Monday, August 29, 2011

"This shouldn't come as a big surprise..."

Last summer, as Metro State faculty gathered for a teleseminar by Professor Linda Nilson on "The Mind Has a Mind of Its Own: Teaching and Learning That's in Sync with the Mind," we heard Dr. Nilson claim that there is no such thing as distinct "learning styles."

This morning, NPR aired this story that confirms Dr. Nilson's claim. While individual students have particular strengths, we should not assume that there are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners who learn best when presented with new information in their "learning style."

Does this mean that we can all go back to lecture and expect students to learn, retain, understand, and apply what they have learned? Not quite. Research also shows that variety, or mixing things up, boosts both attention and retention. Spreading learning over time with recurring learning activities also helps to strengthen the synaptic connections that can create deep learning and understanding.

The Center for Faculty Development has a recording of Dr. Nilson's teleseminar available for listening. Interested Metro State faculty should contact the CFD.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty at Metro State are invited to join Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) for the 2011/12 academic year. To view the list of FLCs offered, their descriptions, and their schedules, please visit the FLC page of the Center for Faculty Development Web site

You must apply to join an FLC. A link to the online application is found on the FLC Web page.

Why join an FLC? Past FLCs have written articles for publication, attended teaching conferences, and presented at the Spring Forum. You can read about past FLCs here. Most of all, FLCs are a fun way to build community and get to know your colleagues while learning.

Apply now! The application deadline is August 26.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) Using Technology

CATs have long been recognized as important to a learner-centered instructional approach in which we can answer the questions “what are my students learning?” and “how do I know?” Technology can aid in implementing CATs. Faculty Focus recommends some strategies for adapting CATs to online learning or to the technology-enhanced classroom.

One example: Muddiest Point conveyed through a backchannel.

In this CAT, students provide information about what is the most confusing or least clear aspect of instruction, whether it is an assigned reading, a podcast or video, an assignment, etc. Creating a backchanneling site such as Wallwisher allows students to post brief notes to identify their muddiest points. Creating a Muddiest Point wiki allows students to interact with one another in an attempt to resolve muddiest points, sometimes even before the professor becomes involved.

Read the full post at Faculty Focus.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Student Conflict and Conduct

Workshop sponsored by the Office of Student Life: Friday August 12, 1:30 to 2:30pm, CN-208

Disruptive students... students whose behaviors are of concern to you... students experiencing conflicts... students in conflict with you... These are all situations that we may very well confront.

Emilia Paul and Braelin Pantel from the Office of Student Life will be presenting strategies and resources, including the College's judicial process, that can be of help in such situations.

Light refreshments will be offered.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Student Life, 303-556-3559.