Archive for March, 2013

CITL Answers-March 2013

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Question: I’ve heard my colleagues mention scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. What’s the difference?

Answer: When faculty members engage in scholarly teaching, they use disciplinary methods to study their teach­ing processes and student learning outcomes. They identify challenges in helping students learn, they read pedagogical literature, they test out interventions, and they use the results to enhance student learning. The scholarship of teaching and learning, or SoTL, extends scholarly teaching further by making the scholarly work public. Faculty present their findings at conferences or publish in journals that focus on teaching and learning in higher education. Follow this link for a chart that illustrates stages of faculty growth toward being engaged in SoTL: http://www.up.edu/showimage/show.aspx?file=6012. Contact Karen St. Clair – Karen_StClair@emerson.edu – if you would like to discuss moving from scholarly teaching to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Why Won’t They Talk in Class?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Ashley Marshall in her piece entitled, Talk to Me (Chronicle Review, June 25, 2012), noted how frustrating it is for professors when excellent students do not speak up in class.  Marshall admits she was one of those students.  She points out that there are many reasons why students won’t speak up:  under-prepared, frightened, uninterested, hoping to coast through the semester with a C.  When Marshall encountered a student like she was in her course, she offered help to her.  Marshall wrote that she “e-mailed her a few questions before the next class discussion and told her to try out an answer on me before the class met.  She duly, if tentatively, offered her electronic answer, and I responded with (justified) reassurance.”  The help worked.  Of course, professors may not encounter the same situation, the same type of student.  But, Marshall advises that “if the object is to get the most you can from all your students, then you need to offer help and encouragement wherever possible.”  Most of us would agree with Marshall as to our charge.  Perhaps the trick for us is to search for the reasons for students not speaking up in class.  Once you have the reason, an appropriate solution can be tried.