News Roundup: Mentoring Students, Primary Research, and Lessons from Psychology

This week, taking lessons from experimental psychology, effectively mentoring students, and bringing primary research into first-year courses.

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It’s Time to Make a Push Toward More Primary Research in First-Year Composition
Although first-year composition courses are common at colleges, Sarah Carter notes that many don’t require students to conduct primary research. Carter, who has students conduct primary research through interviews, urges faculty to consider how they can incorporate this skill into their curricula since it will serve students well throughout their academic and professional careers. (NCTE)

How to Circumnavigate Common Roadblocks in Changing the Status Quo: Some Guidance from Experimental Psychology
Since faculty are sometimes reluctant to take part in curriculum or course overhauls, Alexandra Logue suggests institutions take lessons from experimental psychology to demonstrate the benefits. This might include collecting data on students both at their own and other institutions to demonstrate the need for change and offering rewards to faculty whose teaching and course evaluations may be affected. (The Evolllution)

3 Higher Ed Experts Share Their Blended Learning Advice
Higher ed professionals gathered at Babson College to discuss how to implement effective blended learning programs, which incorporate both online and face-to-face teaching. Suggestions included surveying students to gauge their interest in blended programs and working with faculty and students to explore the benefits these programs bring to teaching and learning. (eCampus News)

Higher Education in the Postdegree Era
Rather than focusing on time spent in class, educators should pay attention to the quality of the learning taking place, John Cavanaugh writes. He suggests that instructors should incorporate flexibility, collaboration, and entrepreneurship into their curricula in order to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need and promote lifelong learning. (Inside Higher Ed)

An Elephant in the Room: How We Set Ourselves Up to Be Bad at Mentoring
Caring about mentees isn’t enough, according to one instructor. As mentors, faculty should help their “junior colleagues” develop and follow a career trajectory to help them succeed. She also reminds faculty that they should treat students as partners, cognizant of the “power” they hold as mentors. (Tenure She Wrote)

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