World of active learning in higher ed — from universitybusiness.com by Sherrie Negrea
Formal and informal learning spaces transforming campuses internationally

Excerpts:

Active learning spaces are cropping up at campuses on nearly every continent as schools transform lecture halls, classrooms and informal study areas into collaborative technology hubs. While many international campuses have just started to create active learning spaces, others have been developing them for more than a decade.

As the trend in active learning classrooms has accelerated internationally, colleges in the U.S. can learn from the cutting-edge classroom design and technology that countries such as Australia and Hong Kong have built.

“There are good examples that are coming out from all over the world using different kinds of space design and different types of teaching,” says D. Christopher Brooks, director of research at Educause, who has conducted research on active learning spaces in the United States and China.

 

“If the students are engaged and motivated and enjoying their learning, they’re more likely to have improved learning outcomes,” says Neil Morris, director of digital learning at the University of Leeds. “And the evidence suggests that these spaces improve their engagement, motivation and enjoyment.”

 

 

 

 

What online teachers have learned from teaching online — from insidehighered.com by Mark Lieberman
Online instructors offer wisdom they’ve gathered — what to do and what not to do — from years of experience teaching in the modality.

Excerpts:

When I first began teaching online, I noticed a disconnect between students and the course content. While I worked to make it relevant to their lives, I often saw students doing the work simply for the grade. Clearly something was not translating. In the last year, I’ve become more focused on helping students connect their passions to the course content. My courses still have objectives. However, I ask students when the semester starts to identify one to three goals and create a short video about what they want to achieve in the course. They reflect on these goals and can modify them at the midpoint and the end. During the semester, I ask students to consider what they are doing during the week to help them meet their goals. They don’t always need to share this information, but having this as a thread in the course helps them stay connected to the content and each other. Students are aware of what their colleagues’ goals are and often reach out and share ideas and resources in support. [Hall]


I also began to see that teaching online could support learner variability better than teaching in a classroom. I observed one student with dyslexia express herself eloquently in video, while her written expressions were fragmented. These experiences illuminated the value of Universal Design for Learning, opening a new world of opportunities for teaching online. [Brock]

I’ve been teaching online since 2008 and entirely online since 2013. When I first started teaching online, I was afraid to create new content or change the course in any way once the course launched. I thought the course curriculum and online environment had to stay “frozen” and intact or I would risk confusing students. Now, I create additional tutorials as needed, using screen-casting tools, videos and podcasts to add additional content to assist students. I have also since learned that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to online teaching and learning. Some students prefer basic content and straightforward assignments. Other students like to interact with the instructor through instant messaging, email and discussion boards. I started doing optional webinars for students who wanted more interaction and personalized learning, but I don’t require them. I find that the same group of online students in each course (who enjoy interaction) usually attend the webinars. The webinars are recorded for students who couldn’t attend or prefer the recording format.

Over all, I’ve learned to be more laid-back, multimodal (e.g., webinars, podcasts, etc.), proactive and flexible for my students.

Semingson

 

 

There need to be more active learning activities in an online course.

Greenlaw

 


In a typical class, students talk only to the instructor and each other. Resources, questions and information that are created and shared rarely transition to the next course. In true community, all students and instructors within a program could regularly access information and ideas in a shared space regardless of the content they are currently learning. [Hall]

There are numerous tools and strategies for interacting with students, like web-conferencing platforms, course audio and video tools, and collaborative tools that allow for synchronous or asynchronous interaction. There are simply more ways to communicate, to collaborate and to create. [Hobgood]

Insert from DSC:
Re: this last quote from Hobgood, I love this idea of creating an online-based community of practice — or community of inquiry — that spans across classes and semesters. Great call!

 

Efforts to improve student access to online courses are key, but we also know that equity gaps get worse when minority students learn online. We must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Relationships are at the core of meaningful college experiences and they’re particularly important to underserved students who are more likely to doubt their academic abilities. Underserved online students need the presence of an engaged instructor. If you teach online, your human presence matters. This has been my greatest takeaway from 15 years of teaching online and, perhaps, more striking is that this point still seems revolutionary to so many.

