Being Mindful – What Did I Just Read?

Learning Tip
LEARNING TIP #2 - SEPT 14 2022 Has this ever happened to you? You have just finished reading a paragraph - or a page of an assigned reading — and a friend interrupts you, and when you return to your reading, you have no idea of what you were just reading. And you have to retreat back many paragraphs! If so, you are not alone. We often go on auto pilot while reading, and just read the words without thinking. What to do? Here are three ideas: If your reading assignment is a chapter with lots of sections and headings and subtitles, write down the heading, turning it into a question, and then test yourself to see if you can answer the question. For example, in a course in psychology, you…
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Make a Date with Your Mind

Teaching Tip
LEARNING TIP #1 - Setting a Schedule A top priority for success in anything you do is to schedule time for it. If you want to learn, if you want to get good grades, schedule time for studying. So, your very first college task is to create a weekly schedule for yourself. Block out all the essentials. Including time for sleep because that is when your brain consolidates new information! Anything important should go on your calendar, including enjoying making friends and having fun. It is so easy to say to yourself regarding studying, or writing papers, "Oh, I can do it tomorrow." That is your Charlie Brown talking. If you say that, you may find that "tomorrow" never comes and all of a sudden you are in terrible crunch…
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Team Charter Templates

Teaching Tip
Do your students moan when you assign a team project or design an assignment requiring even simple peer review or collaboration?  Do they envision challenges such as “doing all the work themselves” or working with a “difficult” or absent team member? This happens in life, everywhere, so what can be done?   Team projects, even small teams such as 2-3 members, always face challenges. A team charter can help by clarifying roles and responsibilities, expectations, preferred tools and time for working. A charter also sets out agreements on the responsibilities and practices for collaborating successively. This posting contains a team charter template that can be adapted for simple or complex team projects. Late Middle Tip 9 in Chapter 8 in the Online Teaching Survival Guide suggested that students who are tasked with working on projects…
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Just in Time — The Third Edition of the Online Teaching Survival Guide

Announcements
A timely update to the best-selling, practical, and comprehensive guide to online teaching   Great news for everyone working on updating or redesigning a course for online teaching and learning, this updated edition is now available. This edition retains the structure of the earlier two editions, but refreshes and updates the over 65 tips, adds new tips on critical thinking, gamification, universal design and a whole new chapter on flexible online synchronous design and teaching.  The new zooming, videoconferencing mode raises many questions, the most frequent is how do we engage learners in this online synchronous mode. Building on the constructivists' theories of how we learn, the tips in Chapters 6 to 11 provide almost boundless number of ideas for engaging learners by leveraging learner curiosity and providing choice, independence and…
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When it is Tough to Stay Focused… How to Motivate Myself

e-Coaching Tips
Staying focused when learning or working at home can be difficult. What can you do to keep yourself motivated?  All of us from young to very old have to do stuff sometimes that we would prefer not to do. How many of us get excited about cleaning? About grocery shopping?  About doing taxes? About reading a very boring, uninteresting Ukrainian novel for a class or a book club. Or about reading history, chemistry, physics, or nutrition textbooks? Some reading has engaging, enjoying, interesting ideas, characters and plots; others don’t.  Some of our writing assignments can be really tough to get started on and then to actually do. For teachers, reading essay after essay after essay can vary from uplifting to stimulating to discouraging.     So how can you motivate yourself to do tough,…
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Thrust into Online Learning Overnight? Changing Your Mindset to Thrive

Uncategorized
Are you overwhelmed with the idea of teaching online?  Is this something that you believe that you simply can’t do? Have you said things like, “I don’t believe in online learning.”  Or “I don’t think online learning can be effective.” Or “I don’t think I can do it.”   Now, in the flash of a virus, you are an online teacher and your students are online learners.   You have not had any time to redesign your lessons or your course.  What do you do?  If you are thinking this way, you will want to change your mindset. First of all, what is a mindset? Your mindset is the sum of your thoughts and beliefs, in this case, about online teaching and learning. These thoughts and beliefs affect your attitude and your motivation for teaching.  So,…
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Four Habits for Sanity and Productivity when Teaching and Learning at Home

Uncategorized
It is easy to lose track of time when teaching and learning at home. Before you know it, it is lunch time, and then time for getting outside and moving around and soon the sun is setting, and you have accomplished almost nothing! Here are four quick suggestions for everyone — age 7 to 75. This is really quick, so please comment and make suggestions. Absolutely first task of the day — Create a combined schedule and to do list for yourself. Be as specific as possible. If you are a student, you might write down that you will watch a video at 10:30 a.m. But more than that. You want to remember something from the video, so write a task that includes watching the video and taking notes. Write down…
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Help in Quickly Moving Online

Uncategorized
Transitioning from teaching face-to-face to online teaching usually takes time, planning and ideally, help from instructional designers. Depending on faculty experience with course management systems and discussion forums and video conferencing tools, it is not unusual for preparation to take from 20 to 60 hours. Faculty being directed to move online spontaneously can experience a great deal of stress, anxiety and trepidation. To help with this unanticipated transition, cancelling other types of faculty responsibilities for a few weeks can help. For getting started, this tip on Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online might be helpful. Also check out other tips in the Library of eCoaching Tips or the The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips that organizes and updates all the tips. It is also available at…
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Developing Metacognition: “Tea for Teaching” Audio Episode

Uncategorized
Many students new to college have relatively little understanding of how they learn or what good reading or study skills are. In this "Tea for Teaching" episode, I join John Kane and Rebecca Mushtare from SUNY-Oswego in discussing how well structured project-based or problem-based learning activities can help students develop their metacognitive skills so that they become more successful learners. We begin with answering the question, "Just what is metacognition?" and then go on to discuss how we might coach and teach metacognitive skills — a skill we probably should be teaching at all grade levels. Here is the link for this episode — Tea for Teaching 98. It is about 45 minutes and an easy listen while you are walking or driving. You may want to explore the references…
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