News in Brief
The latest news and opinions in higher education.
A Failure to Educate
“The only protection against demagoguery is education,” says Andrew Delbanco. According to Delbanco, the humanities can help people grapple with the experiences of others. Lynn Pasquerella agrees, saying liberal education helps citizens discern the truth. Viji Sathy believes the riots at the capitol are about “every level” of education, while Alex Chevrin Venet wonders, “How can we work together instead of feeling hopeless in our individual silos?” (Inside Higher Ed)
Teaching in the Age of Disinformation
With disinformation “flourishing,” colleges have a unique challenge, according to Beth McMurtrie. Faculty, she writes, cite barriers like disengaged students and heightened emotions and employ different tools to combat them. Jennifer Mercieca, for example, teaches students about the nature of propaganda, rather than evaluating the veracity of statements. Meanwhile, Michael Caulfield suggests that instructors spend more time explaining how their disciplines function. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
10 Insights From Students About the Quality of Education
The Gallup State of the Student Experience: Fall 2020 Report reveals that most students described their learning experiences in fall 2020 as “excellent” or “very good.” Still, roughly one-third are considering withdrawing, while half are worried about completing their degree. Additionally, Black and first-generation students were “the least likely to say their school offers many of the services designed to combat the impact of COVID-19 and other challenges.” (University Business)
What Makes Students More Likely to Return to School in Spring 2021?
Students still prefer in-person to online learning, but those who believe their instructor made an effort to understand their goals, interests, and challenges and actively engage them in the learning experience are most likely to return this semester the Top Hat Field Report: Higher Ed Students Grade the Fall 2020 Semester. Among other insights, it also revealed that students who were well-equipped and provided with tools to stay in touch with instructors are more motivated. (eCampus News)
How Higher Ed Can Help Repair Our Democracy
Goldie Blumenstyk believes Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, a report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, offers ideas for bridging chasms in our nation. According to the report, a key piece of the solution is to help people build skills to participate in democracy. One of the 31 recommendations, according to Blumenstyk, calls for investments in civic educators and civic education. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)
How Colleges Can Spring Forward
As colleges begin spring semester, David Wippman and Glenn C. Altschuler offer lessons learned from the fall 2020 semester of pandemic teaching. For example, they write that cultivating a culture of compliance and engaging students as partners is the best approach for keeping the community safe. (Inside Higher Ed)