Learning Links – February 2017

I’ve been collecting interesting links for several months (actually, I’m a bit of a hoarder of links that I want to read, but we won’t talk about that today).  Here are a few I’ve bookmarked lately:
Jenkins does a great job with providing an opening day script that defines critical thinking for students.  He breaks it down into the two components (“thinking” and “critical” – who knew?) and identifies the components of each.
I’ve been doing a great deal of critical thinking about critical thinking recently, and this is the best explanation of what it actually is that I’ve seen.
I first heard of wrappers and meta-assignments from Linda Nilson’s book Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning SkillsEssentially, these items help students think about their thinking and studying and are formative assessments that can be used before and after quizzes, tests, assignments, projects, etc.  Bowen has linked several templates of wrappers that he uses in this article.

Helping Professors Find Time to Think

I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking, especially about how I spend my time and what I want to be doing.  Now that I’ve recovered from my doctoral dissertation and defense, I’ve felt the urge to think again.  I believe that my brain has finally awoken from its long hiatus.  Instead of working as a hobby like I used to do, I’ve began working at learning as a hobby again, and I’m finding it very enjoyable.

Adams posits that faculty development shouldn’t be all about the learning (or the working) either.  She uses examples from various teaching and learning centers that are now providing faculty with time to think, write, and/or discuss topics and areas of research.  In other words, they are providing faculty with time to think.  And, they are calling this professional development since they are developing all of the professor and not just one aspect.

Why Students Should Blog in Public

Gogia defines and explains the benefits of having students blog (not within a Course Management System like Blackboard, but on the open web) to enhance connectivity, openness, and to form a network that students use as their Personal Learning Network.

Extending the Shelf-Life of Your Instructional Videos: Six Common Pitfalls to Avoid

A few years ago, EDUC 1300 began to be offered again as an online class.  To help students understand how to do the assignments, a few of us who teach as adjuncts for the course developed videos for the students that explained how to navigate the course, how to complete the assignments, etc.  Our intent was pure. We wanted to provide as much guidance and support as we could for the students we wouldn’t see.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t read this article at the time, so I committed many of these pitfalls.  Now, after switching from Blackboard to Canvas, our hours of work are now mostly obsolete.

What Blue Apron Recipes Can Teach Us About Online Course Design

As a notoriously poor cook, I’ve flirted with enrolling in a food delivery service such as Blue Apron, so I was especially interested in this article when I saw the title.  It provides course design ideas that will help students be successful in courses by comparing the techniques to those used by Blue Apron.  And, as a course designer, the principles are sound for courses designed for face-to-face interactions as well as online.

The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies

Gonzalez touches on a topic that frustrated me for years as a teacher.  I, too, often used the term “discuss” in my planned activities for my courses, and as she states, this mostly meant that I did all of the talking (or was infrequently joined by a handful of students).  She provides a list of 15 different types of classroom discussions that may actually help to get the students to discussing the material instead of us doing all of the thinking and working.

‘Placement Colleges’

While this wasn’t an enjoyable read for me, it was one that needed to be read.  At first, I thought it was simply bashing community colleges which I took personally, but as I read more, I was reminded of all of the great things we do.  Yes, the focus lately has been on work-based skills and training, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have the best of both words (workforce and academics for transfer).  Our country is and has been diverse, and our colleges need to reflect that diversity by offering choices to our students.

Coming in 2017

I’m not sure how both of these articles ended up together on this list since they are both a bit negative, but they are reality.  This list, at least for me, wasn’t anything new.  I’ve been concerned about these issues for a few years, as I’m sure most of you have been as well.

Leadership Articles

Rudgers and Peterson end the previous article with “So, what to do…”  One suggestion that I have is to become a leader.  Here is a list of leadership articles for you to choose from (sadly I don’t recall who posted this link!).  Enjoy! 🙂


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