Week 9 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

Welcome to back from spring break to week 9 and to spring-like weather!   During the 2/27 professional-development day, stereotype threat was the topic of one of the workshops.  The Mindset Meetup will continue to explore this topic on Friday, so this email will focus on this topic to share previous work from this group and encourage you to join us on Friday.

Reminders: order your summer textbooks and complete your Early Alert and Starting Point forms to give students helpful feedback (see emails from Dawn Master, Kristy Snyder, and Michael Bro, respectively)

What is stereotype threat, and how can I decrease it to increase student performance?

Stereotype threat refers to being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group (Steele & Aronson, 1995). This term was first used by Steele and Aronson (1995) who showed in several experiments that Black college freshmen and sophomores performed more poorly on standardized tests than White students when their race was emphasized. When race was not emphasized, however, Black students performed better and equivalently with White students. The results showed that performance in academic contexts can be harmed by the awareness that one’s behavior might be viewed through the lens of racial stereotypes.  To learn more, go to http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org/definition.html, keep reading, join us on Friday, go to the Intranet to find resources from 2/27 (my.minneapolis.edu/development), see the resources on the CTL shared drive, or read Claude Steele’s book Whistling Vivaldi (available in the CTL library).

To see an 8-minute video overview of stereotype threat, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=failylROnrY

Some easy things you can do in your class to make your learning environment more inclusive​ (from the slides from 2/27 session)

  • Convey the value of diversity.  For example, use examples of role models from in-groups, use diversity as a resource, and create a critical mass by helping students identify similarities between peers.
  • Support students’ sense of belonging.   For example, do not call attention to minority status or gender, remind students of in-group characteristics (e.g., “You’re all college students…”), foster inter-group conversations, and anonymize tests/assignments (or have students write name at end)
  • Help students manage feelings of stress.   For example, remind students that everyone feels tension, tell them about a time you struggled then prevailed, or use address pre-text anxiety.
  • Promote a growth mindset.  Remind students that the more we use our minds, the better they will work; praise efforts, not intelligence or results; and include teaching methods that help students develop thinking habits and study strategies.
  • Convey and expect high standards. Express to students that you have high standards for academic achievement and believe that all students are capable of achieving these high standards.
  • Give wise criticism.  Avoid bad criticism, undeserved praise, and non-feedback.

How can I see and evaluate all students in the D2L Dropbox?   (Thanks to Beth Jensen at Bemidji State for sharing this tip)

  1. Click the Dropbox folder you want to assess/evaluate.
  2. Make sure you can see the Search options.  If not, click Show Search Options.
  3.     Under Submissions, choose Show everyone (the default is Users with submissions).
  4. Click the magnifying glass icon (located above the Submissions option) to complete the Search.

Who were the prize winners in the 2/26 CTL Open House?

Maran – $20 donated Caribou gift certificate

Irene – donated lavender self care kit

Ruthanne – coffee with jenny sippel

Miki – coffee with Cheryl Normal

Folake – coffee with Jennifer Malarski

Cindy – coffee with Cheryl Neudauer

Lisa – coffee with Cheryl Neudauer

Liz – coffee with Maran Wolston

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