CTL Newsletter: March 14, 2017

Checking in. The week after semester break is always a good time to assess how our courses are going so far. Many of us conduct midterm evaluations so that we can see what’s working for our students and what might need a mid-semester tweak. In Faculty Focus, Gillian Parrish recently shared some ideas for “Transforming Midterm Evaluations into a Metacognative Pause.” Parrish advocates using a midterm course evaluation that prompts students to reflect on specific course components that help or hinder their learning, the challenges they have faced, and their connections with the course material and class environment. In the process of completing this evaluation, students learn about their learning. In the process of reading it, teachers learn about their teaching.

— Jocelyn McWhirter
   Director, Center for Teaching and Learning

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Resources

Academic Advising: The week after semester break is also a good time to start thinking about academic advising. If you’re looking for some effective prompts or ways to brush up your technique, the CTL website “Resources” page is linked to some hot advising websites. Try “Sound Bites for Sound Advising,” “Promoting Student Success: What Advisors Can Do,” and “Teachable Moments: Advising as Liberal Learning.”

New on the GLCA/GLAA CTL Website: Jeremiah Alberg (International Christian University) has contributed an article on “‘Flipping’ a Classroom” — in this case, his 90-student “Introduction to Christianity” course. He describes the step-by-step process, concluding, “I did feel like I was talking more to the students and less at them.”

Also, in a home-page video presentation, Gabriele Dillmann (Denison University) and Diana Stantcheva (American University of Bulgaria) discuss cross-cultural interaction among their German students, made possible by Global Course Connections. For a written summary of their experience, see Steven Volk’s article “COLLABORATIONS.”

For more information about Global Course Connections, please contact Albion liaison Midori Yoshii.

About Jocelyn McWhirter

Jocelyn McWhirter is the Stanley S. Kresge Professor of Religious Studies at Albion College in Albion, Michigan.
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