News and Events
Bring in the outside world when relevant to demonstrate your own active interest in the class topics and involve the students. For example, an instructor could inform the class, "don’t know if any of you have seen the news today about the economic stimulus plan, but it highlights the importance of our current discussion concerning that issue.
A helpful way to teach students to understand structural functions in a text is to show them how to write “what it says” and “what it does” statements. A “what it says” statement is a summary of the paragraph and a “what it does” statement describes the paragraph’s function within the essay. Asking students to write these type of statements for a scholarly article in their career field will ensure careful reading and increased awareness of paragraph structure.
A good way to fine-tune an assignment is to ask a colleague to read it and role-play a student’s reaction to the instructions. Follow-up questions for your colleague could include:
For example, an instructor could inform the class, “we are now entering the 7th week of the course, I am pleased that so many of you are participating in the weekly discussion forums and that the quality of those conversations is so evident. Nearly all of you have tuned in your journal entries for week 6. You can expect to receive your grade and comments from me during the next week. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about how I determined your grade.”
For example, an instructor could inform the class, “as we start week 5, all of you should now have chosen your topics for the final essay. It’s a good idea to start outlining your ideas now for the rough draft that will be due at the end of week 6.”
Ko, S., Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (p. 305-309). New York: Routledge.
Reinert-Alumni Library: LB 2395.7 .K67 2010
Keep course objectives, content demands, and learner skills in mind. Match the task to the situation. Team work is productive when the assigned tasks require higher level thinking skills. Tasks should require students to think critically, challenge each other’s assumptions, explore topics beyond their existing knowledge, and when possible, provide opportunities for creativity.
Touch base with your advisees frequently. Do not wait for advisees to initiate contact. Students often feel intimidated by faculty. Many students’ academic performance declines, or they discontinue college altogether, because they feel disconnected from peers, professors and administrators at the institution. Connectedness is strongly contextual and developed implicitly, often through apparently insignificant informal interactions.
You cannot assume that students will know or remember concepts and terms from prior courses. If you use a term for the first time, define it. If a term is not defined or defined poorly in the textbook, look at several textbooks to find the clearest definition and share it with the students.
Sorcinelli. M.D. (2005). IDEA Item #10: Explained course material clearly and concisely.
Consider sending a welcome back e-mail to new and returning advisees at the beginning of the term. Students are more likely to develop a positive relationship with academic advisors when they received some form of personalized communication from the advisor. Make notes to remember personalized information about each advisee (such as hobbies, family details, and so on) and mention them in your individualized communication with advisees.