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2017

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Full Issue: Journal On Empowering Teaching Excellence, Volume 1, Issue 2, Usu Center For Innovative Design And Instruction Nov 2017

Full Issue: Journal On Empowering Teaching Excellence, Volume 1, Issue 2, Usu Center For Innovative Design And Instruction

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

Volume 1, Issue 2 of the Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence, a publication of Utah State University focused on providing a forum for instructors in higher education to share best practices and ideas related to effective teaching.


Mnemonic Mechanisms For Making Memories, Thayne L. Sweeten Nov 2017

Mnemonic Mechanisms For Making Memories, Thayne L. Sweeten

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

In many classes, students are faced with the daunting task of remembering a lot of terms or structures in a relatively short period of time. Though there is much to memorize, students may not be aware of the many mnemonic mechanisms that can help them make quick and lasting memories. This article describes three such mechanisms: word associations, visual images, and stories. Examples of how these mechanisms can be applied, either individually or in combination, are provided in the context of teaching human anatomy. Whether used by teacher or student, these mechanisms can be incorporated into a class, providing fun ...


Engagement Across The Miles: Using Videoconferencing With Small Groups In Synchronous Distance Courses, Amy Piotrowski, Marla Robertson Nov 2017

Engagement Across The Miles: Using Videoconferencing With Small Groups In Synchronous Distance Courses, Amy Piotrowski, Marla Robertson

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

This article presents suggestions for conducting small group work in synchronous distance courses taught using Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) systems. One challenge of teaching over an IVC system is getting students involved in class activities. The authors share how they have used a videoconferencing tool to break up IVC classes into small groups for discussion activities and get peer feedback on written work. These activities engage students in applying what they are learning and constructing knowledge through discussion with their peers.


Promoting Critical Thinking In General Biology Courses: The Case Of The White Widow Spider, Joseph S. Wilson Nov 2017

Promoting Critical Thinking In General Biology Courses: The Case Of The White Widow Spider, Joseph S. Wilson

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

It is generally accepted that critical thinking is an important and, likely, essential, component of success in college and beyond. Despite the unanimity, only a low percentage of students in the U.S. can demonstrate critical thinking proficiency on standardized exams. This phenomenon may result from instructors using a reductionist view of critical thinking and focusing on learning processes rather than on evaluation of intellectual resources. In general biology courses, I use a non-threatening, active-learning, group activities to promote critical thinking. For example, students are presented with an email from a member of the community and asked to formulate a ...


About This Issue, Mike A. Christiansen Nov 2017

About This Issue, Mike A. Christiansen

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

An introduction to Volume 1, Issue 2 of the Journal on for Empowering Teaching Excellence, which features articles primarily on teaching and learning innovation in small, often rural classroom settings.


Learn, Apply, Share: Combining Student Learning And Community Engagement, David D. Law, Sheree Meyer, Latrisha Fall, Rachel Arocho, Kim Labrum Nov 2017

Learn, Apply, Share: Combining Student Learning And Community Engagement, David D. Law, Sheree Meyer, Latrisha Fall, Rachel Arocho, Kim Labrum

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

This paper describes how an upper division Family Life Education course was redesigned using the personal teaching philosophy of Learn, Apply, Share. This philosophy provides the framework for meaningful learning to occur at three levels. The Learn portion of the philosophy focuses on an experiential learning project based on andragogy principles that prepare students enrolled in the course to be family life educators. The Apply portion describes how student research assistants have used their research experiences to prepare them for professional positions in academia or other helping professions. This paper concludes by describing how students and the research assistants Share ...


Stalled At The Gate: Addressing Student Failure In A "Gateway" Course, Susan Rhoades Neel Nov 2017

Stalled At The Gate: Addressing Student Failure In A "Gateway" Course, Susan Rhoades Neel

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

This article is a case study of how student data can guide instructors in course redesign. A significant percentage of students enrolled in an American Civilization course did not successfully complete the course. An examination of ACT scores, GPAs, grades in math and English composition, reading tests, and assignment completion rates indicated that two key obstacles to student success were a lack of student engagement and a disparity between student reading capabilities and the required instructional materials. Following a change in the topical focus of the course, the addition of active learning projects, and supplemental aids to the textbook, course ...


Apathy And Concern Over The Future Habitability Of Earth: An Introductory College Assignment Of Forecasting Co2 In The Earth’S Atmosphere, Benjamin J. Burger Nov 2017

Apathy And Concern Over The Future Habitability Of Earth: An Introductory College Assignment Of Forecasting Co2 In The Earth’S Atmosphere, Benjamin J. Burger

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

Non-science, first year regional undergraduate students from rural Utah communities participated in an online introductory geology course and were asked to forecast the rise of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. The majority of students predicted catastrophic rise to 5,000-ppm sometime over the next 3,100 years, resulting in an atmosphere nearly uninhabitable to human life. However, the level of concern the students exhibited in their answers was not directly proportional with their timing in their forecasted rise of CO2. This study showcases the importance of presenting students with actual data and using data to develop student ...


Reflections On Thirty Years Of Teaching For Utah State University Distance Education, John D. Barton Nov 2017

Reflections On Thirty Years Of Teaching For Utah State University Distance Education, John D. Barton

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

Abstract:

In this brief essay, author John D. Barton, Principal Lecturer, History, Utah State University Uintah Basin Regional Campus muses on teaching excellence and student engagement. His sources are largely his personal reflections of thirty years teaching and storied examples and quotes from former students. He defends the use of lecture and discussion as primary pedagogical tools, insists that concern and love for students is paramount, and gives five specific guidelines to become a master teacher and mentor of students.


