CTL Newsletter: October 10, 2017

Small Tweaks

As I was reading a book about easy ways to reinforce learning in the classroom, Faculty Focus sent me an article on the same topic. I’m taking this as a sign that I should share a few of their tips.

  1. Use the first few minutes of class for review. Cue students to retrieve previously-learned facts and/or theories in order to cement their knowledge before moving on.
  1. At least once a week, begin class with a low-stakes quiz to assess whether everyone has actually learned those facts and/or theories.
  1. End class with a minute-paper. Students write the most important thing they learned in that class. They may add a follow-up question or a point of confusion.
  1. Help students to connect new learning to previous experience by offering or soliciting examples, cases, or other relevant information.

Okay. That’s enough for now. For more ideas, read on . . . .

— Jocelyn McWhirter, Religious Studies



Incorporating Principles in Cognitive Psychology to Improve Student Learning. In this article, Christopher Grabau reviews methods to help students retain, retrieve, and sustain what they have learned.

Small TeachingIn this book, James Lang offers even more tips for enhancing student learning, understanding, and motivation. Coming soon to the Albion College CTL library.


CTL News

Congratulations to Drew Christopher! The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has recognized him with their 2017 Teaching and Mentoring Award. You can read all about it in the Albion College News.

Stereotype Threat: When the Teacher Feels It. If you think that students are stereotyping you, there’s something you can do about it. Join us in discussing strategies for resilience on Wednesday, November 9 from 5:00–6:00. Save the date and look for details!

GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning: The redesigned website is up and running! This week, look for Claudia Thompson’s article, “Should You Try a Flipped Classroom?” Claudia teaches psychology at the College of Wooster.

Talking about Teaching. You can always talk about teaching. Find a partner, trade classroom observations, and talk about teaching while having a Baldwin Cafe lunch on the CTL! To register, contact Jocelyn McWhirter by replying to this newsletter.

Teaching Reflections. If you’d like to contribute a brief essay about teaching and learning, please contact Jocelyn McWhirter by replying to this newsletter.


Upcoming Conferences

Teaching Professor Conference, June 1-3, 2018 in Atlanta. “There’s simply no better place to explore and celebrate the art and science of teaching.” Call for proposals closes October 31.

Teaching Academic Survival and Success (TASS) Conference, April 8-11 in Ft. Lauderdale. “The Teaching Academic Survival and Success Skills Conference is a forum for faculty, staff, student support personnel, administrators and others who help under-prepared students succeed in college and beyond.” Call for proposals closes December 15.

About Jocelyn McWhirter

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