Category Archives: In The Classroom

Vintage picture of female school teachers sitting in classroom

Myth of the Gender Neutral Classroom

Many of my female faculty colleagues probably experienced being addressed as Mrs. or Ms. at least once every semester and not just by incoming freshmen. Or they read comments about shoes in their end-of-semester evaluations. But are those isolated incidents or does gender matter in how students perceive the knowledge and expertise of an instructor? Do they see differences in pedagogies? Types of course work that male and female faculty assign? Do students find female instructors more relatable? Do they themselves behave differently in the classrooms of male and female instructors? Last academic year, I finally got a chance to collect data on several of these research questions as part of our Teaching Scholars Program. Continue reading

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Innovative Strategies For General Education

I was given the opportunity to attend and participate in the Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD) Conference in Louisville, KY in March 2014 under the auspices of a teaching enhancement grant.  My goal was to learn innovative strategies that could be implemented in the general education course I teach (American Social Welfare, soon to be called Foundation of Social Policy) both in the face-to-face offering and in the development of an on-line version of the course to be taught in summer.  Continue reading

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A Reflection of The Peer Observation Process

One “assignment” in the Teaching Scholars program is to conduct a formative peer observation with a Teaching Scholar colleague.  My initial reaction to this process was one of insecurity, i.e., questioning my own teaching style and concern over selecting the “right” class session to be observed.  I was determined to select a class session with significant theoretical content, with an obvious beginning and end to allow for a complete assessment, and a session that was presented primarily by me (versus the students).  That plan put me in a quandary.  Continue reading

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Don’t be the 71%

By the time you are standing in front of a classroom of students, ready to teach for the first time, you have probably spent at least 20 years on the other side of the lectern. You have sat through years of wonderful, inspired teaching, and probably an equal amount of less than exhilarating lectures. You have taken hundreds of tests, submitted literally tons of homework and skipped months of classes. You stand there with the benefit of an ‘Apprenticeship of Observation’[1] having become an expert in teaching through exposure.

Did you feel as prepared the first time you taught an online class?

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Observing In The Classroom

As a part of my responsibilities as Faculty Consultant for CATL, I was required to observe and conduct a peer evaluation of our new faculty members.  Truly this was the best experience of this position!  For the uninitiated, the instructor fills out a detailed pre-observation form detailing class objectives and the activities to attain those objectives.  Space for the goals of the course as well as current concerns is also provided. Continue reading

Professor Advising Students

How hard is advising?

When I was first starting out as a professor students would ask me questions I just found ridiculous. Like, did they need to take a particular art history course. I thought, geez, take what the catalogue tells you to take! I didn’t always comprehend that a major or minor could have options, there could be confusion, and that the students themselves maybe didn’t know who else to ask those questions of. No, I thought, as the professor, their questions for me should be strictly limited to class content! Everything else was, “See your advisor.” And the advisor was never going to be me. Continue reading