motivating students

fixed mindset - college classroom

Challenging (and Changing) Fixed Mindsets in the Classroom

Fresh from winter break, my students want to test my boundaries—and they should. But even as they challenge me, many of my students will also limit themselves by defining their intelligence and talents as fixed traits. Each semester I hear the familiar refrains: “I’m not

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assignments students hate

Giving Students Assignments They Hate

When I meet with faculty, I often talk about the importance of moving our conversations about teaching beyond the “tips and tricks” to the kind of thought-provoking discussions that help promote, motivate, and sustain our growth as teachers.

Why this article is worth discussing: Student engagement

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teaching humanitities

What We Should Be Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences

When students consider majoring in the humanities or social sciences, it’s only a matter of time before they hear—or are reminded—about the comparatively dim career outlook for graduates of these programs. Many students, perhaps with a parent or trusted advisor also expressing concern about the

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student motivation

Five Keys to Motivating Students

Recently I had reason to revisit Paul Pintrich’s meta-analysis on motivation. It’s still the piece I most often see referenced when it comes to what’s known about student motivation. Subsequent research continues to confirm the generalizations reported in it. Like most articles that synthesize the

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Helping our Students

Helping our Students: Too Much? Or, Not Enough?

As teaching professors, we try to change students, whether it’s a change that increases their factual knowledge, one that gives them a new way of thinking, or one that develops an important new skill. Frustration, stress, and tension frequently accompany change, especially change that involves

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the hardest students to teach

The Hardest Students to Teach

Some students are more challenging to teach than others. They require pedagogical skills of a different and higher order. Sometimes it’s easier to sigh and just turn away. And that’s legitimate in the sense that students (indeed, people of all sorts) have to figure things

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building trust with students

Earning Students’ Trust in Your Teaching

A month into last fall’s first-year writing course, one of my students emailed me and politely explained that he found one of the reading assignments offensive.

We met in person to discuss his concerns. On some level, our conversation was productive. I explained my reasons

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engaging online students

Designing Online Learning to Spark Intrinsic Motivation

The word “motivation” comes from a root that means “to move,” and really, motivation is about what moves us to begin something or to persist in a situation—in this case, a learning situation. Motivation is a driving force. It can be considered an external driving

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why do students procrastinate

Examining the Unexamined: Why Do Students Procrastinate?

“Even with years of teaching experience since then [grad school TA experience], there were still areas of my pedagogy that remained as they always had been—unexamined and essentially running on autopilot.” So writes Kevin Gannon in an excellent piece on redesigning his exams (<a href="https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1723-rethinking-my-exams"

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