News Roundup: How to Engage Students

This week, instructors and teaching experts discuss practices for engaging students in a course.

News and insights delivered to your inbox every week: The ‘Q’ Newsletter.

How One Teaching Expert Activates Students’ Curiosity
In her workshop, “The Power of the ‘Naïve Task,’” Kimberly Van Orman explores how instructors can encourage their students to think critically about course material using only preexisting knowledge. In her method, students work together to solve puzzles or dilemmas, in the process challenging one another and becoming curious about the subject. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

Why Do So Many Students Drop Out of College? And What Can Be Done About It?
Considering the large percentage of students who drop out of college, Jeffrey Selingo urges instructors and colleges to promote the success of all students. He uses the example of David Laude, who changed his teaching approach by putting at-risk students in smaller classes. (The Washington Post)

Freshmen ‘Are Souls That Want to Be Awakened’
On the first day of class, Bryan Dewsbury asks students to shoot baskets into the trash can at the front of the room from their seats. This is meant to demonstrate that students are all starting from different places. Dewsbury also meets with students one-on-one at the beginning of the year and takes other measures to ensure that his teaching is inclusive. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

The Spark of Learning
In her book The Spark of Learning, Sarah Rose Cavanagh suggests considering students’ learning an element of their emotions. Engaging in mindfulness and beginning a course with a short mystery or puzzle are two noteworthy strategies Bonni Stachowiak recommends from the book. (Teaching in Higher Ed)

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