Formative assessment: Not just for students any more
Though it seems as if we’re just getting started, midterm grading will be upon us before another issue of Synergia crosses your desktop. This feedback lets students see how they are faring in courses, activating, if need be, a network of support to help them get back on track before the semester’s end. But midterm grading can also provide faculty with a valuable opportunity for reflecting upon how they are faring as teachers.
Midterm break offers an opportunity to gather student feedback and make minor course corrections before the end of the semester.
Did You Know @ UST Libraries
Welcome to “Did You Know @ UST Libraries” where we’ll highlight a feature of UST Libraries of particular interest to faculty.
UST Disability Statement updated for AY2015-16
The Disability Resources office has updated the syllabus statement for the 2015-16 academic year. Please be sure to update your syllabi with the new statement.
Using video and audio materials for instruction: Ensuring equal access for all students
We’ve seen tremendous increase in the last decade in our reliance on video and audio materials for instruction. While these bring exciting new possibilities for teaching, they also introduce problems of accessibility for our students with visual and auditory disabilities. If you have one of these students in class right now, you’re likely working with our Disability Services office to make your teaching materials workable. And, like Sociology prof Tanya Gladney, you may be wishing you had been more prepared...
Watching Myself Teach
I am not typically impressed by new gadgets. Although I do still love my first-generation Kindle, I have only had a smartphone for a few months, and I do not own an i-Pod or i-Pad or any device with a lower case “i” in front of it.
But I am impressed by Swivl.
Enhance your teaching toolbox: Explore the UST Open Classroom Project and meet the faculty!
The Open Classroom Project is an opportunity to connect with and learn from other faculty by visiting one another's classrooms. Meet the participating faculty for spring 2013 and find out how you can plan an observation and schedule a follow-up cup of coffee.
Accessibility on the Web and in Blackboard - webinars and resources
The Sloan Consortium is sponsoring a series of (free!) webinars focusing on accessibility, including federal regulations, available resources, invisible disabilities, and effective practices for student and faculty success.
Did you know that content on the Web must be accessible in three ways, and that placing content in Blackboard, which is an accessible program, does not automatically make the content accessible?
IDEA Video Series
The IDEA Center is pleased to announce a new video series on various aspects of the IDEA System. The first three of seven videos are ready to view:
* Completing the Faculty Information Form (paper)
* Completing the Faculty Information Form in IDEA Online
* Understanding Adjusted Scores
Helping students who may be struggling with personal concerns or problems.
Faculty have the unique opportunity of having ongoing, direct contact with students and are in the position to identify students who are struggling. But becoming the main source of support to a troubled student sometimes can be overwhelming, frightening, and/or tiring. It is important that you know your own limitations in providing assistance to students and that you are aware of times when the best option is a referral for personal counseling.
Are we Academically Adrift? Evaluating results of the CLA assessment at St. Thomas
In this month's Synergia we continue exploring the results and conclusions in the popular book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. The key measure used in the book is one of the sections in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). In this article Michael Jordan and Michael Cogan provide background of the CLA at St. Thomas and focus on two areas of importance for UST: the study sampling design and the longitudinal nature of the study.
Intentional and unintentional plagiarism: what’s the difference and what can faculty do about it?
Although the concept of plagiarism is well understood in higher education, the way in which faculty apply its definition to student work varies to include intentional plagiarism as well as more subtle aspects such as misuse of sources or unintentional plagiarism. This article covers some of the many reasons behind both unintentional and intentional plagiarism, and offer suggestions for faculty around developing writing assignments and best practices to help minimize it.
What's Behind Student Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is generally discussed in the context of students’ ethical behavior and respect for their teachers, fellow students, and the academy. Often discussions turn to remembrances of faculty’s youth at college and actions we dared not do. Recently, however, teachers and scholars have viewed plagiarism as resulting from a more complex interaction of changes to a specific socio-historical context, students’ understanding and use of sources, the younger generation’s sense of self, and technology and scholarly communication.
Our Embedded Librarian/Faculty Partnership: A Win-Win-Win Relationship
Our faculty-librarian partnership is a "win-win-win" relationship because it has...improved student research papers and presentations; increased information literacy; acquired life-long research skills; and increased job satisfaction for us.
The Importance of Getting Feedback
What I’m going to relate to you here is how I used information and ideas from IDEA student evaluations, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) workshops, and last summer’s seminar on blended courses to reach my personal peak of teaching the freshman introductory biology course last fall.
Those Long Pauses in Evening/Weekend Courses
Are you Safe in your Classroom?
Everyone, however, needs to be thinking about safety in the classroom. Physical safety. Mental/intellectual safety. Emotional safety. Spiritual safety. Think about it and consider how safe your classroom is (and needs to be).
Educating the Teacher: Thoughts on Teaching New Material
“Educating the Teacher” is an article reprinted from The Teaching Professor’s March, 2010 issue.