Learning Analytics: Shifting From Theory To Practice., Courtney Stewart Mar 2017

Learning Analytics: Shifting From Theory To Practice., Courtney Stewart

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

As online and blended learning continues to increase in higher education, so does the amount of data that is housed within Learning Management Systems that can be analyzed and processed within the framework of Learning Analytics. Learning Analytics is a new and developing field. As with many new fields of study, a gap between theory and practice is evident. Some attribute this gap to the lack of situating learning analytics within learning theory. In order for Learning Analytics to find interest and usability among educators, a shift is needed from the technical use to practical application. In this theoretical paper ...


Understanding Generation Z Students To Promote A Contemporary Learning Environment, Kathleen A. J. Mohr, Eric S. Mohr Mar 2017

Understanding Generation Z Students To Promote A Contemporary Learning Environment, Kathleen A. J. Mohr, Eric S. Mohr

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

University faculty predominantly represent the Baby Boomer and Baby Buster (Gen X) Generations, but, university students are largely iYs Millenials and Generation Z Digital Natives. These groups have been characterized both positively and negatively in the popular press. A fresh understanding of the newer generations can help instructors better meet current students’ educational needs. This article shares brief generational profiles based on recent research and then presents questions and recommendations for improving course assignments and their effectiveness. Ways of communicating about assignments and their benefits are also shared. The goal is to equip college-level instructors with ways to relate to ...


Take Off! How To Make Your College Course More Exciting, Andreas K. Wesemann Mar 2017

Take Off! How To Make Your College Course More Exciting, Andreas K. Wesemann

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

TAKE OFF!

How to make your college course more exciting

As many universities transition to online Learning Management Systems (LMS), many of the traditional techniques familiar and used by generations of professors are lost in the process. Utah State University has moved to the CANVAS LMS, and there are many methods to incorporate these former strategies, and new applications that online systems bring to keep millennial learners engaged, excited and entertained while maintaining the educational purpose of courses. But for some of the seasoned professors who haven’t yet made the leap, a few simple steps can have tremendous impact ...


Technology In Ivc Classes, Piotr Runge Mar 2017

Technology In Ivc Classes, Piotr Runge

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

One of the biggest challenges of the interactive broadcast method of delivering math courses are the lack of whiteboards on which students can show their written work visible in real time to the instructor and other students and hardship in facilitating student group work. With the use of technology, including appropriate hardware and software, these challenges can be faced to give the students participating in IVC classes a feeling of being in a face to face classroom with most of its functionalities, including ways of participating in collaborative work and easiness of verbal and written communication with classmates and the ...


Engaging Students In A Synchronous Distance Setting: Asking Online Questions, Christopher J. Hartwell Mar 2017

Engaging Students In A Synchronous Distance Setting: Asking Online Questions, Christopher J. Hartwell

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

One major challenge in higher education is engaging student in the learning process, and this challenge is of particular concern in synchronous broadcast classes, where students are geographically dispersed. This paper argues that the use of online questions, that students can respond to using their electronic devices, is an effective way to increase student participation and engagement in such settings. Personal experience with one particular online question platform – Poll Everywhere (www.polleverywhere.com) – is used to illustrate potential capabilities, question types. Both advantages and challenges of using online questions are discussed.


Building Positive Student-Instructor Interactions: Engaging Students Through Caring Leadership In The Classroom, Oscar J. Solis, Windi D. Turner Mar 2017

Building Positive Student-Instructor Interactions: Engaging Students Through Caring Leadership In The Classroom, Oscar J. Solis, Windi D. Turner

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

When instructing and managing classrooms in university settings, instructors face numerous challenges such as student disengagement and managing course expectations. In this article, we offer new and revised techniques and strategies to engage students through the art of caring leadership. We accomplish this through three defining characteristics: knowing students’ names, managing course expectations, and the use of technology. These intentional strategies create positive student-instructor interactions in both small and large classrooms which in turn enhances student learning and engagement.


Amplify Your Teaching Impact: Capitalizing On 1-On-1 Instruction, Abby D. Benninghoff Mar 2017

Amplify Your Teaching Impact: Capitalizing On 1-On-1 Instruction, Abby D. Benninghoff

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

The objective of this essay, which is based on a keynote presentation delivered at the 2016 Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference at Utah State University, is to address this central question: how faculty can make a positive, substantive impact on students through 1-on-1 instruction? The consensus answer derived from experiences and anecdotes offered by this author, her colleagues, and students is to be deliberate in 1-on-1 interactions with students. This simple message is expanded through discussion of 10 key concepts that can help faculty amplify their teaching impact: 1) be available, 2) help students feel comfortable, 3) be a model, 4 ...


About This Issue Mar 2017

About This Issue

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

The Inaugural Issue of Empowering Teaching Excellence features articles covering a broad range of topics that can be summarized into three general categories: student engagement, design thinking, and understanding our students.


Full Issue: Journal On Empowering Teaching Excellence, Volume 1, Issue 1 Mar 2017

Full Issue: Journal On Empowering Teaching Excellence, Volume 1, Issue 1

Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

For our inaugural issue, we reviewed the feedback from our 2016 ETE faculty conference—an event for USU faculty hosted every August on the USU main campus. We identified several of the presenters who received high marks in post-session surveys and invited them to submit a proceedings paper for their presentation. Many responded, and their papers now comprise the majority of this issue. Because most of the articles began as stand-up presentations for a conference, several adopt a first-person narrative style in which the authors share examples of things they have tried in their teaching that have worked. In the ...