In summary, higher education has fallen out of step with business, science, and everyday life. In order to realign itself with changes in society and in its student base higher education must find the will to innovate in the area of openness, and then in connectedness, personalization, participation, and other key areas. Openness is the key to enabling other innovations and catalyzing improvements in the quality, accountability, affordability, and accessibility of higher education. The open infrastructure of the Internet has enabled a huge number of innovations at a speed and scale that could never have occurred if this infrastructure had been closed. I submit that content, faculty support, and peer support are the infrastructure of teaching and learning. To the extent that we open these, we can speed the adoption and scale of innovation in the teaching and learning space.In a previous post he shares his full intervention.
We are developing a plan of research on assessment for learning using eportfolios. We would like to hear from others doing similar research or interested in collaborating with us. We are focusing initially on using eportfolios to document and improve deep learning beyond the classroom: especially in the forms of undergraduate research, community service learning, and leadership experiences.
In some places, and I’m sad to say my current institution is one of them, teaching doesn’t matter that much to tenure or promotion. There are some really excellent teachers, but they are excellent teachers in many ways in spite of the university. I’ve been told that the only way to have your teaching impact a tenure decision is if you bite the students. Another tenured faculty member said that students would have to picket the tenure proceedings in order for bad teaching to stop someone from getting tenure. In other words, excellent student evaluations don’t matter in my school. There is a move afoot to make evaluation reports more easily accessible to students, which I think will help them to choose classes more effectively. But if you are no good at teaching, you don’t mind if people decide not to take your classes.And he reflects on the disadvantages of student feedback ("student evals.") and the ways the teacher, can maipulate them:
I have mixed feelings about student evals. I think they do roughly approximate the ability of the teacher. Unfortunately, I know exactly how to improve my evals. First, I raise the average grade in the class: there is a strong correlation between mean grade in a class and teacher evaluation. In fact, some schools (not UB) are now weighting these ratings by the average grade. That again raises problems, because in a small senior seminar or optional graduate class, I may have a dozen students, many of whom deserve the A. The efficacy of the class leads its evaluations to be discounted.
The other way I can improve ratings is to do something a faculty member at my graduate institution did, and build the evaluations into the syllabus, reminding students along the way the ways he was “effectively using information technology,” or “providing timely feedback.” Certainly, this “teaching to the test” in reverse probably led the course to do better in those categories, but he was also aiming (successfully) to manipulate his evaluations.And then the question of when you do the feedback. How can students know now what will help them in the future?
The best suggestion I’ve heard—this from Tom Feeley, who has studied student evaluations, as well as from others—is that you give the student evaluations five years after the course is over. Yes, we tend to forget traumatic events as time passes ;) , but we also find that some of the teaching that we like at the time may not be the work that was really relevant to our lives and careers down the road. Deciding the worth of a class just before a looming final exam may not be the best timing.
it's a remnant of the old ideal of the independent student who should have the right to learn as she pleases) yet they all email you questions - you know, the "I won't be able to attend any of the tutorials. What's the assignment? Can you give me feedback?" kind of questions. And the frantic "Did you get my email?" the next day if you haven't answered.The exame for Época de Recurso was yesterday. At least eight students I have never seen, only one of whom obviously knew what he was doing. Of the eight, four entered into email contact with me five days before the exam.
Is it important to study the book?
What do I have to study?
I can't do the oral presentation because I haven't had time to prepare it.
Please correct my article (midnight before the exam/time to give it in).
I hope the teacher will understand (and make allowances) that I can't speak English and so I couldn't come to the classes.
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The teaching of English has been seen in the past as largely a technical issue about the best methodologies, a practical issue of resources in teacher training and text books, or a problem about imperialist propoganda. We can now see that it has become much more than these things although such issues have not gone away. If the analysis of this book is correct, then English has at last become of age as a global language. It is a phenomenon which lies at the heart of globalisation. English is now redefining national and individual identities worldwide; shifting polticial fault lines; creating new global patterns of wealth and social exclusion; and suggesting new notions of human rights and responsibilities of citizenship.