Why Sleep is So Important to Learning

Each year during orientation, I would talk to the new students about the importance of self-care behaviors. These behaviors include eating well, exercising, staying hydrated, taking time with loved ones, and getting enough sleep. And yet, every year after a few months into the program many...

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What can we do about the digital device distraction dilemma?

The use of digital devices contributes to why students continue to believe they can multitask. We all do know the truth about multitasking, that it is not really possible. The reason I say “not really” possible is that depending on the tasks and the part of the brain being...

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Why Lecture is Still a Good Teaching Method

If you have been in education even for a short while, I suspect you may have heard that lecture is the least effective teaching method and has the lowest retention rate. This information has been published in the educational literature for decades, commonly appearing in what is known as the...

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Is your syllabus learner-centered?

Although there are different types and forms of syllabi, a growing amount of research is emerging about the importance of a learner-centered syllabus (LCS). A learner-centered syllabus takes a student-centered approach versus a content-centered approach. What this means is that instead of...

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Are outcomes, objectives and assessments aligned in your syllabus?

A quick way to check to see if you have things educationally aligned in your syllabus is to check for what I call outcome/objective/assessment alignment. As we all know, our syllabi must contain course learning outcomes, instructional objectives, and the inclusion of student assessment methods....

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FERPA - The "HIPAA" in Education: Protecting Student Privacy

In healthcare, we have the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which, as you know, helps remind us of our legal responsibility to protect patient information. There is an equivalent to this federal law in education. It is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy...

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Instructional Objectives - Why are they so important?

Ah, instructional objectives. I bet you were tempted not to read this blog! My experience has been that they tend to evoke strong feelings in both faculty and students in a love-hate kind of way. Faculty do not enjoy writing them; students sometimes feel there are too many, and they don’t...

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Can I make changes to the syllabus after it is released to the students?

A common question I get is, can I make changes to the syllabus once the students have it? The answer is yes. Some folks like to think of a syllabus as a contract, and while there is some truth to that, a syllabus can be amended at any time should the need arise. The goal, of course, is to try and...

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Let's Talk About CATs!

Anyone who knows me knows I love cats, but I am not talking about those cuddly furry critters here. Instead, I am talking about Classroom Assessment Techniques or CATs. These are easy to use and implement in your class to collect great data about whether your students are learning, where they are...

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