Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Trouble with Consistency in Instructional Practices and Policies

By Maryellen Weimer, PhD, Faculty Focus, Teaching Professor Blog, December 11, 2013

I’ve started to notice a couple of consistencies in our instructional practice that concern me. First, there’s the consistency in practices across courses, regardless of level. I mentioned in a previous post that I didn’t think capstone and other upper division courses should have the same policies as first year courses. It seems to me that if we still have to hammer students about deadlines, use points to get them participating, and offer detailed descriptions of civil discourse, students have not learned some very important lessons in their earlier courses.

Yes, it could be the students’ fault. I have had students who, given their actions in my courses, appear to be very slow learners. But is that a plausible assumption to make about all students? It seems more reasonable to question the methods we are using to teach students about what it means to be responsible learners and about how professionals are expected to act.
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A Conversation with Edward B. Burger about The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking


Edward Burger is a professor of mathematics at Williams College and an educational and business consultant. His forthcoming book, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking (coauthored with Michael Starbird) presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking.