Tips of the Week 7/22/14

After an unforeseen delay, the Tips are back, and with a vengeance! This week we’re doling out four tips for the “price” of three.

From 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups, by Donald e. Hanna, Michelle Glowacki-Dudka, and Simone Conceição-Runlee, comes the following handy tip, which will help you know how to set the tone for interactions in any online learning environment:

112. Gain agreement with the learners about rules, norms, and procedures for discussion and do so from the start.

Interactive online courses depend on the relationships and trust developed between and among you and the learners. If the learners are to play an active role in developing the course atmosphere, you must preliminarily define the structure, rules, norms, and procedures for course discussions upfront — but then give your learners the chance to suggest important modifications.

Some teachers routinely build in and act upon opportunity for revisions in the course plan and structure. Doing so gives learners a sense of ownership for the community that they’re helping create.


And from 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Peace and Reconciliation, by William M. Timpson, Edward J Brantmeier, Nathalie Kees, Tom Cavanagh, Claire McGlynn, and Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo, we ‘ve mined this sharp piece of insight:

66. Help Restore Happiness and Create Fulfilling Lives

As Nel Noddings (2003) suggests in her book, Happiness and Education, at the present time educators and those interested in education are focusing on financial aims in schoolseducating students to support a strong economy and to be financially successful, rather than to flourish as adults. We need to remember the key to what helps us to flourish is living happy, peaceful, and fulfilling lives. Tom Cavanagh writes: “I suggest if we want our children to be happy and flourish as adults, then we need to ask them what makes them happy and help them learn how to build healthy relationships and heal broken relationships.”

Using the Peacemaking Circle process (with a talking stick), let us take the time to ask the students we teach what makes them happy and listen to their answers. [For more on the Peacemaking Circle process, you can check out Tip 34 from this volume.]


Finally, we present two additional gems from the forthcoming latest book in our 147 Tips series, 147 Practical Tips for Emerging Scholars, by Kathleen King and Ann Cranston-Gingras.

6. Develop or join a local research or writing collaborative.

Anyone who participates in local research or writing collaboratives
can testify to the power of the experience for personal and professional
development. A group of scholars with similar goals can create their
own collaborative with the choice of at least two basic models: writing
circle or collaborative. In the writing circle model, each individual contributes their current manuscript for the other members to evaluate and offer recommendations for improvement. Using the collaborative
model, the group identifies a project which they are all interested in and
have the skills to pursue. They divide the effort and work among them in
order to accomplish the goal. In both models, we might tweak the old
adage and observe: “Many minds make light work.”

20. Consider new trends in your discipline or field that you
can explore.

Contrary to popular belief, professors are not all-knowing. The most
productive faculty are those who are life-long learners and who thrive on
new opportunities to develop their knowledge base and skills. What
new trends could inform your current work? Are there new trends about
which you have questions? Currently, knowledge and research grow
faster than ever before; as academic researchers, we cannot afford to
tune out new developments and rely solely on our doctoral preparation.
New developments may serve as vital parts of your growing research
agenda.

 

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