Teaching and Learning

Mnemonic Devices (Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel, Learning Scientists, October 27, 2023): Considering the best uses of mnemonic devices in educational settings.

How to Stem the Retreat from High Academic Expectations and Standards (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, October 27, 2023): Rethinking grading and testing while still holding students accountable.

What’s the Best Way to Frame Test Questions? (Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 26, 2023): Some research to determine what is the best way to pose test questions in biology.

Learning by Working Together: Developing and Checking for Group Integration Across Diverse Disciplinary Cohorts (Russ Wodward, Mandy Boyd, and Ian Rodwell, Faculty Focus, October 25, 2023): Purposeful integration and collaborative working is important in many higher education programs, especially in ensuring that different disciplines can work together in relevant ways after graduation.

Continuity Makes Communities (John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, October 23, 2023): The value of creating communities based on continuity: advising, learning communities, etc.

Cultivating Collaboration and Consistency in Grading: Applying the GRADE Strategy (Jennifer P. Gray and Stephanie B. Conner, Faculty Focus, October 23, 2023): What is frequently missing from the conversation about grading is how to integrate the activity of evaluation within the time constraints of a typical day for a faculty member. Finding a strategy to cultivate small moments of consistency with grading can provide faculty with a better balance between their job duties, homelife, and mental wellbeing.  

A.I. in the Classroom

Prioritize ChatGPT Proficiency to Enhance Teaching and Learning (Amy Kristof-Brown, Inside Higher Ed, October 27, 2023): Educators have a responsibility to think beyond cheat-proof assignments, teaching students to use AI proficiently and creatively in the classroom.

Mental Health and Crisis

Turning Moments of Crisis into Moments of Care (Chiara Camponeschi, Inside Higher Ed, October 26, 2023): In this “Academic Minute,” the author examines how one group is bringing disparate parties together to chart a path ahead (2½ minute podcast).

Professors Struggle With Demands to Tend to Students’ Mental Health (Kelly Field, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 24, 2023): As colleges confront what’s been called a crisis in student mental health, many of them are asking professors to play the part of first responders. Yet many are uncomfortable serving as wellness coaches or trying to recognize what counts as a crisis.

Speech Issues on Campus

The Uses and Abuses of the Kalven Report (Jennifer Ruth, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 24, 2023): Do current events really affirm the wisdom of administrative neutrality? Ruth responds to Jeffrey Flier’s Now Is the Time for Administrators to Embrace Neutrality (Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2023). Read these along with The Third Rail of Higher Ed (Karin Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 18, 2023): Some college presidents struggle to find the right words on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Others have opted not to speak at all. And, How to Model Free Speech for Students (Patricia McGuire, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 26, 2023): When presidents speak out, they encourage students to do the same.

Rethinking the Humanities?

It’s not surprising that opinion writers are reconsidering the role of the humanities in this moment of crisis and despair. Two pieces suggest that we reformulate what we think of as the “humanities.” Reinventing the Humanities for Our Fragmented Time (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2023) stresses the importance of rethinking how we teach undergraduates in an age of “echo chambers, filter bubbles and polarization.” By contrast, in A New Definition of the Humanities (Jeffry R. Wilson, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2023), the author suggests a more “strategic” definition of the humanities that would include law, economics and government as a way to attract more resources while teaching students how to be more publicly engaged. A third article, A Humanist Manifesto (David Brooks, The Atlantic, October 24, 2023), argues for the importance of the humanities in their ability to explore the subjective realm, the way each person takes events and molds them into a point of view.

Extra Credit Reading

Student Success Is Simple – That Doesn’t Mean It’s Easy (Aaron Basko, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 23, 2023): College students need a few key experiences to stay enrolled. Delivering them is hard.

New SAT Data Highlights the Deep Inequality at the Heart of American Education (Claire Cain Miller, New York Times, October 23, 2023): Children of the richest 1% were 13 times as likely as children of the poorest 20% to score 1300 or higher.

Fellowship Opportunities

The Nielsen Center for the Liberal Arts at Eckerd College is offering a workshop fellowship for early career faculty. The three workshop sessions over a yearlong program (fully funded travel, accommodations, and stipends) will explore teaching identity, student learning, and teaching in liberal arts contexts. Further information here.

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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