News Roundup: Students at the Classroom Helm

This week in higher ed news, MBA programs explore new ways to amp up their lessons to increase student engagement, and students get the chance to design courses at UC Berkeley.

Bulking up. Planning lessons in advance makes backwards course design easier, saves time and stress, and allows instructors to collaborate, Anne Guarnera says. (GradHacker)

Digital dialogues. Posing questions and prompts on social media may increase student engagement and initiate opportunities for dialogue about digital issues. (Student Affairs and Technology)

Connected classrooms. Some MBA programs are using blended learning, including an application that alerts lecturers when a student appears bored, to increase student interaction and engagement. (The Wall Street Journal – Paywall)

Telling tales well. A mathematics professor argues that STEM majors need to learn humanities skills in order to communicate their ideas effectively. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Peer-led pedagogy. A UC Berkeley program offers students the opportunity to design courses with faculty sponsorship, resulting in classes covering topics like political strategy in Game of Thrones and the secrets of Rubik’s Cubes. (Los Angeles Times)

Higher ed hopes. Shira Laurie suggests five strategies to help instructors set achievable goals and manage their expectations for their courses. (GradHacker)

Cutting costs. Cost savings from hiring adjunct instructors over tenure-track faculty tend to fund administrative and other non-instructional areas, two studies find. (Inside Higher Ed)

Learning teaching. Being an expert in a discipline doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing how to teach it well, and instructors should make an effort to learn how to teach their subjects effectively, Terry McGlynn says. (Small Pond Science)

Fair grades. Making grading criteria transparent in the course syllabus and offering a forum for students to discuss complaints appropriately are some of the ways instructors can mitigate potential grading disputes. (Pedagogy Unbound)

Envisioning edtech. The best educational technology should inspire creativity and support educators rather than replace them, Tony Wheeler suggests. (Information Age)

Spreading stories. One professor developed a learning tool to raise awareness about fake news and help people visualize how it spreads. (ProfHacker)

Lifelong learning. A study finds that building relationships with faculty in and outside of the classroom can help liberal arts college students achieve fulfillment in their careers and personal lives. (Inside Higher Ed)

Tabling traditional teaching.Lectures don’t improve students’ problem-solving skills, a University of British Columbia study concluded, suggesting that instructors should turn to more interactive teaching methods. (eCampus News)

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