Teaching and Learning

What Fixing a Snowblower Taught One Professor About Teaching (Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 1, 2024): The biggest challenge was moving away from the standard assessment routine of homework and exams.

Reimagining Syllabus Day (Anthony Lacina, Faculty Focus, January 31, 2024): Reimagining the traditional “syllabus day” to an engaged “preview day” provides an opportunity to set a desired tone for the semester.

A Cure for Humanities Deficiency Syndrome (Rachel Wheeler, Inside Higher Ed, January 31, 2024): Consider adding one-credit “co-labs” to STEM courses.

Effective Learning with Pre-Laboratory Videos: A Practical Teaching Strategy (Chandler Hansen and Pradeep Malreddy, Faculty Focus, January 29, 2024): Pre-laboratory videos provide students with a detailed and visual understanding, serving as an outline to help prepare for upcoming laboratory sessions.

Mental-Health Concerns on Campus

Counseling Centers See a Rise in Traumatized Students (Johanna Alonso, Inside Higher Ed, February 2, 2024): Nearly half of all students who visit counseling centers report trauma. In response, colleges are changing the treatments and supports they offer.

Discrimination Is a Form of Trauma for Some Students (Johanna Alonso, Inside Higher Ed, January 29, 2024): In its 2024 annual report, Penn State’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health highlights the correlation between discrimination and mental health challenges.

Diversity Issues on Campus

Hate Crimes Reported in Schools Nearly Doubled Between 2018 and 2022 (Dana Goldstein, New York times, January 29, 2024): Black students were the most frequent reported victims, followed by L.G.B.T.Q. and Jewish students, according to FBI statistics.

Speech Issues on Campus

How Higher Ed Is Really Failing Students on Gaza and Israel (Clarissa Mansfield, Inside Higher Ed, February 1, 2024): Academic and media preoccupation with pro-Palestinian slogans misses the bigger picture.

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2024 (FIRE, January 30, 2024): Of the 489 schools included in FIRE’s Spotlight database, 98 (20%) earn an overall “red light” rating for maintaining policies that clearly and substantially restrict free speech, and 320 (65.4%) earn an overall “yellow light” rating for maintaining policies that impose vague regulations on expression.

College Is All About Curiosity. And That Requires Free Speech (Stephen L. Carter, New York Times, January 24, 2024): True learning can only happen on campuses where academic freedom is paramount – within and outside the classroom.

On the Bookshelf

Nicholas B. Dirks, City of Intellect: The Uses and Abuses of the University (Cambridge, 2023): The former chancellor of the University of California (2013-2017) discusses the issues college leaders face and his views on the current state of higher education. Interview between Dirks and Susan H. Greenberg at Inside Higher Ed (January 30, 2024).

North Putnam: A film that encourages students’ engagement with civil, nonpartisan, discourse

North Putnam, a feature-length film directed by Joel Fendelman and produced by DePauw’s Beth Benedix, depicts a year in the life of a rural Indiana school district and the community it serves. A quiet film, North Putnam is meant to create a conversation about public education as a vital component of a thriving democracy, to build bridges across divides, and to provide an extended glimpse into a world and set of concerns that so many share but are often overlooked. The film is a special initiative of The Castle, Benedix’s Putnam County-based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing learning experiences for students where they feel seen, heard, valued and empowered, and supporting teachers in their ability to create environments that spill over with joy, creativity, relevance, rigor and authenticity. Please reach out to Beth (bbenedix@depauw.edu) for a preview link and to brainstorm ways that the film can serve the work of your campus.

Extra Credit Reading

‘We’re from the University and We’re Here to Help’ (Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report, January 31, 2024): Supporting their neighbors isn’t always a priority for universities and colleges. But advocates suggest that such help is one way to counteract crashing public confidence in higher education.

Does Literary Criticism Tell Truths About the World? (Jeanne-Marie Jackson, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2024): A scholarly roundtable on Jonathan Kramnick’s Criticism and Truth: On Method in Literary Studies (Chicago 2023).

Inventing the Perfect College Applicant (Caitlin Moscatello, New York Magazine, January 29, 2024): For $120,000 a year, Christopher Rim promises to turn any student into Ivy bait.

CTL Webinar: Working with Students When Things Get Difficult

Many thanks to Cyndi Kernahan, professor of psychological sciences and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, for her January 18 presentation to the GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning. We are pleased to provide our readers with the resources from her workshop, “I Could Feel the Heat in That Class”:  Strategies for Working with Our Students When Things Get Difficult.   

Presentation Slides
Kernahan’s First Day Ideas
Suggestions for further Reading and Listening

Have a short article or some news related to teaching and learning at your institution that you’d like to share with colleagues? Send your contribution along to us. Also, please email Colleen Monahan Smith (smith@glca.org) if you have colleagues who would like to receive this weekly report.

Steven Volk (steven.volk@oberlin.edu), Editor

GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning
   Lew Ludwig (ludwigl@denison.edu
   Colleen Monahan Smith (smith@glca.org)

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