Teaching: What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Riley Linebaugh grapples with the idea of “pedagogies of love,” considering how to facilitate a learning environment that enables students to express their individuality. She points to ideas such as having dialogues in the classroom that allow students to share their opinions and connect work in courses to the larger society. (GradHacker)
Screens in the Classroom: Tool or Temptation?
Many educators are coming to see devices like smartphones as tools that aid learning rather than hinder it, particularly among specific groups, such as people with learning disabilities and ESL learners. For example, Pamela Stemberg encourages students to look up words they don’t understand on their devices during class. Meanwhile, researcher David Baron found that allowing the use of mobile technologies increased the number of questions students asked their instructors. (The New York Times)
Designing Life: How College Courses in Coping Are Booming
Courses that help students tackle big life questions, figure out next steps, and learn how to cope with challenges are becoming increasingly popular across college campuses. Smith College, for instance, offers a course called Getting Unstuck When You Don’t Know What’s Next, and institutions like Yale University, Stanford University, and others provide similar courses promoting wellness, stress reduction, and self-reflection. (The Christian Science Monitor)
When Cathy Davidson asked her Twitter followers to share the names of doctoral programs that require students to learn how to teach, she prompted a dialogue about the importance of pedagogical training. “Teaching comes more naturally to some people than others, but that only goes so far,” said Melissa Johnson. “If we want to work for more equity in schools and in the workforce, we have to figure out how to reach all of our students.” (Inside Higher Ed)
Taking Relentless Ownership of Student Success to Maximize Re-Enrollment
Identifying re-enrollment as a factor leading to stronger completion rates and student success, Shonda Gibson describes how the Texas A&M University System began to examine barriers to completion and encourage students to finish their degrees. She notes that many roadblocks—such as affordability and debt— have nothing to do with academic success, so the system partnered with ReUp to provide students with coaching through life challenges. (The EvoLLLution)
Reimagining College’s Third Year
Emphasizing the importance of the third year of college, Steve Mintz suggests that institutions prioritize helping transfer students through a variety of means, including designated transfer-student slots in high-demand courses and addressing the unique challenges they face. He also recommends embedding career preparation into the third year and expanding access to high-impact practices, such as integrating research opportunities into coursework. (Higher Ed Gamma)