News Roundup: Teaching STEM

This week, read how some colleges and universities are encouraging their STEM instructors to improve instruction.

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Feedback matters. José Bowen, president of Goucher College, reveals why faculty should use student feedback and take risks to improve their teaching. (The ‘Q’ Blog)

Evolving STEM. A new report from the Association of American Universities and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement highlights ways some colleges are encouraging STEM instructors to improve their instruction, such as involving freshmen in real-world research. (Campus Technology)

Spotlighting community colleges. Betsy DeVos touted community colleges as key to economic growth in her first higher education speech since becoming education secretary. (Associated Press)

Gut reactions. To encourage feedback, George Williams asks students to write questions and comments on note cards anonymously at the end of every class and posts them with responses on his course website. (ProfHacker)

Pedagogical pathways. Colleges and universities need to adopt high-impact teaching strategies that enhance student engagement and motivation to “get more Americans to academic and professional success,” writes Steve Mintz. (Higher Ed Gamma)

Motivating minds. Instructors can take a number of small steps to boost motivation in the classroom, such as playing energizing music at the start of class, Bonni Stachowiak writes. (Teaching in Higher Ed)

Quality control. Some online course developers ask volunteers to provide feedback on lectures and quizzes to work out kinks before the courses go live. (EdSurge)

Learning climate. A sociology professor observes that the controversial political climate drives students to engage more deeply with coursework and draw connections to their lives, citing examples from disciplines like cognitive psychology and economics. (Inside Higher Ed)

Teaching about trailblazers.James Ewers Jr. encourages instructors to teach students about the accomplishments of African Americans to continue to stimulate change. (Diverse: Issues in Education)

Pearls of wisdom. Instructors responding to a survey about the state of higher education around the world offer teaching advice to colleagues, which includes establishing clear expectations for coursework. (Times Higher Education)

Embracing technology. EDUCAUSE released a list of 16 issues the higher education community should address concerning the role of technology, which includes emphasizing information literacy. (EdScoop)

Data at risk. Two University of Washington professors are launching a course with a colorfully worded title that aims to teach students to think critically about issues with big data and machine learning. (Recode)

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