Wrapping Up the Semester

Another semester is staggering to a close, and here we are buried in papers, projects, presentations, exams, and whatever else our January selves thought was a good idea to assign. My own January self thought that an essay assignment in the second week of April seemed like a reasonble idea, so my later-April self is now paying the price.  Continue reading “Wrapping Up the Semester”

Doing Core Assessment: A Tutorial

As we approach the end of the semester, those of us teaching a class that has iterations of GV’s Core Curriculum outcomes are gearing up to do core assessment once again. If you’re teaching a class in the Core for the first time, you might be wondering what all this “core assessment” stuff is all about. Never fear-this post will give you an overview of the how and why of our core assessment process, as well as point you towards resources that will further help you during the process. Continue reading “Doing Core Assessment: A Tutorial”

Seven Principles, part seven: Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

This week’s post marks the conclusion of our tour through Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, where we land on the seventh principle: good practice respects diverse talents and ways of learning. Continue reading “Seven Principles, part seven: Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning”

Seven Principles, part six: Communicating High Expectations

This week’s stop on our tour of Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education is the penultimate item on their list: good practice in undergraduate education communicates high expectations. This seems like a no-brainer; after all, don’t we want to challenge our students to do their best? It turns out, though, that it’s often more complicated than that. Setting expectations can occur in many ways, including some things which we might not even be aware we’re doing. And given the importance of expectations for student success, we should be as mindful as we can about how we communicate to students our expectations of them. Continue reading “Seven Principles, part six: Communicating High Expectations”

The Importance of Attendance

This week, we’re interrupting our regularly-scheduled series of posts on Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles to dive into an issue that has immediate relevance for us and our students: attendance. Now that low midterm grades have been reported, and students who are in need of different academic strategies are acutely aware of that fact, it may be worth revisiting with them how much impact attendance (and the lack thereof) actually has on their course grade and overall academic performance. Continue reading “The Importance of Attendance”

Seven Principles, part five: Time on Task

This week, in our stroll through Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, we arrive at principle #5: good practice “emphasizes time on task.” To be honest, the phrase “time on task” never sat quite right with me. I associate it with the parent-teacher conferences from my elementary school years, where teachers would tell my parents that I’d be doing better if I could only spend more “time on task.” In seventh grade, I was a regular in after-school detention, where my English teacher repeatedly admonished me about needing to spend the proper amount of “time on task.” I’ve always associated the phrase with the impulse to police student behavior, to set some sort of arbitrary bar about how much time a students should be working on something, and then treating that bar as more important than the results of the work itself. As it turns out, though, there is another way to look at the idea of “time on task.” Continue reading “Seven Principles, part five: Time on Task”