Getting Ready for School

As the last days of summer wind down in the United States, I thought I’d share a few blog posts that I’ve written over the years to help get the instructional juices flowing again. Enjoy!

Philosophy Meets Reality in Syllabus Design: This post examines some of the challenges with creating a good syllabus that both supports student learning and communicates course expectations. The post was the result of a thoughtful discussion with colleagues at my institution.

Resources for Refining Your Syllabus:  Wondering how to make your syllabus stronger? In this post, I share several ideas for improving syllabus design and link to research and a host of resources to help instructors across the experiential continuum.

It’s In The Syllabus: Want to reduce student who email about questions that are clearly outlined in the syllabus? This post outlines a host of instructional ideas to “teach the syllabus.”

Dear Students: As a new academic year begins, it’s important to review professional communication policies with students. This post outlines some helpful advice to students that can help them avoid email missteps with their instructors.

Ban That Laptop?  Written back in 2013, this post outlines some of the seminal research that examined the impact of laptops in lecture-based classrooms.  In 2014, I revisited the topic in another post by sharing some additional research on the issue. Coupled with the recent research on laptop use at West Point, it’s clear that the devices can be distractions in lecture-based classrooms and can negatively impact student learning. This is an important concept for instructors to remember as the new academic year begins.

The Magic Pill of Online Teaching? As instructors build new online classes for the academic year or revise their existing online courses, the power of online orientations should not be overlooked. The post shares research on the inclusion of online orientations in online courses with traditionally high failure rates. By including recording videos that covered basic processes students would need to know to navigate course content and participate in the discussion forums, failure rates dropped significantly.


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