What I learned about the expert blindspot

One common challenge of expert instructors is understanding the learning needs of novice students, known as the expert blindspot. Between semesters, a group of Denison faculty participated in the Rubik’s Cube Challenge: An Expert Blindspot Learning Adventure with colleagues from Furman University.
Not only did Dr. Jane Saffitz, Anthropology and Sociology, learn how to solve the cube, but the experience provided insight into her students’ learning.

Continue Reading

Super Super Super Stressed Out Agh

Recently, I was taken aback by a text from my son: “Super super super stressed out agh.” He is in his sophomore year, with a heavy schedule, but this was out of the ordinary for the “iceman” (a nickname I gave him for always being cool under pressure, and a Bjorn Borg reference). Clearly my son is not alone.

Continue Reading

Getting Ready for Course Evaluations

When colleague’s want me to observe their class for formative feedback, I always ask them to share two or three things they are working on in which feedback would be helpful. For example, working to involve more students, trying to summarize class in the last five minutes, organizing my board work, etc. This helps me to focus the observation and provide more useful feedback.

Continue Reading

TILT Assignments to Support the Success of Students from Diverse Backgrounds

The Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILTframework helps faculty redesign existing assignments and activities in a manner that makes the purpose and expectations clearer to students. These redesigned assignments have been demonstrated to increase academic confidence, sense of belonging, and metacognitive awareness for all students, with historically underserved students experiencing the greatest benefits. 

Continue Reading

The Quick Tip: How to Make the Most of the Last 5 Minutes of Class

Denise Magner of the Chronicle reminds us to not waste those final minutes trying to cram in eight more points or call out as many reminders as possible. Here are two tips she gives, based on a piece by James Lang

  • The minute paper. Wrap up the formal class period a few minutes early, and pose two questions to your students: (1) What was the most important thing you learned today?

Continue Reading

What You Know That Just Ain’t So

Which is the most important factor in successful learning:

  1. The intention and desire to learn
  2. Paying close attention to the material as you study
  3. Learning in a way that matches your own learning style
  4. The time you spend studying
  5. What you think about while studying

The answer, according to cognitive psychologist Stephen Chew, may surprise you. Lendol

Continue Reading