Pacansky-Brock

 

 

 

Addendum:
7 Steps to Better Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Esther C. Kim

Excerpt:

Provide suggestions for a strong classroom climate. At the start of the semester, I offer ways for students to stay engaged in an online classroom environment, and I explain the importance of remaining on camera and on audio. Without a proper explanation, students mistakenly think that they can multitask during live class sessions. Among the tips I offer them:

  • Refrain from opening email, texting, or browsing the web.
  • Choose a space where you don’t encounter distractions, which could include family members, laundry, dirty dishes, or a busy street outside your window.
  • Avoid sitting on a comfortable couch or bed.
  • Pay close attention to peers’ comments and ask yourself if you agree or disagree, and why. Add to the dialogue by sharing your thoughts.
  • Avoid taking class from coffee shops or other public spaces. The background noise can create a distraction both for you and for the entire class. Also, internet connections may be inconsistent in public spaces.

Don’t use the chat box when you can speak instead. On my university’s platform, there’s a chat box in which students can type messages in real time. This could be a useful tool if used properly. But I often find it difficult to simultaneously read the chat box while listening to a student who’s speaking. The same goes for when I am speaking and someone is typing comments or questions in the chat box. If there’s a robust dialogue happening among a few of the students and others want to interject, they can place their comments in the chat box. Otherwise, I ask that they take advantage of the face-to-face online time by verbalizing their questions or comments.

From DSC:
Esther’s point on how difficult it is to both read/respond to the chat area while also trying to listen to someone else speaking is a great example of cognitive load — and it being overwhelmed with too much information to process at one time.

 

 

Grand Rapids Community College offers free laptop vending machine — from mlive.com by Monica Scott

Excerpt:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is among higher education institutions providing free laptop vending machines to give students greater access to technology and more flexibility.

Retrieving a laptop from the machine is as quick and easy as grabbing chips from a vending machine. A student punches in their last name on the touchscreen, swipes their student ID, and out pops one of the 12 Dell laptops.

The fully charged computers are available for four hours. Students simply return them back to the machine when done. The machine automatically wipes it clean of their work and recharges it for the next person.

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
How do we best help folks impacted by these changes reinvent themselves? And to what? What adjustments to our educational systems do we need to make in order to help people stay marketable and employed?

Given the pace of change and the need for lifelong learning, we need to practice some serious design thinking on our new reality.

 


 

The amount of retail space closing in 2018 is on pace to break a record — from cnbc.com by Lauren Thomas

  • Bon-Ton’s more than 200 stores encompass roughly 24 million square feet.
  • CoStar Group has calculated already more than 90 million square feet of retail space (including Bon-Ton) is set to close in 2018.
  • That’s easily on track to surpass a record 105 million square feet of space shuttered in 2017.

 


 

 

 

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning— by Peter C. Brown, Henry L Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel

Some of the key points and learning strategies they mention in the preface:

  • The most effective learning strategies are not intuitive
  • Spaced repetition of key ideas and the interleaving of different but related topics are two excellent teaching/learning strategies

 

“This is a book about what people can do for themselves right now in order to learn better and remember longer. The responsibility for learning rests with every individual.”

 

 

Some the key points and learning strategies they mention in the first chapter:

  • When they talk about learning they mean acquiring knowledge and skills and having them readily available from memory so you can make sense of future problems and opportunities.
  • There are some immutable aspects of learning that we can probably all agree on:
    1. To be useful, learning requires memory, so what we’ve learned is till there later when we need it.
    2. We need to keep learning and remembering all our lives.
    3. Learning is an acquired skill and most effective strategies are counterintuitive
  • Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful
  • We are poor judges of when we are learning well and when we’re not
  • Rereading text and massed practice (i.e., cramming) of a skill or new knowledge are by far the preferred study strategies of learners of all stripes, but they”re also among the least productive. Rereading and cramming give rise to feeling of fluency that are taken to be signs of mastery, but for true mastery or durability these strategies are largely a waste of time.
  • Retrieval practice — recalling facts or concepts or events from memory — is a more effective learning strategy than reviewing by rereading
    • Flashcards are a simple example
    • Retrieval strengthens the memory and interrupts forgetting
    • A single simple quiz after reading a text or hearing a lecture produces better learning and remembering that rereading the text of reviewing lecture notes.
  • Periodic practice arrest forgetting, strengthens retrieval routes, and is essential for hanging onto the knowledge you want to gain.
  • Space out practice and interleave the practice of 2 or more subjects, retrieval is harder and feels less productive, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and enables more versatile application of it in later settings.
  • Trying to solve a problem before being taught the solution leads to better learning, even when errors are made in the attempt.
  • Learning styles are not supported by the empirical research.
  • When you’re adept at extracting the underlying principles or “rules” that differentiate types of problems, you’re more successful at picking the right solutions in unfamiliar situations. This skill is better acquired through interleaved and varied practice than massed practice.
  • In virtually all areas of learning, you build better mastery when you use testing as a tool to identify and bring up your areas of weakness.
  • All learning requires a foundation of prior knowledge.

