Welcome to Week 11! Once again, if you make it through this week, you get rewarded with a long weekend and a short teaching week. Campus is closed on Monday for Veteran’s Day. Then, there are no classes on Tuesday for a professional-development day which is also Student Success Day. Please see emails on this topic from Linnea Stenson and from this email address.
Do specific fonts and colors give you a sense that we are warm and approachable? Are you more motivated to access our services? A recent article (Motivating students with visualization in online environments – Boettler) suggests that the colors, fonts, and images we use in our courses could motivate students and possibly influence retention. The article is focused on online environments, but they could apply to all of our written and electronic communications with students. Even if you do not have the time to read it, looking at the figures can give the gist of the article.
If you find yourself making a lot of copies to engage your students during class, consider laminating handouts for repeated use. This will save your time and save money – two things that are in short supply. You can fill out copy requests to have documents copied onto cardstock, then cut (into 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, etc.), then laminated. If you have been looking for ways to get students into groups, you could copy these on different colors then use the colors to group students. You could also use dry-erase markers to have students write on these. If you want examples, stop by the CTL.
Last week, we sent out the link for The Chatty Professor (http://ellenbremen.com/ or http://chattyprof.blogspot.com/), then we received a request that we purchase the book on that site. The CTL now has one on order. If you want to check out CTL books, just sign them out on the clipboard that is on the shelf with the books.
Speaking of books, make sure to see the email from Dawn Master listing classes without spring textbooks – even if you think you did everything you need to do. This will help ensure that students get the books they need.
To get us to start thinking about next semester, two weeks ago we started this section and have now included 2 of Chickering and Gamson’s 7 principles for good practice in undergraduate education. The third 1 is: encouraging active learning. How do your classes currently address this, and how could you increase it next semester? If you are looking for ideas, contact one of us.