Faculty Focus


Our Top 11 Most Popular Articles for 2011, part 1

As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the top articles of the past year. Throughout 2011, we published nearly 250 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics – from academic integrity to online course design. In a two-part series, which will run today and Wednesday, we’re revealing the top 11 articles for 2011. Each article’s popularity ranking is based on a combination of the number of comments and shares, e-newsletter open and click-thru rates, and other reader engagement metrics.

Today’s post lists articles 6-11, starting with number 11.

11. Practical Ideas for Improving Student Participation
At a recent workshop, I asked participants to identify the one thing about student participation they would most like to change in their classrooms. From a variety of items mentioned, we decided to focus on three. They are listed below along with a range of solutions suggested by the group. Continue reading »

10. Failure is an Option: Helping Students Learn from Mistakes
Failure is one of the best teachers, but instead of using failure as a valuable teaching tool, education discourages it as, well, a sign of failure. Since each assignment is graded based on its proximity to success, and the final grade is determined by the aggregate of each individual grade, failure is carried with the student throughout the course. The result is that students become failure-adverse, demoralized by failure, and focused more on the grade than the education. Continue reading »

9. Do’s and Don’ts for Promoting Academic Integrity
The numbers on student cheating are alarming and do require a serious response, but have you ever turned the numbers upside down? For example, if 38 percent admit to plagiarizing, that means 62 percent aren’t plagiarizing and those students expect you to do something about the 38 percent. Continue reading »

8. Professors Use Twitter to Increase Student Engagement and Grades
Keeping college students off social media sites and focused on the course material is a daily challenge for many of today’s college faculty. But what if you could harness the power of today’s technologies and students’ proclivity toward social networking to enhance the learning experience rather than distract from it? That’s the intention of a number of forward-thinking professors. Continue reading »

7. Great Expectations: Helping Students Take Responsibility for Learning
Sometimes I think we lose sight of students’ capabilities. Of course, they like to be spoon fed, or at least many of them do. It is easier that way … for them and for us. But they need to learn how to feed themselves and they aren’t going to learn that unless we put a plate of food in front of them and give them a spoon. Continue reading »

6. Revisiting Extra Credit Policies
The question of giving students an extra chance is, like most pedagogical issues, less cut and dried than it might first seem. If the second chance is designed so that it represents a robust learning opportunity, if its completion means that a student who hasn’t mastered the material finally does and if learning is our ultimate goal, then complete opposition to second chances or extra credit seems less defensible. Continue reading »

For the top five articles of the year, see part two of this article »