 

If you practice elaboration, there’s no known limit to how much you can learn. Elaboration is the process of giving new material meaning by expressing it in your own words and connecting it with what you already know. The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.***

 

“When learning is hard, you’re doing important work.”

 

“Making mistakes and correcting them builds the bridges to advanced learning.”

 

Learning is stronger when it matters.^^^

 

  • One of the most striking research findings is the power of active retrieval — testing — to strengthen memory, and the more effortful the retrieval, the stronger the benefit.
  • The act of retrieving learning from memory has 2 profound benefits:
    1. It tells you what you know and don’t know, and therefore where to focus further study
    2. Recalling what you have learned causes your bring to reconsolidate the memory
  • To learn better and remember longer, [use]:
    • various forms of retrieval practice, such as low-stakes quizzing and self-testing
    • spacing out practice
    • interleaving the practice of different but related topics or skills
    • trying to solve a problem before being taught the solution
    • and distilling the underlying principles or rules that differentiate types of problems

 

One of the best habits a learner can instill in herself is regular self-quizzing to recalibrate her understanding of what she does and does not know. 

 

Brown, P. C., Roediger III, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014).
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.
Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Make-Stick-Science-Successful-Learning/dp/0674729013

 

 

*** This quote reminds me of what turned Quin Schultze’ learning around. With Quin’s permission, the following excerpt is from Quentin Schultze’s solid book, Communicate like a True Leader (pages 35 & 36)

 

 

 

During the beginning of my sophomore year, I started reviewing each day’s class notes after classes were over. I soon realized how little I recalled even of that day’s lectures and discussions. It dawned on me that normal note-taking merely gave me the impression that I was learning. I implemented a strategy that revolutionized my learning, launched me successfully into graduate school, helped me become a solid teacher, equipped me to be a productive researcher-writer, and made it possible for me to be an engaging speaker.

I not only reviewed my notes daily. I rewrote them from scratch within a couple of hours of each class meeting. I used my actual course notes as prompts to recall more of the lecture and to help me organize my own reactions to the material. My notes expanded. My retention swelled.

My revised notes became a kind of journal of my dialogue with the instructor and the readings. I integrated into my revised course notes my daily reading notes, reworking them into language that was meaningful to me and preparing to ask the instructor at the next class anything that I was uncertain about. From then on I earned nearly straight A’s with far less cramming for exams.

Moreover, I had begun journaling about my learning — one of the most important communication skills. I became a real learner by discovering how to pay attention to others and myself.

In a broad sense, I learned how to listen.

 

^^^ This quote explains why it is so important to answer the first question a learner asks when approaching a new lesson/topic/lecture/etc.:

  • Why is this topic relevant?
    i.e., why is this topic important and worthy of my time to learn it?

 

 

Students are being prepared for jobs that no longer exist. Here’s how that could change. — from nbcnews.com by Sarah Gonser, The Hechinger Report
As automation disrupts the labor market and good middle-class jobs disappear, schools are struggling to equip students with future-proof skills.

Excerpts:

In many ways, the future of Lowell, once the largest textile manufacturing hub in the United States, is tied to the success of students like Ben Lara. Like many cities across America, Lowell is struggling to find its economic footing as millions of blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, construction and transportation disappear, subject to offshoring and automation.

The jobs that once kept the city prosperous are being replaced by skilled jobs in service sectors such as health care, finance and information technology — positions that require more education than just a high-school diploma, thus squeezing out many of those blue-collar, traditionally middle-class workers.

 

As emerging technologies rapidly and thoroughly transform the workplace, some experts predict that by 2030 400 million to 800 million people worldwide could be displaced and need to find new jobs. The ability to adapt and quickly acquire new skills will become a necessity for survival.

 

 

“We’re preparing kids for these jobs of tomorrow, but we really don’t even know what they are,” said Amy McLeod, the school’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. “It’s almost like we’re doing this with blinders on. … We’re doing all we can to give them the finite skills, the computer languages, the programming, but technology is expanding so rapidly, we almost can’t keep up.”

 

 

 

For students like Amber, who would rather do just about anything but go to school, the Pathways program serves another function: It makes learning engaging, maybe even fun, and possibly keeps her in school and on track to graduate.

“I think we’re turning kids off to learning in this country by putting them in rows and giving them multiple-choice tests — the compliance model,” McLeod said. “But my hope is that in the pathways courses, we’re teaching them to love learning. And they’re learning about options in the field — there’s plenty of options for kids to try here.”

 

 

 

Per Catie Chase from BestColleges.com:

As you know, online education is rapidly expanding. At BestColleges.com we believe it’s important to evaluate the latest trends in distance education and measure the impact to both students and academic institutions. This is an industry that evolves quickly and these results offer relevant, current insights we are excited to learn from and share with the online learning community.

To keep up with these trends, we surveyed 1,800 online students and university administrators and published two reports based on our findings:

  • 2018 Online Education Trends Report – Synthesizing all of the data we gathered in our study, this academic report provides a holistic look at the current state of online education and offers predictions for where it’s headed.
  • The Student’s Guide to Online Education – Most students we spoke with wished they’d known more about online education and how to choose a quality online program prior to enrolling. We built this guide as a launching point for prospective students to gain that knowledge and make informed decisions on their education.

 

In an effort to develop a broader understanding of how common perceptions of online education are changing, we added several questions for both students and school administrators to the study this year. A majority of students (79%) felt that online learning is either “better than” or “equal to” on-campus learning. They felt their employers (61%), future employers (61%), and the general public (58%) also had a similarly positive perception of online learning.

 

 

From DSC:
It is highly likely that in the very near future, the question won’t even be asked anymore what employers think of online-based learning and whether they will hire someone that’s taken a significant portion of their coursework online. They won’t have a choice. This is especially true if and when more advanced technologies and capabilities get further baked into online-based learning — i.e., truly personalized/customized learning (which most faculty members — including myself — and teachers can’t deliver), virtual reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots, personal digital assistants, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and more. 

The better question could become:

To what extent will campus-based learning be impacted when truly personalized/customized learning is offered via online-based means?

My guess?  There will continue to be a significant amount of people who want to learn in a physical campus-based setting — and that’s great! But the growth of online learning will grow even more (a lot more) if truly personalized learning occurs via online-based means.

 


 

99% of administrators found that demand for online education has increased or stayed the same over the past few years. Almost 40% of respondents plan to increase their online program budgets in the next year.

 


 

This year, 34% of schools reported that their online students are younger than in previous years, falling into the “traditional” college age range of 18-25, and even younger as high school students take college courses before graduating. Several schools noted that recent high school graduates are entering the workforce while also pursuing a college education.

 


 

 

From DSC:
What can higher ed learn from this? Eventually, people will seek alternatives if what’s being offered isn’t acceptable to them anymore.


 

The Disappearing Doctor: How Mega-Mergers Are Changing the Business of Medical Care — from nytimes.com by Reed Ableson and Julie Creswell
Big corporations — giant retailers and health insurance companies — are teaming up to become your doctor.

Excerpt:

Is the doctor in?

In this new medical age of urgent care centers and retail clinics, that’s not a simple question. Nor does it have a simple answer, as primary care doctors become increasingly scarce.

“You call the doctor’s office to book an appointment,” said Matt Feit, a 45-year-old screenwriter in Los Angeles who visited an urgent care center eight times last year. “They’re only open Monday through Friday from these hours to those hours, and, generally, they’re not the hours I’m free or I have to take time off from my job.

“I can go just about anytime to urgent care,” he continued, “and my co-pay is exactly the same as if I went to my primary doctor.”

That’s one reason big players like CVS Health, the drugstore chain, and most recently Walmart, the giant retailer, are eyeing deals with Aetna and Humana, respectively, to use their stores to deliver medical care.

People are flocking to retail clinics and urgent care centers in strip malls or shopping centers, where simple health needs can usually be tended to by health professionals like nurse practitioners or physician assistants much more cheaply than in a doctor’s office. Some 12,000 are already scattered across the country, according to Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm.

 

 

 

 

 

OVER ONE-THIRD OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ARE FACING FOOD AND HOUSING INSECURITY, SAYS A NEW REPORT — with thanks to Angela Baggetta for this resource

PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 3, 2018)—A new report led by Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab and her team at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab finds that over one-third of university students have faced food and housing insecurity in the past year. Nine percent of university students also have been homeless.

“Still Hungry and Homeless in College” is the third report issued by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab assessing food and housing insecurity among college students across states. This year’s study surveyed 43,000 students at 66 community colleges and universities in 20 states and the District of Columbia (list of participating institutions follows). Previously the reports focused only on community colleges; this year the report also includes data from more than 20,000 students at 35 universities (30 public and 5 private) in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

“While the report does not include estimates that are ‘nationally representative,’ it is currently the best source of information on the prevalence of basic needs insecurities at colleges across the country,” said Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, who conducted the research with her Temple colleagues Joel Schneider and Clare Cady, and her Wisconsin colleagues Jed Richardson and Anthony Hernandez. “Other studies have focused on single systems of higher education within states, or draw on household surveys (where college students are often missed) to look only at food insecurity. But food and housing insecurity and homelessness are overlapping issues that are best understood together. Until we do so, we can’t formulate lasting and effective solutions to promote degree completion.”

The report finds that overall:

  • 36% of university students were food-insecure in the last 30 days, as were 42% of community college students.
  • 36% of university students were housing-insecure in the past year, as were 46% of community college students.
  • 9% of university students were homeless in the past year, as were 12% of community college students.
  • Less than half of all students surveyed reported being completely secure, meaning they did not experience any food or housing insecurity, or homelessness, in the past year.

The report also finds a disparity in risk endured by certain types of students. For example:

  • More than 60% of former foster youth were both food and housing insecure, and 24% had experienced homelessness in the last year.
  • Students identifying as non-binary and those who are homosexual or bisexual were greatly overrepresented among students enduring basic needs insecurities.
  • African-American and Native American students were much more likely than non-Hispanic white or Asian students to experience food or housing insecurity.
  • The Pell Grant does not provide sufficient protection: Compared to non-Pell recipients, Pell recipients are 14-20 percentage points more likely to experience food and housing insecurity, and 4-6 percentage points more likely to experience homelessness.

While university students are more likely than community college students to have access to on-campus housing and meal plans, even these supports do not shield students from these challenges. For example, the report finds that 26% of university students with a meal plan and 26% of university students living on campus experienced food insecurity within the last 30 days. And 7% of university students who dealt with homelessness said that they struggled because residence halls were closed during breaks.

Students who experience basic needs insecurities are clearly committed to school and are trying to work to make ends meet. But their academics still suffer. The study found that:

  • At both community colleges and universities, rates of food and housing insecurity were higher among students who worked longer hours. For example, 34-38% of students working 6-20 hours per week were food insecure, compared to 48-51% of students working 40 hours or more per week. Moreover, community college students who were unemployed but seeking work exhibited rates of food and housing insecurity comparable to those of students working 40 hours or more per week.
  • The amount of time committed to college—both time spent in class and time spent studying—is very similar for students whose basic needs are secured and those who are enduring food and/or housing insecurity.
  • But that time commitment does not translate into similar levels of success. Among students who reported receiving D’s and F’s in college, more than half were food insecure, with more than 40% at the very lowest level of food security. Rates of housing insecurity among these students were even higher: over the last year, more than 55% were housing insecure, and more than one-fifth were homeless.

Despite the evidence that food and housing insecurity and homelessness are real challenges to students today, there are precious few support systems in place at community colleges, universities, or in the broader community. Only 26% of food insecure students at 2-year colleges and 12% at 4-year colleges received SNAP. And of the students who experienced homelessness in the past year, only 8% of 2-year students and 5% of 4-year students received housing assistance.

The full report can be found here:
http://wihopelab.com/publications/Wisconsin-HOPE-Lab-Still-Hungry-and-Homeless.pdf

And the companion FAQ can be found here:
http://wihopelab.com/publications/Wisconsin-HOPE-Lab-Still-Hungry-and-Homeless-FAQ.pdf

 

Also see:

Hunger And Homelessness Are Widespread Among College Students, Study Finds — from NPR.org

Excerpt:

As college students grapple with the rising costs of classes and books, mortgaging their futures with student loans in exchange for a diploma they’re gambling will someday pay off, it turns out many of them are in great financial peril in the present, too.

More than a third of college students don’t always have enough to eat and they lack stable housing, according to a survey published Tuesday by researchers at Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab.

