Tip of the week: Make websites more readable — from fastcompany.com by Jared Newman
How to easily hide ads, auto-play videos, and other clutter in every major browser.

Excerpt:

Ever get annoyed by the intolerable reading experience on certain websites? By activating your browser’s reader mode, you can make web pages more reader-friendly by hiding ads, menus, pop-ups, and other distractions. Some web browsers even let you switch to reader mode automatically on specific websites. Here’s how:

 
 
 

Fall’s Final Enrollment Count Is In. Colleges Lost More Than 475,000 Students. — from chronicle.com by Audrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides a somber final tally of total college enrollment in the fall of 2021: It dropped 2.7 percent from a year earlier, a decline of 476,100 students.

Undergraduate enrollment, which was down at every type of institution, slipped by 3.1 percent — or 465,318 students — from the fall of 2020. The total decline among undergraduates since the fall of 2019 — just before the pandemic hit — was more than a million students, the center said.

Addendum on 1/19/22:

 
 

Why the Science of Teaching Is Often Ignored — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
There’s a whole literature on what works. But it’s not making its way into the classroom.

Excerpts:

Yet, teaching reformers argue, the dangers of ignoring the expanding body of knowledge about teaching and learning are ever more apparent. Traditional teaching may have sufficed when college campuses were more ivory tower than lifeboat, educating future generations of scholars and other elites rather than trying to lift up a diverse group of students and prepare them for an increasingly complex world.

Studies have also shown that faculty members are more likely to try evidence-based teaching practices if they feel they have supportive colleagues and departments. Faculty learning communities can be particularly helpful, teaching experts say, because instructors meet regularly over a series of months to tackle complex challenges, often by exploring the research and experimenting with small changes to their teaching.

Reforming teaching evaluations so that they reflect the hard work of reading and reflecting on teaching scholarship is also a critical lever for change.

 

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists - continuing to NOT do, continuing to do, stopping, and starting

(Parenthetically, be sure to see
Ian’s list of items he put into Byrdseed TV in the year 2021.)

 

A Case for ‘Radical Simplification’ in Higher Education — from edsurge.com by Robert Talbert
This article is part of the guide Survival Mode: Educators Reflect on a Tough 2021 and Brace for the Future.

Excerpt:

The practice is a common retrospective technique known as Start/Stop/Continue, and it poses three questions:

• What are we not doing, that we should start doing?

• What are we doing, that we should stop doing?

• What are we doing, that we should keep doing?

Sitting in my home office running through this mental exercise, here’s what I came up with…

 

From DSC:
I haven’t tried this Chrome extension, but it looks interesting.


lunanotes.io — websiteChrome extension page

LunaNotes helps you take notes within YouTube, while still watching the video(s). You can customize your notes with their easy-to-use editor, take screenshots of the video and write, draw or add shapes over the screenshot with their screenshot editor.

 

7 Hard Truths and a Few Lies — from insidehighered.com by Jennifer Snodgrass

Excerpt:

Would I do it all over again? Am I glad I became an academic? Absolutely. I love my job as a mentor, scholar, administrator and teacher. The moments in my classroom and lab continually make me think, and I am forever learning. Yet I also know that I could have saved myself years of anxiety, disappointment, self-doubt and frustration if I had gone into academe knowing more about what I might encounter. I was taught so much about research deadlines, how to create a syllabus and appropriate scholarship, but not about how to live a successful life as an academic. So now, I am keeping it real for those new scholars coming along.

At the same time, I also plan to keep working to change some of these uncomfortable truths. As full professors, we must look out for our graduate students and junior faculty. We must listen to their concerns and share the realities. We must also recognize that we do hold some power on our campuses. And it is up to us if we choose to use that power and status to be part of the solution, not the problem.

 

Antonio Sacre on the Power of Storytelling in Education — from spencerauthor.com by John Spencer

Per John:

I had the honor of interviewing celebrated author Antonio Sacre on the power of storytelling in education. Check out the podcast below.

The power of story in education -- Spencer and Sacre

Born in Boston to a Cuban father and Irish-American mother, Sacre is an internationally touring storyteller, author, and solo performance artist, based in Los Angeles. He has performed at the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, as well as museums, schools, libraries, and festivals. Deemed “a charismatic, empathetic presence” by the Chicago Tribune, his stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and on National Public Radio.

 

What motivates students to learn? — from edte.ch by Tom Barrett
In this article, we explore the key factors that influence and predict student academic motivation.

Excerpt:

Here are the top three ranked, according to this meta-analysis, from l’Université Laval, Monash University and Curtin University.

1 — Competence (I can do this!)
2 — Autonomy (I get to choose)
3 — Belonging (I am not alone)

 


From DSC:
I’m once again reminded of the following graphic:

Tom’s posting also reminds me of the power of storytelling, as Tom makes a solid point:

A notable missing piece of the student motivation paper is the role of emotion in learning. When I search the document for reference to ‘emotion’, the only returns I get are from citations and other works.

Along these lines, see/listen to:


 

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education -- from Instructure

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education — from instructure.com (authors of the Canvas LMS)
Our 2021 Global Student engagement and success study uncovers vital stats and key trends to help education institutions thrive through today’s education challenges.

Excerpt:

  • Connect students with alumni and potential employers through virtual networking, internships/externships, mentorship programs, and strategic partnerships.
  • Align curriculum with workforce outcomes and offer opportunities for students to showcase skill sets.
  • Close the perceived awareness gap of work/career readiness programs on campus with alumni programming highlighting the success of campus career resources.
  • Embed career exploration throughout the higher education experience and provide actionable insights into employment trends.

 

 
 

Writing Multiple Choice Questions For Higher Order Thinking — from theelearningcoach.com by Connie Malamed

Excerpt:

One of the biggest criticisms of multiple choice questions is that they only test factual knowledge. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can also use multiple choice questions to assess higher-order thinking.

Higher Order Thinking in a Nutshell
Higher order thinking goes beyond memorizing and recalling facts and data. It even goes beyond comprehension. Higher-order thinking refers to cognitive processes that involve analytical, critical and creative thinking. The concept is based on various learning taxonomies, such as application, analysis, evaluation, creation, problem-solving, connecting ideas and making decisions. Keep in mind that many of these cognitive tasks, including the recall of information, appear to occur simultaneously. See Alternatives to Bloom’s Taxonomy for criticisms of the hierarchical classifications.

Because test items must be aligned with performance objectives, you’ll need to include higher-order thinking skills from the start. And yes, these may be better measured through open ended questions, essays and discussions. But if you find yourself needing to use multiple choice tests, you can make the best of this situation with these three approaches.

 

10 great Chrome tips for teachers and educators — from educatorstechnology.com

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian