Building Relationships

Mentoring Undergraduates

Mentoring Undergraduates

“At a superficial level, everyone ‘knows’ what mentoring is. But closer examination indicates [such wide variation . . .] that the concept is devalued, because everyone is using it loosely, without precision, and it may become a short-term fad” (p. 3). That observation was made

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Why Won’t They Ask Us for Help?

After teaching statistics classes for more than twenty-five years and seeing so many students struggling to be successful, I became increasingly frustrated by the fact that no matter how much I believed myself to be approachable, available, and willing to help students outside of class,

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Teacher Talk, and Not About the Content

Most of the talk in courses is about content, but there is also talk about noncontent matters. We may try to create a sense of community in the course; we may try to motivate students, before or after exams; we may try to explain why

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Faculty Misbehaviors

These behaviors, studied at length in the Communication Education research, “refer to any instructor classroom behavior that interferes with instruction and learning.” (p. 133). They were first identified in research published in 1991and have in subsequent studies been shown to compromise students’ affective learning, their

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It Makes a Difference When Teachers Care

That’s not a new finding, and it’s something most instructors already know, but it’s the size of the difference that’s often underestimated. Two recent studies, both asking different research questions and using different methodologies, offer still more evidence that the relationship between teachers and students

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Optimize Learning with a Flexible Approach

Being flexible is one of those ongoing challenges for teachers. There’s the desire to be responsive to student needs—life does happen—but then students have been known to take advantage of teachers and granting the request of one student opens the door and makes it difficult

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Nursery Rhymes: The Social Equalizer

Faculty are urged to turn classrooms into activity centers where lively discussion serves as an antidote to bored students zoning out of class lectures and zoning into images and words appearing on their screens of various sorts. Eliminating boredom in my classrooms is welcomed, but

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Use of Appreciative Inquiry in the College Classroom

For non-traditional students who are working adults or are returning to school years later, the transition to college can be intimidating. Several of my students have expressed how hard it is to learn new concepts. Many feel their minds aren’t as “sharp” as they were

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Millennial Students and Classroom Communication

In 2000, Howe and Strauss identified the next big generation on the rise in colleges and universities and dubbed them the “Millennials.” Born between 1982 and 2002, these folks began arriving on our campuses in large numbers in the early 2000’s and continue to populate

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Process Memos: A Dialogue between Students and Teachers

The two professors who developed this assignment created it “to help us engage more directly with students about their writing.” (p. 146) Most teachers who now assign writing emphasize that it’s a process, not something a writer sits down and does all at once. As

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