Overall the study concluded 36 percent of college students say they are food insecure. Another 36 percent say they are housing insecure, while 9 percent report being homeless. The results are largely the same as last year’s survey, which included fewer students.

 

 


Addendum on 4/18/18 — from Angela Baggetta:



COLLEGE STUDENTS BATTLING HOMELESSNESS, HUNGER, AND OTHER FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES INVITED TO 
SHARE THEIR STORIES IN NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION

 #RealCollege: Voices for Change Kicks off April 18

PHILADELPHIA (April 18, 2018)—College students across the country who have encountered hunger, homelessness, and other financial and social roadblocks as they pursue their studies are invited to share their stories in a national awareness and education campaign kicking off on Wednesday.

#RealCollege: Voices for Change was created by Temple University’s Sara Goldrick-Rab and her team at the forthcoming HOPE Center for College, Community, and Justice.  The HOPE Center, which launches in September, will be an evolution of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, also founded by Dr. Goldrick-Rab. She is the nation’s leading expert on the many financial burdens facing college students today, and best known for her research finding widespread food and housing insecurity among college students.

“Many people harbor stereotypes and misunderstandings of today’s college students. They think they don’t work, abuse financial aid, or are otherwise lazy and academically adrift. Data contradict those assumptions,” said Dr. Goldrick-Rab. “Our goal is to provide students who often feel invisible with a platform to have their voices elevated and heard, so that they can help correct the story. There are so many aspects of being a college student that are just not known by administrators, professors, parents, and other policymakers.”

Students will become teachers by providing submissions that can educate people about the challenges of attending college today. Some of the students who submit their stories will be asked to attend and speak at the #RealCollege conference at Temple University this September. Others will be invited to testify about their experiences before lawmakers and policymakers at the local or national level.

“As a longtime practitioner, I can tell you that students’ voices matter in how we do our work—and they should matter even more than they do now,” said Clare Cady, Director of Research Application and Dissemination at the HOPE Center.

Students can submit their audio stories on the #RealCollege website under the “Voices for Change” tab: https://realcollege.org/voices-for-change/submissions/. A full list of eligibility requirements can also be found on the site. Stories will be accepted from April 18 through August 17, 2018. To be eligible to submit their stories, students should have been enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher learning during spring, summer, or fall of 2018. That said, it is acceptable for the student to have left school for any reason. In fact, that may be an important part of their story.

Students also may record their audio stories in person at two events this spring. The first takes place April 18 on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, and the second takes place May 10 on the campus of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.

Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter is a Community College of Philadelphia student, and soon-to-be graduate, who is working with the HOPE Center team. “I’m a returning citizen and was homeless during college.  But you won’t find stories like mine on TV.  We need to change that,” she said.

Sponsors of #RealCollege: Voices for Change include Boston Foundation, New Profit, and PayPal.

 


 

 

 

The Case for Inclusive Teaching — from chronicle.com by Kevin Gannon

Excerpt:

Inclusive teaching is not condescending or fake. Rather, it’s a realization that traditional pedagogical methods — traditionally applied — have not served all of our students well. It’s a commitment to put actual substance behind our cheerful declarations that all students deserve access to higher education. Mumbling about “snowflakes” accomplishes nothing but further entrenching ineffective and unskillful practices. The beauty of inclusive pedagogy is that, rather than making special accommodations that would decrease equity, it actually benefits all students, not just those at whose needs it was originally aimed.

So what is inclusive pedagogy? It is a mind-set, a teaching-and-learning worldview, more than a discrete set of techniques. But that mind-set does value specific practices which, research suggests, are effective for a mix of students. More specifically:

It values course design. Inclusive teaching asks us to critically examine not just the way we teach on a day-to-day basis, but the prep work and organization we do before the course begins. Does our course design — including assigned readings, assessments, and daily activities — reflect a diverse array of identities and perspectives? Am I having my students read a bunch of monographs, all authored by white males, for example? And if I am, what am I telling students about how knowledge is produced in my field, and more important, about who is producing it?

Even such quotidian practices as in-class videos or case studies ought to be examined. What types of people do my students see when they watch a video featuring an expert in my discipline? Do the experts look like my students? In my teaching, am I mostly relying on one pedagogical method, where I might be able to connect with a wider array of students by differentiating the types of instruction I use? What assumptions am I making about my students’ prior experiences and educational opportunities when I ask questions in class or design my exams?

It values discernment.

It values a sense of belonging.

 

 

 

 

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