Fall Book Club Update – Teaching Unprepared Students

learnDuring our most recent book club meeting, we examined two more critical components of improved retention and student success from Kathleen F. Gabriel’s Teaching Unprepared Students.  Chapter five explored Learning Styles and the Science of Learning and chapter six offered tips on Embracing Learner-Centered Education.

There was an abundance of passion for improving teaching and learning throughout our meeting. Several book club members shared various strategies for helping students become more responsible for their own learning. Gabriel provides several tips such as

  • Learning styles inventory assessments
  • Sharing with students the research on how people learn and ways for them to discover how they learn
  • Encouraging students to learn on a more deeper level by connecting new information to prior knowledge

Annette Smith, recruitment and activities specialist shared several articles and websites on student learning styles. Some of which are the following:

Benjamin Miller, visiting professor of biology poses thought provoking questions as we attempt to figure out best approaches to accommodate various learning styles. Read Dr. Miller’s blog post here.

Gabriel’s suggestions for learner-centered education included building a strong community of learning, setting ground rules for attendance and participation as well as gaining information about student’s prior knowledge through the use of various assessment techniques. One specific technique referenced in the book was the CATS Background Knowledge Probe, Misconception/Preconception Check. I’m looking forward to additional learner-centered assessment tips in chapter 7.

Our final book club meeting will take place this Friday, October 25. I’m sad but excited that I won’t be in attendance as I will miss the rich dialogue surrounding chapter 7- Interweaving Assessment and Teaching and chapter 8 Techniques for Promoting Academic Integrity and Discouraging Cheating. As far as being excited is concerned,  I will travel to San Antonio on Wednesday to attend a Blackboard user conference for which I’m hoping to return with lots of new and exciting ideas for delivering engaging courses via blackboard!

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About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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