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

Teaching and Learning

Staged Assignments & Long-Ass Prompts (Zachary Nowak, Inside Higher Ed, January 26, 2024): After years of trying to convince students it was in their best interest to start their research papers, the author simply required them to. [And no, I didn’t make up the title!]

Teaching as Transmission, Transaction, or Transformation (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, January 26, 2024): Which do you offer?

How to Get Your Students to Engage With One Another (Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2024): Two professors share their strategies for fostering conversation in class.

Worked Examples: An Effective Tool for Math Learning (Rebecca Adler, The Learning Scientists, January 25, 2024): What study strategies are best for learning mathematics?

Writing With Style, Force, Flair and Impact (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, January 23, 2024): How to get your students to love language and take pleasure in writing.

Increasing Student Success: A Developmental Approach (ICathy A. Pohan, Faculty Focus, January 22, 2024): When it comes to increasing rates of student achievement, satisfaction, and graduation, what really makes the difference?

When is Retrieval Practice Most Efficient? (Cindy Nebel, The Learning Scientists, January 19, 2024): The author reviews a research study tackling the issue of effectiveness vs. efficiency. In this series of studies, participants either received retrieval practice that was experimenter-controlled or the way that they wanted, which was typically to drop questions. Which one is better?

Smartphones Have Changed Student Attention, Even When Students Aren’t Using Them (Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, January 16, 2024): How to get and hold student attention when screens are a constant distraction, particularly when asking them to put their phones away means that some are still thining about what they might be missing. (1 hr. podcast)

AI in the Classroom

Lew Ludwig (co-director of the CTL) will be spending one day per week of his four-day-a-week essentials of calculus class developing an AI literacy overlay. Together, his students and he will actively explore generative AI, its uses, and implications. He will chronicle the journey in a column for the Mathematical Association of America: There and Back Again: A Mathematician’s Tale of AI Exploration, which all are invited to join.

ChatGPT Can’t Teach Writing (John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, January 22, 2024): Automated syntax generation is not teaching.

Mental-Health Concerns on Campus

College Counseling Centers Need to Be Aware of Mental-Health Concerns Due to Discrimination, Report Says (Alecia Taylor, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 26, 2024): The Center for Collegiate Mental Health analyzed data for 78,000 students and found a connection between experiences of identity-based bias and more severe mental-health symptoms.

Our College Students Are Struggling Emotionally. We Need to Understand How to Help Them (Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan, Hechinger Report, January 22, 2024): Building resilience, the ability to rebound from setbacks, can help set students up for success.

The Plagiarism Wars

How Many Casualties Would a Plagiarism War Produce? (Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, January 22, 2024): If conservatives and liberals start scouring their opponents’ academic publications for stolen ideas or phrases, nobody—even plagiarism experts—knows how much grist they will find. 

Higher Education under Siege

Mind-Expanding or a ‘Capitalist Hellscape’? How Our Survey Respondents View College (Amita Chatterjee, Charlotte Matherly, and Calli McMurray, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 19, 2024): Last summer The Chronicle conducted a national poll of 1,025 adults to probe public attitudes about higher education. Recently, they talked to several of the respondents to hear more about their experiences with, and feelings about, college.

DEI on Campus

The Campaign Against D.E.I. (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, New Yorker, January 22, 2024): For critics of the former Harvard president Claudine Gay, a larger goal was always in sight.

‘America Is Under Attack’: Inside the Anti-D.E.I. Crusade (Nicholas Confessore, New York Times, January 20, 2024): The backlash against ‘wokeism’ has led a growing number of states to bank D.E.I. programs at public universities. Thousands of emails and other documents reveal the playbook – and grievances – behind one strand of the anti-D.E.I. campaign. (A summary of the article is here: News Report Documents Conservatives’ Plan to Undermine DEI in Higher Ed (Marjorie Valbrun, Inside Higher Ed, January 22, 2024).

Teaching Israel-Palestine

Approaches to Teaching Israel-Palestine (Laura Ansley, AHA Perspectives on History, December 12, 2023): The AHA’s History Behind the Headlines Webinar.

Extra Credit Reading

We Will Not Wait for the Next School Shooting (The Daily Tar Heel, January 26, 2024): An op-ed signed by more than 140 student leaders and published simultaneously by more than 50 student newspapers at public and private universities across the country. “…As students and young people alike, we should know our words don’t end on this page — we will channel them into change.” 

“I’m Not Educated” (Timothy Burke, Substack, January 25, 2024): Everybody deserves respect and deference for what they know, for the distinctiveness of their skills and experience.

The Left’s Contradictory Goals for Higher Ed (Brendan Cantwell, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2024): It’s time to acknowledge that progressive aims are in conflict.

Black Women in Academia Face Unique Challenges on the Job (Ayesha Rascoe, NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, January 21, 2024): Rascoe talks with Professor Joy Gaston Gayles of NC State University about how she’s seen this play out in higher education.

Amid Gaza Protests, Universities Are Cracking Down on a Celebrated Protest Tactic: Sit-Ins (Prem Thakker, The Intercept, January 21, 2024): On college campuses around the country, administrators are responding to peaceful sit-ins with sanctions and criminal charges.

The New Academic Arms Race (Jeffrey J. Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 19, 2024): Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology.

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: Pedagogies of Care: Compassion, Inquiry, and Reflection in Education (Co-Editors: Dr. Mindith R. Rahmat, PsyD, Antioch College, Alliant International University; and Dr. Amy Osborne, PhD, Antioch College)Proposals Submission Deadline: February 3, 2024

“Pedagogies of Care: Compassion, Inquiry, and Reflection in Education” will be a comprehensive exploration of innovative and compassionate teaching practices designed to create more inclusive, supportive, and engaging learning environments. Drawing on research from the fields of education, psychology, and counseling, this book will provide educators with practical strategies and insights to transform their teaching methods.The editors seek to bring together a diverse range of perspectives and insights on the integration of compassion and care into educational practices. They welcome contributions from educators, researchers, and practitioners across all levels of education, including K-12, higher education, and adult learning contexts; both theoretical and practical insights, as well as case studies and empirical research, that showcase innovative approaches to pedagogies of care.

Recommended Topics: 

    • Trauma-informed Pedagogies ● Culturally Responsive Pedagogies ● Compassionate Pedagogies ● Restorative Justice Pedagogies ● Mindfulness and Self-care Pedagogies ● Social-emotional Integrated Pedagogies ● Holistic Pedagogies ● Engaged Pedagogies ● Upgrading and Alternative Assessment Pedagogies ● Universal Design for Learning Pedagogies ● Cooperative/Collaborative Pedagogies ● Growth Mindset Pedagogies ● Empathy-focused Pedagogies ● Experiential Pedagogies ● Critical Pedagogies ● Reflective Practice Pedagogies ● Metacognitive Pedagogies ● Well-being Pedagogies

Submission Procedure: Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 3, 2024, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by February 17, 2024, about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 6, 2024, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis.

Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Publisher: This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher, in 2025.

Inquiries: Dr. Mindith R. Rahmat, PsyD (Antioch College, Alliant International University)


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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