Thursday, July 30, 2015

Try Publishing an E-Magazine as an Alternative Assessment

(Post by Leslie Johnson)

If you’re looking for an alternative assessment for online or face-to-face classes, consider having your students publish an e-magazine. In the June 2015 issue of The Online Cl@assroom, John Orlando, associate director for the Northcentral University Faculty Resource Center, describes the benefits of such an assignment.

Most importantly, he notes that when students write for a public space, they are more likely to invest more time and take more intellectual risks. Furthermore, he notes that since communicating effectively in online environments is quickly becoming a critical job skill, we should be working to improve our students’ digital literacy.

Orlando suggests having the entire class produce an issue on a monthly basis. The student-produced articles should reflect class topics and be read by everyone in the course. Students can enhance their own work with graphics and videos as well as comment on their peers’ work.

As for the necessary e-magazine publishing tools, many “free versions” exist. Orlando recommends LucidPress but suggests that faculty also compare it with other systems, such as Simplebooklet and Glossi, to choose one that best suits their needs.

If you would like to read more from The Online Cl@ssroom, stop by the Center for Teaching Excellence, during our open hours. Copies are available in our lounge, and coffee is provided for your reading pleasure.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Inside the Teaching Professor: June/July

The Teaching Professor includes summarized articles from various educational publications, as well as original articles from university and college instructors. If you are interested in reviewing articles in this and/or other publications, please stop by the CTE, TLC 324, where you can read in a comfortable setting and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Inside the June/July 2015 issue of The Teaching Professor, you will find the following articles:

Flipped Exam Boosts Student Learning

Flipping the exam is the focus of “Flipped Exam Boosts Student Learning,” a summary piece based on research done by H.L. Lujanm and S.E. DiCarlo at Wayne State University. The researchers decided to grade students based on their collaborative efforts in answering exam questions. They asked students to answer 45 exam questions of which “30-35% of the material had not been talked about in class.” Students were given a set amount of time to collectively arrive at the answer for each exam question. In the next class period, instructors walked through the exam with students, asking them to explain their answers and challenging them to find the correct answer when one was incorrect. “In this way, students explored why answers were correct as well as incorrect while understanding principles and concepts.” Overall, the researchers feel that this method of testing promotes greater learning and more importantly, understanding of complex answers beyond the typical surface response.

Teaching Students the Importance of Professionalism

In the article “Teaching Students the Importance of Professionalism”, author Angela Keaton, an instructor at Tusculum College, observes that the majority of her students lack any sense of professionalism as they prepare to enter the professional workforce. She lists eight professional values that students are held to during the term: honesty, integrity, respect, humility, compassion, an awareness of interpersonal boundaries, expertise, and a commitment to excellence. She provides students with a list of poor behaviors associated with each of these values, such as turning in work late, arriving late, interrupting others, texting during class. She grades students on their class professionalism, which she explains to them on the first day of class. At the beginning of the term, each student is given 100 points. Students lose points for each unprofessional behavior they exhibit throughout the term. She reserves 10-15% of the final grade for their professionalism in her class.


“Flipped Exam Boosts Student Learning.” The Teaching Professor 6 July 2015: 6. Print.
Keaton, Angela F. “Teaching Students the Importance of Professionalism.” The Teaching Professor 29.6 (2015): 5. Print.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

One Book - High Impact

by Guest Blogger Susan Murphy

I read a book one day and my whole life was changed. – Orhan Pamuk

Books are powerful.  They transport readers and broaden horizons.  Words are the medium of growth.  These are the ideas behind One Book One LCC.

About One Book One LCC  

One Book One LCC is a community reading experience. During the 2015-2016 academic year, all members of the LCC community - students, faculty, and staff – are encouraged to read The True American by Anand Giridharadas. The book offers a rich opportunity to engage with issues such as race, religion, health care, the American criminal justice system, and more. The greater Lansing community is invited to participate as well.

To enhance the experience of the book, special events, discussions, and college-wide conversations are planned, including possible visits from Anand Giridharadas and Rais Bhuiyan in spring 2016.

Change is the end result of all true learning. - Leo Buscaglia

One Book One LCC supports Teaching and Student Learning

One Book One LCC embodies high-impact educational practices and supports our students’ achievement of essential learning outcomes in many ways.  One high-impact educational practice is a common intellectual experience.  A community read can center college-wide intellectual conversations and activities; and the more courses that include the book, the broader the experience.  A second element of high-impact educational practice is the first year experience.  Here at LCC, students who take our first year experience course are required to read the One Book One LCC selection, where the book serves as a focus for assignments and conversations. The One Book One LCC selection can also serve as a platform for writing across the curriculum – another high-impact practice. Furthermore, while a community read does not meet the formal definition of a learning community as a high-impact educational practice, it does grow a community of learners.  Finally, engaging with a common read helps students achieve essential learning outcomes such as intercultural knowledge, civic engagement, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning.

To learn more about One Book One LCC and to participate, visit the website or contact Susan Murphy.  Her telephone number is 517-483-1645.