News in Brief
The latest news and opinions in higher education.
Why You Might Want a Student to Critique Your Teaching
While adapting his linear algebra course to an online format, Joel Brewster Lewis sought help from Mehr Rai, a former student. Rai provided feedback and sat in on classes and drop-in hours for students. Even before moving online, Lewis had decided to hire Rai thanks to an idea he got from Harry Brighouse, who wrote about having a student critique his teaching. Rai gave Lewis plenty of constructive criticism, and the pair developed a strong rapport. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)
Refocusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During the Pandemic and Beyond: Lessons from a Community of Practice
The current crises have underscored the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies in higher education, writes Taffye Benson Clayton, and in May 2020, ACE pioneered a community of practice around DEI, led by ACE and Clayton. Among others, the key steps they recommend include approaching DEI work as mission-critical and making DEI everybody’s responsibility, including senior executive leaders, deans, faculty, and employees. (Higher Education Today)
Future-Proof Your Graduates
With many college graduates underemployed, Steve Mintz opines that institutions must do a better job of preparing students to succeed in a high-demand knowledge economy, the creative sector, technical and technology industries, and occupations involving advanced analysis and management of data. He suggests strategies, such as inserting project-based learning into the curriculum, so students can demonstrate real competencies to employers. (Higher Ed Gamma)
10 Ways to Tackle Linguistic Bias in Our Classrooms
Catherine Savini recognizes that she has made a lot of assumptions about people’s intelligence based on how they speak and write. She also realizes the pain linguistic racism inflicts. To reckon with this and tackle linguistic bias, she suggests asking students about their linguistic backgrounds, providing students opportunities to write in their own voice, and asking yourself what is making the writing unclear to you, among other ideas. (Inside Higher Ed)
No Magic Required
Bonni Stachowiak shares the story of Marjorie Feld, who emailed her about her last class in the fall 2020 semester. Feld spoke of Harry Potter as a tool for communicating her gratitude to her students. Like the teachers in the Harry Potter series, she and fellow educators wanted to protect students from danger, but ultimately, she wrote, they had to work together to create a learning community and fight the “bad forces.” (Teaching in Higher Ed)
When Virtual Animations Are Teaching, Can They Make an Emotional Connection?
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara created video lessons, some delivered by humans and others by animated digital characters. Their theory is when instructors display a “positive stance” while teaching, students develop stronger connections with them. The researchers found students showed more learning from upbeat over unhappy human instructors, but there was no significant difference when it came to virtual instructors’ moods. The project continues as they examine whether other models could make a meaningful difference. (EdSurge)