Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/jete/

List of Papers (Total 22)

Empowering Faculty Using Distance Learning Mentoring Programs

This article discusses the value of developing mentoring programs for the empowerment of distance learning faculty. The paper describes various ways mentoring relationships enhance the development and teaching of distance learning courses. Distance learning faculty mentoring programs consist of a process where a more experienced faculty member assists a newer faculty member in...

Classrooms on the Frontier: Integrating Original Research into Lectures

The role of an academic is often spread across two main areas: researching and teaching. Although some argue that the scarcity of time, energy, and commitment precludes the ability to do both well, and are therefore substitutes, we argue that these roles can be complementary. That is, by incorporating original research into the classroom, several benefits can be gleaned by both...

Promoting Critical Thinking In General Biology Courses: The Case Of The White Widow Spider

It is generally accepted that critical thinking is an important and, likely, essential, component of success in college and beyond. Despite the unanimity, only a low percentage of students in the U.S. can demonstrate critical thinking proficiency on standardized exams. This phenomenon may result from instructors using a reductionist view of critical thinking and focusing on...

Engagement Across the Miles: Using Videoconferencing With Small Groups in Synchronous Distance Courses

This article presents suggestions for conducting small group work in synchronous distance courses taught using Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) systems. One challenge of teaching over an IVC system is getting students involved in class activities. The authors share how they have used a videoconferencing tool to break up IVC classes into small groups for discussion activities...

Apathy and Concern Over the Future Habitability of Earth: An Introductory College Assignment of Forecasting CO2 in the Earth’s Atmosphere

Non-science, first year regional undergraduate students from rural Utah communities participated in an online introductory geology course and were asked to forecast the rise of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. The majority of students predicted catastrophic rise to 5,000-ppm sometime over the next 3,100 years, resulting in an atmosphere nearly uninhabitable to human life. However...

Stalled at the Gate: Addressing Student Failure in a "Gateway

This article is a case study of how student data can guide instructors in course redesign. A significant percentage of students enrolled in an American Civilization course did not successfully complete the course. An examination of ACT scores, GPAs, grades in math and English composition, reading tests, and assignment completion rates indicated that two key obstacles to student...

Learn, Apply, Share: Combining Student Learning and Community Engagement

This paper describes how an upper division Family Life Education course was redesigned using the personal teaching philosophy of Learn, Apply, Share. This philosophy provides the framework for meaningful learning to occur at three levels. The Learn portion of the philosophy focuses on an experiential learning project based on andragogy principles that prepare students enrolled in...

Mnemonic Mechanisms for Making Memories

In many classes, students are faced with the daunting task of remembering a lot of terms or structures in a relatively short period of time. Though there is much to memorize, students may not be aware of the many mnemonic mechanisms that can help them make quick and lasting memories. This article describes three such mechanisms: word associations, visual images, and stories...

Full Issue: Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence, Volume 1, Issue 2

Volume 1, Issue 2 of the Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence, a publication of Utah State University focused on providing a forum for instructors in higher education to share best practices and ideas related to effective teaching.

Learning Analytics: Shifting from theory to practice.

As online and blended learning continues to increase in higher education, so does the amount of data that is housed within Learning Management Systems that can be analyzed and processed within the framework of Learning Analytics. Learning Analytics is a new and developing field. As with many new fields of study, a gap between theory and practice is evident. Some attribute this...

Understanding Generation Z Students to Promote a Contemporary Learning Environment

University faculty predominantly represent the Baby Boomer and Baby Buster (Gen X) Generations, but, university students are largely iYs Millenials and Generation Z Digital Natives. These groups have been characterized both positively and negatively in the popular press. A fresh understanding of the newer generations can help instructors better meet current students’ educational...

“The Room Where It Happens”: Teaching Diversity in the Classroom

Universities across the nation have focused increasingly on promoting diversity, to the point of including this goal in their mission statements. Additionally, millennial students come to college anxious to learn about diversity. This paper presents a lesson plan built around the musical Hamilton. The activity teaches public relations students in a writing class persuasion and...

Engaging Students in a Synchronous Distance Setting: Asking Online Questions

One major challenge in higher education is engaging student in the learning process, and this challenge is of particular concern in synchronous broadcast classes, where students are geographically dispersed. This paper argues that the use of online questions, that students can respond to using their electronic devices, is an effective way to increase student participation and...

Building Positive Student-Instructor Interactions: Engaging Students through Caring Leadership in the Classroom

When instructing and managing classrooms in university settings, instructors face numerous challenges such as student disengagement and managing course expectations. In this article, we offer new and revised techniques and strategies to engage students through the art of caring leadership. We accomplish this through three defining characteristics: knowing students’ names...