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Episode 65: Five Ways College Teachers Can Improve Their Instruction

…need? 1. Create a Student Avatar ENG: So one of the first things that I talk about in my book is to create a student avatar, because, you know, instructors have to know who they’re teaching, right? We mentioned this before. And I don’t mean just like basic information, like, “Oh, I know that my students want to go into business,” or “My students want to go into journalism.” No. You know, instructors need to know what actually drives their students, what matters to them, right? And so the best way I found is to create a student profile or…

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9 Ways Online Teaching Should be Different from Face-to-Face

…the comment around assessment having to look different. Thank you so much for sharing this. Debbie Sachs Thanks for letting us know, Angela! Jeffery kay To All, Communication with the students and parents will be the key to getting the relationship with teacher and students, parents moving in the right direction.Relationship needs to be in a caring way. Caring for that student will enhance that student interest in the subject or assignment. The student academics will grow with caring. marcarlos daniels I really liked how you talked about self awareness and simplifying the material so that the students do not…

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Project Based Learning: Start Here

…main goal is to get student engaged in learning. This keeps all students on track and it is much easier to teach to a group of students who are actively participating in discussions and asking questions. Camryn Tucker Hi Jeb! Do you think that students are not learning as well with PBL because it is harder to manage and be involved in all students learning? I am hesitant with it due to the fact that students are taking control and it is hard to give students (especially elementary) the responsibility of their learning. Camryn Tucker Hi Debbie! Due to the…

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Everything You Need to Know About Building a Great Screencast Video

…following along, there is a good chance they will inevitably check out.  Research shows that two simple strategies can increase student engagement with instructional videos: Embedded Questions One of the most important features of in-person lectures or discussions is the check for understanding. It is both an opportunity for teachers to get a temperature check on student learning and a chance for students to identify their own misconceptions. The problem with most checks for understanding is that they only engage a small percentage of students. That is not the case with instructional videos. When you upload your videos to a…

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Backward Design: The Basics

Students are meant to develop a model, then use it to describe these patterns. But in the plan above, students merely copied a model, and they didn’t use it to describe anything; even if the model required some written captioning to explain what was going on, because the model was a copy, it can’t be safely said that students were really the ones describing the system.  Then there’s the test. If we assume that a large portion of a student’s grade is based on the test, then students are not being measured on their achievement of that standard. The standard…

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Note-taking: A Research Roundup

…their own notes alone (Kiewra, 1985). If we combine this strategy with student revision, collaboration, and pausing to improve note-taking and learning—in other words, having students pause during an intake session to collaboratively revise their notes, then let them review instructor notes at the end—we can give our students an incredibly powerful learning experience. One concern is that providing notes might make students more passive about taking their own notes during the learning experience. Here are some suggestions for addressing that: Assigning a small grade for student notes would likely compel most students to do them, but this could distort…

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Deeper Class Discussions with the TQE Method

student-centered learning in action: Students are in charge of the content of the discussions, and the ability to participate fully has become its own motivator for completing the homework. “The peer pressure of Everyone’s discussing this book—that becomes cool. To have an idea, to have an opinion. So the student comes in, and all of a sudden it’s, “Wait, I read that part, and I think this,” you know? And you want to talk about empowering a student? You just turned that student into a part of the classroom community.” ♦ If you are a fan of the TQE method and you…

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Frickin’ Packets

…be used to teach reading comprehension or serve as a Black History Month activity. Let’s unpack these one by one. Reading comprehension: Having students answer low-level recall questions about a passage of writing that offers no meaningful context doesn’t do a lot to make them better readers. If the questions were more challenging, if they asked students to choose which textual evidence supports some particular idea, for example, that might move it up the continuum a bit more toward the power end, but is this the best way to give students reading practice? If students do this kind of work…

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5 Common Teaching Practices I’m Kicking to the Curb

…the advanced student. In order to receive appropriate challenge, high-ability or gifted students need regular opportunities to be grouped with like-ability peers. Having advanced students do this kind of tutoring doesn’t necessarily do them any harm, but if this practice is overused, it takes the place of true differentiated instruction, offering learning experiences that would challenge these students at an appropriate level. What to do instead: It’s perfectly reasonable to have higher-ability students help other students occasionally; all students should share their unique gifts with their peers. Just don’t call this differentiation. To meet the needs of all learners, try…

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