Can we have class outside?

The weather has been unusually nice lately in Dallas. Students enjoy being able to move outdoors and I’ve seen them reading under trees or chatting in the sun: the quintessential college life. Of course when it is this nice, who wants to go inside to have class? No one including the professors! Some of my favorite teaching memories are taking classes outside. In today’s post, I want to share one of the IDEAS from my book, Teaching for Learning: 101 Intentionally Designed Educational Activities to Put Students on the Path to Success. In this IDEA, we share how to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

can we have class outside

Photo credit: SMU

My reading list for 2017

Happy New Year! I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions but I do enjoy picking out books that I’m going to read for the year. Some years I focus on popular books that I’ve never read or on non-higher education books. For this year, I have identified 10 books that are mostly focused on faculty and academic governance. This is an area I ended 2016 thinking about and want to continue into 2017. Below are my books for the year along with blurbs from Amazon. What are you reading this year?

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn

What are trigger warnings and why all the fuss?

Since the University of Chicago sent a letter to all incoming students informing them that they wouldn’t receive trigger warnings, the concept has been debated within and outside of higher education. In fact, it has probably been debated more than many higher education problems that are far more prevalent. In today’s post, I will answer the question: What are trigger warnings and why all the fuss?

what are trigger warnings

Photo credit: Jason Eppink

When I teach the History of Higher Education, I have the students read the Charter and Statutes of William and Mary. The text is dense with hard to understand language. Before I have them read it, I warn them that largely because of the language that it will probably be the hardest thing that we will read in class. I also tell them it is pretty dry, but there are some key themes that I want them to gather.

So is this a trigger warning?

10 tips for teaching your first college class

Teaching your first college class can be exhilarating, but also intimidating. Like most faculty, I didn’t receive much training in graduate school in how to teach or design effective college courses. Over the years, I learned how to get better and also took advantage of the great resources that are available to help college instructors. No matter how well you know the content you’re teaching, teaching your first class can be tough for anyone. In today’s post, I will share 10 tips for teaching your first college class.

Teaching your first college class

Graduate school does a wonderful job developing disciplinary content knowledge, but a lousy job preparing you to teach your first college class.

A review of Claire Major’s Teaching Online

I have always been a skeptic of online education. As someone who thrives on the power of face-to-face instruction, I have always doubted the ability of online education to equal that experience. Yet, as someone in a faculty development role, I have to acknowledge that online education is something we have to give attention to in today’s environment. To that end, I have an excellent resource to recommend to anyone thinking about teaching online or trying to support those teaching online. My colleague and coauthor on Teaching for Learning has a new book that provides a valuable discussion of the research and practice related to online education. In today’s post, I will share my review of Claire Major’s Teaching Online: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice (Johns Hopkins, 2015).

Photo credit: University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism

I was familiar with the basics of online education, but found Major’s Teaching Online did a great job providing a mix of research findings and practice questions to consider.