Synergia | Found Wisdom

ChronicleVitae.com

In the September 22, 2016 Chronicle Vitae article, The Mentoring Buck Stops HereTerry McGlynn reflects on his experiences and shortcomings mentoring students, and offers strategies for strengthening your own mentoring and advising relationships with your students. 

The adviser-student relationship is built on the experience of the mentor. As mentors, we are supposed to know which things matter, and we need to pay attention to them — even if they are not problems at the moment. --Terry McGlynn

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Anecdotally, faculty report gains in both their own learning and in student outcomes as a result of participation in workshops and seminars on teaching. A new book, Faculty Development and Student Learning: Assessing the Connections, highlights the results of a multi-year study two universities undertook to assess the impact of faculty professional development on student learning.

We think Inside Higher Education's review of the recently released book is noteworthy not just because the study provides evidence that faculty professional development, such as Writing Across the Curriculum, has a positive impact on student learning outcomes, but because the study was undertaken by two seemingly disparate institutions -- a small, private liberal arts college (Carleton College) and a large, land-grant institution  -- and found similar benefits at both institutions.

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Dr. Stephen Brookfield, John Ireland Endowed Chair
Two recently published articles call into question the contention that student evaluation of teaching (SET) forms, like the IDEA. form St. Thomas uses, are statistically invalid; that is, that they don't measure the teaching effectiveness they purport to document.
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A recent article in the New York Times, "Why I use trigger warnings" by Kate Manne, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University, argues for the integrated use of trigger warnings in academia, and why it's important for faculty to adopt the practice of providing trigger warnings to students.
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New York Times Sunday Review

Connecting with students in the classroom these days means employing inclusive pedagogy. This article summarizes recent work supporting the value of active learning strategies for reaching the diverse students we teach. We enroll more students of color and international students than ever before. 20 to 25% of our undergraduates are first generation. It’s more important than ever to employ classroom strategies that reach all students and bring those on the margin to the center. Want more information on active learning? Visit the Faculty Development web page on active learning.

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