News Roundup: Addressing Knowledge Gaps, Avoiding Burnout

Instructors discuss how to address students’ knowledge gaps in their subjects and avoid burnout when teaching online.

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Breaking the Cycle of Knowledge Gaps
Noting that many students have gaps in fundamental knowledge needed to complete assignments, Andrea Suria administers ungraded preassessments to gauge students’ skill levels. She also welcomes questions, encourages students to use the tutoring centers, and designates time for reflection, so students can think about what they’re learning. (UConn)

How to Escape Grading Jail
To reduce the time involved in end-of-semester grading (and improve the quality of his feedback), Kevin Gannon creates calendars at the beginning of the semester identifying all due dates, employs rubrics to facilitate commentary on common mistakes, and uses recording apps to provide students with audio feedback about their work. (Vitae)

Top Skills Career-Minded Students Need in Today’s Digital Workforce
Today’s college students should possess four key skills to stand out in the career marketplace, according to Frank Connolly: critical thinking, business communications, social skills, and creativity. (eCampus News)

How Online Instructors Can Avoid ‘Burnout’
Job stress can be especially common among online instructors, according to Rebecca Stout, since they often feel like they must be available to students 24/7 and often work in isolation. To prevent burnout, she calls on institutions to encourage their online faculty to unplug and take care of themselves. (EdSurge)

Incentives for Course Evaluations
One study shows that when students received micro-incentives to complete course evaluations, they did so at a higher rate than previously, and the quality of the evaluations remained consistent. Citing this study, Cindy Nebel suggests instructors promise a small amount of extra credit to students who fill out end-of-semester evaluations. (The Learning Scientists)

Conduit v. Catalyst: Ideology in the Classroom
John Warner sees his role as a catalyst for learning rather than a conduit to his course material. He suggests that the less authority he wields over students, the more they learn, and students should have as much, if not more, say in shaping the course as the instructor. (Just Visiting)

Partner News

Eduardo Padrón: Miami Dade College president wins lifetime achievement award (Miami Herald)

University of Southern Mississippi: Southern Miss named top 20 university for veterans (WDAM)

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