how to engage students

News Roundup: Teaching Introductory Courses

In this week’s newsletter, one perspective on which instructors should be teaching introductory courses and ideas for avoiding faculty burnout.

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It Matters a Lot Who Teaches Introductory Courses. Here’s Why.
Students who take introductory courses with part-time faculty are less likely to continue with the subject matter and more likely to drop out of a STEM major, two new studies suggest. Because they often set the tone for students’ college careers, Daniel Chambliss advocates having the most experienced instructors teach introductory courses. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

A Late Start Helps Higher Ed Students, Faculty Get Ahead
“Late-start” courses that commence a few weeks after the beginning of the semester work particularly well for driven students who may have other commitments. Modified schedules allow students to take courses at an accelerated rate, and faculty gain experience teaching a rigorous curriculum. (University Business)

Working the Online Crowd: Humor and Teaching with Tech
Joe Barnhart advocates infusing online courses with humor, using methods like witty subject lines in emails, riffs on pop culture, and goofy writing assignments to engage and motivate students. Students are more likely to become comfortable with their instructors, he writes. (Campus Technology)

4 Ideas for Avoiding Faculty Burnout
“Good teaching is emotional work,” David Gooblar writes. Because faculty are often prone to emotional exhaustion, Gooblar suggests that they pay attention to their well-being by taking the occasional evening off, learning to say “no” to additional commitments, getting enough sleep, and cultivating interests outside of teaching. (Vitae)

Can a ‘Family of Bots’ Reshape College Teaching?
Last year, Georgia Tech Professor Ashok Goel added robots into his mix of teaching assistants and challenged students to identify the machine voices among the humans. The use of “chatbots” freed up time for human TAs to answer more complex questions. Although Goel stresses that teaching and learning will always be a human endeavor, he sees robots playing various roles in classes in the future. (EdSurge)

Partner News

Salem State University: Faculty Complete Program to Enhance Student Success through Salem State Partnership with ACUE (Salem State)

Arizona State University: Crow calls on higher education to accelerate the pace of innovation (ASU Now)

Northern Arizona University: Reaccreditation Validates NAU’s Student-Centered Education (Flagstaff Business News)

University of the District of Columbia Community College: Acknowledging DC’s history, changing neighborhoods in officer training (WTOP)