Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence

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

List of Papers (Total 33)

Design and Development of an MPH Program for Online Delivery

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is growing in popularity and is now delivered fully online by a large number of highly respected, fully accredited universities. This paper offers an overview of program design and development strategies that promote successful online delivery of MPH programs. Design and development challenges are discussed in terms of new accreditation...

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...

Educators, Question Your Level of Cultural Responsiveness

Institutions of higher education are becoming increasingly diverse, while faculty of these institutions generally lack the diversity of the student population they teach. This imbalance necessitates educators implement culturally responsive teaching within their classrooms. The intent of this article is to guide educators in determining whether they practice and implement...

Five Instructional Practices to Optimize Peer Feedback Activities among Adult Learners

There is a significant need for adult learners to improve their writing proficiency within a variety of contexts. Thus, postsecondary instructors require effective research-based teaching strategies to support adult learners hone their writing skills. While studies on peer feedback abound, little has been done to date to consider ways in which postsecondary instructors design...

Promoting Second Language Socialization Through Course Projects

For many international students who are second language (L2) learners, successful integration in the new academic and socio-cultural environment is inseparable from their language socialization. Classroom teachers are well positioned to support students’ adaptation, and through course materials, projects, and activities they can encourage students’ successful socialization and...

Semester in the Parks: Engaging Students with Common Intellectual Experiences

High-impact educational practices (HIP) such as Common Intellectual Experiences (CIE) enhance student engagement and positively affect student learning. At Southern Utah University we created a new HIP-focused program to enrich our students and faculty: Semester in the Parks (SIP). Students lived outside of Bryce Canyon National Park in the gateway community of Bryce Canyon City...

From Outside to Online: Unanticipated Directions for Utah Master Naturalist

Utah Master Naturalist is an award-winning Utah State University Extension program that promotes stewardship of Utah’s natural world through place-based, experiential field courses across the state. Although successful in eliciting positive short- and long-term impacts, Utah Master Naturalist’s traditional five-day field courses were unavailable to many students and instructors...

Approaches to Evaluating Blended Courses

Blended learning, sometimes referred to as hybrid or flexible learning, is becoming increasingly common in higher education. Unfortunately, many instructors receive limited training on how to effectively evaluate blended courses, and as a result, commonly rely solely on end-of-semester evaluations. Due to the more complex nature of how blended courses are designed and implemented...

Reflections on Thirty Years of Teaching for Utah State University Distance Education

Abstract: In this brief essay, author John D. Barton, Principal Lecturer, History, Utah State University Uintah Basin Regional Campus muses on teaching excellence and student engagement. His sources are largely his personal reflections of thirty years teaching and storied examples and quotes from former students. He defends the use of lecture and discussion as primary pedagogical...

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...