A Strong Finish to the Semester

I don’t know about you, but the end of the spring semester seems to be even more draining than was the case in the fall. Maybe it’s the weather finally turning nice (I began to suspect we’d never see the sun again). Maybe it’s the accumulated weight of the whole academic year, as opposed to just August through December. But whatever it is, I tend to reach the last week of spring classes feeling just about brain-dead and with most of my energy reserves long past depleted. In fact, I find the last week of classes in the spring to be my most difficult time as a teacher. Continue reading “A Strong Finish to the Semester”

Throwback Post: Working with IDEA

At the end of last week, you should have received your packets of the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction. These are some of the tools that Grand View uses to evaluate both courses and instruction, and it’s important for faculty to use them effectively. In that spirit, this week’s post is a survey of IDEA best practices, which we originally published last spring. For those who’ve encountered this post before, we hope it is a useful reminder of some of the ways which IDEA can be used effectively. For those for whom this is new information, we hope you find it useful. As always, please feel free to contact Kevin Gannon if you have any questions about IDEA administration. Continue reading “Throwback Post: Working with IDEA”

Core Assessment: A Quick How-To

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 “Core Assessment: A Quick How-To”

Universal Design for All Our Students

It’s easy to forget sometimes, when we’re so focused on our own enrollment numbers semester by semester, that here are more students enrolled in US colleges and universities today than at any previous point in the history of US higher education. As enrollments have increased, so too has the diversity within the college student population. Grand View’s growth has mirrored this larger phenomenon. As our enrollment has grown, our student body has become more diverse. A quick perusal of our class profiles confirms that we have significantly more geographic, racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, and academic diversity than was the case even just a decade ago. So, too, has our curriculum diversified. We’ve developed a new core, new programs, and new modes of instruction to more fully meet the needs and interests of our changing population of students. Continue reading “Universal Design for All Our Students”

Social Media Has Its Academic Uses, Too

I was going to start this post with the declaration that “our students seem to always be on social media,” but then I realized that it’s not just our students. Social media-Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, the whole lot-is a ubiquitous feature of our interconnected daily routines. All too often, though, it seems as if social media is a distraction from more important matters at hand; any of us who have noted students updating Facebook or scrolling their Twitter feeds during class certainly realize this more often than we’d like. Continue reading “Social Media Has Its Academic Uses, Too”

Smart Board Tips and Tricks

Almost every general-use classroom on our campus has an interactive Smart Board installed, which means we have a remarkably versatile technological tool at our fingertips (literally!) when we teach. These devices are touch-sensitive, interactive whiteboards that can act as both a screen for projected images and an extension of a computer’s monitor. Combined with the Smart Notebook software, which is installed on the instructor workstation computers in all of our smart board classrooms, you can create documents, templates, and interactive presentations. You can also use the software to import other files–like a PowerPoint presentation, for example–and convert them into Smart Notebook files for classroom display.  Continue reading “Smart Board Tips and Tricks”