Moving Forward: Teaching in Uncertain Times

Community Blog on online, hybrid, and F2F teaching during the pandemic

Responding to Failing Students

Jennifer Hall, PhD CETLOE and Department of English According to a study conducted in 2017, only 52% of students feel that 4-year colleges and universities “put students first.” (New America) That number seems surprisingly low to me. Maybe the past two years has changed something about our interaction with students, or maybe we’ve just gotten…

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Project-Based Learning and Building Community Online

At the beginning of this fall semester, I was reminded that during the online experience last year I could see my students’ faces on WebEx. I am having a much harder time remembering names of my students this semester in my in person classes because of their masks. I’m not making an argument against masks…

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The Last Five Minutes of Class: Strategies for Student Learning

By Melissa McLeod, Ph.D. (Department of English) In August, Ashley Holmes posted on engaging students during the first five minutes of class through James Lang’s “small teaching” techniques. I’ve been experimenting with using small teaching during the last five minutes of class to reinforce student learning. I regularly teach a difficult class in the English…

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Maslow Before Bloom: Practicing Compassionate Pedagogy

Although “Maslow Before Bloom” is an expression that I’ve seen used most commonly in the K-12 setting (see this article for example), the concept of “compassionate pedagogy” is not new in Higher Ed. The expression, “Maslow before Bloom” captures the idea — in academic pedagogy speak — that until a student’s basic needs are taken care…

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Doing Research on Your Teaching by Moving Forward to the Past

By Mike Metzler (CETLOE Associate Director for SoTL, Retired Professor of Kinesiology & Health) My part time job in CETLOE is to assist faculty doing research on their teaching and/or their students’ learning. Prior to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the most common research design for faculty was to implement an innovative…

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Successful Community-Building Assignment: Academic Profile

In the Fall 2020 semester, I debuted a new assignment meant to build community in my “blended” English 1102 class. In the “blended” format, students came to class in small cohorts that rotated attendance, so that social distancing could be maintained. English 1102 is the second semester of the year-long composition sequence required by the…

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The First 5 Minutes of Class: Strategies for Engaging Students

by Ashley J. Holmes, PhD, CETLOE and Department of English In his book Small Teaching, James Lang encourages teachers to make small adjustments to their teaching to make our courses more engaging for students and to enhance their learning. Lang tells us that Small Teaching approaches are Brief (5 – 15 minute) interventions into individual learning…

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Maybe Less Sentimental Forms of Student Motivation Will Do

by Jennifer Hall, PhD, CETLOE and Department of English I’ve seen several education blogs recently discussing the idea of “intrinsic motivation.” I love the idea that there is some latent, innate form of motivation hiding in my students just waiting to be brought to life by the brilliance of my teaching strategies. I also have…

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A Life-Saving Classroom Technique: Ask about Pronouns

by Kimberly Kellett, Ph.D. (Biology, Perimeter College) If you are here reading this, I am guessing you care about your students beyond their classroom performance and want to support their mental health.  Good – caring is the most important step in building an inclusive, supportive class and it is the only one that you probably…

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Redesigning (again) for Summer Semester

By Jennifer Hall, PhD, CETLOE and Department of English Preparing a course for summer semester can be difficult under the best circumstances, but after spending the past year designing copious amounts of material for our online classes, cutting that back to create a seven-week class can feel down right overwhelming. If you return to in-person…

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