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Laughter as Learning

Is a funny professor a good professor?  Instructors may sense intuitively that humor in the classroom contributes to a better classroom environment and, therefore, better learning.  Laughing students are listening and engaged students, so the thinking goes, and a student who laughs might also remember.  Additionally, laughter can contribute to . . . Read more

Mobile Learning & Blackboard

Students, like many people, tend to focus on their mobile phones at all times of the day and night—as they walk to class, ride the bus, or wait in line at a restaurant.  If instructors opt to put course materials in a mobile-friendly format in CourseWeb, students can use their . . . Read more

Modeling Strategies for Engaging Students

In this issue of the Teaching Times, several accomplished instructors share their approaches for increasing student engagement in the classroom including author, James Groccia (Auburn University), and two Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award Winners. NOVEMBER 2013 Contents: Modeling Strategies For Engaging Students Author Models Strategies For Engaging Students Read Article > . . . Read more

More Students Use Mobile Devices for Reading

“Tablet Ownership Triples among College Students,” a recent headline from the Wired Campus blog of The Chronicle of Higher Education, documents the phenomenal growth of mobile devices on campuses.  The article reports that the “number of college students who say they own tablets has more than tripled since a survey taken last year…The . . . Read more

Online discussions engage all students

Marah Gubar, English, supplements in-class discussions with Blackboard course management system’s asynchronous threaded discussions in her literature classes. Before implementing online discussions, Gubar had found that shyness, lack of preparation, or lack of time made many students reluctant to participate in class. Online discussions have enabled Gubar to require each . . . Read more

Pedagogical Uses for PechaKucha

By Mike Howie, Teaching Times Summer Intern Presentations form an integral part of many classes. However, it can be challenging to prepare presentations that hold students’ attention. Increasingly popular in higher education and other contexts, PechaKucha provides a concise and engaging presentation format, which can address some of the pitfalls . . . Read more

Peer Evaluation

Peer evaluation can be an effective teaching tool, not only for evaluation, but also to help students acquire key skills in your courses. It entails asking your students to evaluate one another’s performance in specific course-related tasks, according to guidelines which you provide to them, either informally or as a . . . Read more

Physics Experiments with Applications in Life Sciences

Every year about 300 students take the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s Introduction to Laboratory Physics course for non-majors. Approximately 55 percent of enrolled students come from life science disciplines such as biology, neuroscience, pre-medicine, and pre-dentistry: understanding physics is important to these areas of study, and this course is . . . Read more

Pitt Joins Peers in exploring the New Territory of MOOC’s

The University of Pittsburgh recently announced its entry into the world of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), free classes which are taught to “large numbers of students with minimal involvement by professors,” according to theChronicle of Higher Education. MOOC’s have been growing at an exponential rate, with more than a million . . . Read more

Presenting Beyond PowerPoint

During this academic year, Teaching Times features the winners of the 2011-2012 Elizabeth Baranger Awards for graduate teaching in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. In this issue we highlight Lauren Collister (Linguistics), who integrates a new presentation technology in her courses to better engage her students. Lauren Collister loves Prezi…because . . . Read more

Reducing Health Care Disparities: Web-based Video Tutorials

School of Nursing faculty, Rose E. Constantino, Lisa Bernardo, Mary Beth Happ and Yookyung Kim will use their ACIE grant to develop Reducing Health Care Disparities by Teaching Culturally Competent Nursing Care through Web-based Video Tutorials. The project will consist of video vignettes of nurses encountering and addressing sensitive diversity . . . Read more

Revised courses help students reach diversity goals

Christina Newhill School of Social Work I attended the 1997 Chancellor’s Faculty Diversity Seminar for More Inclusive Teaching because I was concerned about my effectiveness in teaching content on diversity in my classes and wanted to revise my courses to improve that.  Although I was keenly aware that the issue of . . . Read more

School of Engineering Focuses on Flipped Class Model

Active engagement is known to contribute to learning, and it is particularly important to engage students in large classes (e.g., greater than 75 students), where interaction between faculty and students is often lost.  To address this challenge and improve learning, the Swanson School of Engineering is introducing a flipped, or . . . Read more

School of Information Sciences Encourages Online Reading through Social Progress Visualization

Despite the seemingly endless stream of advancements the computer age has ushered in and their potential for more interactive learning, professors often rely instead on more traditional teaching methods (e.g. textbooks).  Peter Brusilovsky, School of Information Sciences, believes newer forms of technology can encourage student learning, and he will implement . . . Read more

Smorgasbord allows students to achieve in diverse ways

Striving to be an ever more effective teacher, Joseph Grabowski, Chemistry, is determined to assist his students to achieve more than they think they can. Continually experimenting with new strategies and techniques, Grabowski also views himself as a student who uses the University not only to learn more about teaching . . . Read more