2015 Summer Institute Reflections

Last week the CETL, in partnership with Avid for Higher Education hosted the 2015 Summer Institute. The focus for this year’s event was enhancing student engagement. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination is a non-profit organization offering strategies to assist campuses in improving college success. Speakers for the event were Billy Madigan and Kristi Gerdes, of AVID for Higher Education. The first day’s sessions were led by Billy Madigan. His thought-provoking opening keynote, Culture, Connection and Embodied Cognition was inspiring and insightful. Madigan encouraged faculty to reflect on the strategies they incorporate to build strong connections with students. Empathic connections, taking the time to really get to know students, and adjusting approaches […]

CH 5, Learning Styles and the Science of Learning: Tapping Brain Power

CH 5 begins with a quote by the father of American psychology William James; “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”  Although the quote is probably a bit narcissistic as I believe that humans have probably always understood that the mind can control one’s life, I do believe that the statement has validity.  Indeed, my philosophy on education is that it teaches students to learn.  In fact, students should be responsible for their own learning so that they gain ownership of their intellectual and learning abilities. How do we as professors help promote this notion to […]

Chapter 4: Not so boring after all…

I picked Chapter 4, “Begin with Consistent Contact (Attendance Matters),” because I thought it could not possibly be as boring as the title suggested. Yeah. Go to class. Duh! Fortunately, the chapter was not only NOT boring, but contained a number of good suggestions for encouraging student attendance, participation and consultation. We have all noticed the relationship between student engagement and student success. When I was an undergraduate, I missed only one class in the four years I was at school. I think about that sometimes, and realize that my consistency was facilitated by two things: I was a residential student and during the day at least, I rarely had […]

Embracing the Active Learner

Here’s a slide share (with some embedded videos) from Blackboard on “5 Ways to Embrace the Active Learner.” Though I think the “digital natives are changing the world in an instant” rhetoric is a bit overblown, it’s hard to argue with the fact that our students are coming to us with a different set of expectations and behaviors. The question for instructors is: to what degree to we modify our courses to meet these expectations or when do we act to modify those expectations and behaviors? Either way, knowing what those expectations are is very important.    

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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