Teaching Tips and Articles Email list
This new Teaching Tips email list group will receive 1-4 emails a month (1 maximum per week), that will include short teaching tips and articles (often with links to more complete information). Postings to this list began in May, 2006.
How to join: send an email to the TEC at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list.
How to be removed from the list: send an email to the TEC at email@example.com and ask to be removed from the list.
If you come across a
teaching tip or reference that you would like to share,
please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
By Maryellen Weimer, PhD
I was looking at participation policies in a collection of syllabi this week. I wouldn't give most of them high marks—lots of vague descriptions that don't functionally define participation and then prescribe instructor assessment at the end of course with little or no mention of criteria. But I've voiced my concerns about participation policies previously, so I won't do again here. Instead, what I would like to share with you is a policy that's impressive in its specificity and in the intriguing idea it contains.
Here's an excerpt from the syllabus:Participation counts for 15% of your grade in this course. Here are the behaviors that count:
Technology Will Not Replace Teachers
By Maryellen Weimer, PhD
I remember with horror and embarrassment the first multiple-choice exam I wrote. I didn't think the students were taking my course all that seriously, so I decided to use the first exam to show just how substantive the content really was. I wrote long, complicated stems and followed them with multiple answer options and various combinations of them. And it worked. Students did poorly on the exam. I was pleased until I returned the test on what turned out to be one of the longest class periods of my teaching career. I desperately needed the advice that follows here.
By James R. Keating, EdDWe all understand that writing is important and our students should do it well. Even so, many professors feel uncertain when teaching it, especially when their subject area is something far removed from "Composition 101." Even instructors who work on writing skills find it challenging to maintain momentum when their own academic content inevitably requires attention. Moreover, students, many of whom are easily stressed, worry that their grades will suffer when an "outsider" teaches writing. Some colleges have found it hard to sustain Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs just because of this. But it isn't a lost cause. Writing need not be so frightening and teaching it can be fun...for both students and instructors. And the writing lessons themselves don't have to detract from any other academic content. Really!
A popular misconception is that writing instruction requires grammar drills or worksheets and instructors have to teach tenses, adverbs, adjectives, misplaced modifiers, or a dozen other rulebook technicalities. But that isn't true. There are ways to teach writing in amusing little units that don't seem like work, don't feel like a burden, and most importantly, don't depend upon any sort of time-consuming grammatical legalism. Humor and well-chosen case studies will do the trick.