Filed under Curriculum

Tightrope for Adjunct Faculty at Community Colleges

“Your students are afraid of you.” “Really?” “Yes. You are intimidating. Try to smile more in class so they are more comfortable with you.” What began as the strangest, most Twilight Zone-like experience that I have ever had in my 13 years of teaching ended up being one of the most humiliating and frustrating conversations … Continue reading

To Attract Students, Professors Produce Hollywood-Style Previews

After 25 years as a typographical designer, Richard Hunt knows the value of visual communication — which makes it a little ironic that his online course at OCAD University, an art-and-design college in Ontario, initially released lectures in an audio-­only format. Last year students accustomed to on-campus learning felt that Mr. Hunt’s “History and Evolution … Continue reading

School: What is it Good for?

One of the curious features about schooling is that there is no explicit consensus about its purpose. Any assertion with regards to function should dramatically affect both the content of what is taught and the structure in terms of how to best instill the things that are taught. For instance, if the purpose of schooling … Continue reading

Structured Pathways Help Community Colleges Succeed

The emphasis on community college excellence needs to move from a discussion just about student access to one of both access and success. That’s the sentiment expressed Wednesday by many college leaders and politicians in the District of Columbia for the announcement of the Aspen Institute’s 2015 Prize for Community College Excellence, given to Santa … Continue reading

Atlanta Educators Convicted in School Cheating Scandal

In a dramatic conclusion to what has been described as the largest cheating scandal in the nation’s history, a jury here on Wednesday convicted 11 educators for their roles in a standardized test cheating scandal that tarnished a major school district’s reputation and raised broader questions about the role of high-stakes testing in American schools. On … Continue reading

How Liberal Arts Offer The Very ‘Workplace Skills’ Critics Demand

The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently released the findings of a Hart Research Associates survey that provides useful data for the ongoing national discussion about whether higher education — liberal education in particular — is meeting national needs, in particular for an educated workforce. As I approach the end of my 44th year … Continue reading

If B.A.’s Can’t Lead Graduates to Jobs, Can Badges Do the Trick?

Employers say they are sick of encountering new college graduates who lack job skills. And colleges are sick of hearing that their young alumni aren’t employable. Could a new experiment to design employer-approved “badges” leave everyone a little less frustrated? Employers and a diverse set of more than a half-dozen universities in the Washington area … Continue reading

Teaching Students How to Talk Less, and Think More

This week’s question comes from a discussion on my Facebook feed, in which Mark North, an instructor at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash., asked for suggestions about how to manage students who monopolize class time with their comments. I often get the flip side of this question from parents who say their child’s teacher … Continue reading

Does the College Major Really Matter?

Every year, high-school students and their families spend an inordinate amount of time on the college search, but comparatively little on the search for a college major. Perhaps that’s why a quarter of all freshmen change their major by the end of their first year, according to UCLA’s annual Freshman Survey, and half of first-year … Continue reading