Faculty Focus - Magna Publications

Monday, October 9, 2006 (Around 8 years ago)

Faculty Focus - Magna Publications, Volume 3, Issue 9: October 3, 2006

In this issue: * Creating a Sustainable, Faculty-Driven Assessment Initiative * 6 Recommendations for the Physicality of Virtual Classrooms * Enhancing Students’ Readiness to Learn * Take the Poll!

Creating a Sustainable, Faculty-Driven Assessment Initiative Meaningful program assessment requires faculty participation. The challenge of getting faculty involved and staying involved lies in convincing them that the benefits of assessment are worth any additional work it generates.

6 Recommendations for the Physicality of Virtual Classrooms Engrossed in a flow of online teaching, I was suddenly aware of insistent knocking. Because teaching is interrupted only for emergencies, I paused in midsentence to open the door. A student worker handed me a document that I had already accessed online. When asked, the student worker said she was told to distribute the document to faculty. Rather than place the document in either of my mailboxes, she had brought the paper directly to me.

Enhancing Students’ Readiness to Learn Over the years, I have probably said, “Have you done your reading? Is everyone ready?” more times than I care to count. But as the years passed, it became apparent that more and more students weren’t doing their assigned reading and were not ready for class. Several semesters ago, out of sheer frustration, I stopped talking during one of my lectures. I turned up the lights, walked to the chalkboard, and wrote in quite large letters, “Are you ready for class today?” I underlined the word “ready,” faced the class, and let about five seconds of silence simmer uncomfortably. Finally I asked the students to respond honestly and anonymously to my question on a sheet of paper. I collected the responses and quickly tallied the results. Seventy-five percent of the class responded “no.” Only a few responded “yes.” Most interesting were the students who responded, “I think so.” I asked with disbelief, “How can you not know whether or not you are ready for class?” To this day, I have not forgotten how they answered:

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