategies to help us overcome “tired” teaching. The hardest part is acknowledging the issue. But you are not alone in this and reaching out to a colleague can help build a culture of support and collegiality that can help everyone in the teaching and learning process.

Five Ways to Make Your Online Classrooms More Interactive

The online classroom can sometimes feel isolating for students and faculty. Here are five ways you can build a sense of community in your online courses.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

This article has 5 great suggestions for building community in your online course. We take a lot of things for granted in our face to face class and it’s only when we move online that we realize how much. Building community from the very beginning of your course is important to overall student success.  Do you do any of these?

A Memo to Students about Studying for Finals

The end of the semester is rarely pretty. You’re tired. I’m tired. We both have too much to do, and you’re feeling the pressure to perform well on finals.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

This article contains some helpful information for students as they prepare for finals.

Getting Students’ Names Right: It’s Personal

Learning students’ names and pronouncing them correctly is one of the easiest ways to create a climate of inclusion and improve student learning.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

I sometimes struggle to pronounce names correctly. When I fail I usually poke fun at myself and my inability to get it right. But when we talk about building a safe environment in our classrooms that are all about collaboration, getting students’ names right is that first step. It shows that they matter to you.  The strategies listed in this article are very helpful and can help you set your classes up for success.

Humor in the Classroom | Teaching Professor Blog

Humor doesn’t cause learning, but it does help create conditions to help it along. Humor tends to put students at ease, which may encourage engagement.

Source: www.facultyfocus.com

Dr. Weimer brings up some interesting points about the role humor can play in the classroom.  The one that stood out to me was toward the end. “Humor connects teachers and students. It creates that sense of of community, how we’re all in this together, how we all make stupid mistakes and need to laugh at our foibles.” Creating community in a course can be one of the harder parts of teaching. Yet we’ve seen research that says building community can lead to student success. Appropriate humor may be one way to build that community.

You’re Never Too Old to Observe or Be Observed

Why you should spend more time watching your colleagues teach.

Source: chroniclevitae.com

I’ve been in education 20 years now and I find that I learn new techniques every time I have an opportunity to observe someone else teach.  It has especially been the case through our Teaching Partners Program. This pairs classroom observations with guided discussions. The opportunity to observe and then discuss what was observed can help build context and partnerships in learning.  You don’t have to be part of the Teaching Partners Program to observe others. Follow this link to the list of instructors who have agreed to let others observe them teaching – 

http://certi.mst.edu/media/administrative/certi/documents/faculty%20who%20can%20be%20observed.pdf.