Small Teaching Changes, Big Learning Benefits

December 14, 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close, now is the perfect time to take stock of the fall semester’s accomplishments and put the final touches on preparation for the upcoming term.

One approach that we encourage you to share with your campus colleagues is highlighted in a new article “Small Teaching Changes, Big Learning Benefits,” by Mary-Ann Winkelmes, coordinator of instructional development and research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The article is part of the monthly Expert Series published by the Association of College and University Educators, which ACE is collaborating with to help put effective instruction at the heart of student success agendas in higher education.

In the article, Winkelmes explains her research and development of a pedagogical approach known as “Transparent Teaching.” In one study, she writes, students with access to transparent instruction reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction in three areas considered to be important predictors of success: academic confidence, sense of belonging, and improvement of skills that employers value.

More importantly, Winkelmes outlines practical steps campus educators can take to begin to implement transparent instruction at their institution. She advises instructors to identify two assignments during the semester break that they would like to revise. The goal of this review is to give students a transparent view into how—and why—they’ve structured the learning experiences in the course.

Winkelmes and her colleagues go deeper in the module Aligning Activities and Assignments With Course Outcomes, which is part of ACUE’s course in effective teaching practices. ACE and ACUE have co-endorsed the Certificate in Effective Instruction that faculty receive upon completing ACUE’s course as a leading statement of the skills and knowledge that all college instructors should possess to help students.

ACUE partners with colleges and universities at all levels of the institution to support student success strategies through an innovative Course in Effective Teaching Practices. ACE is collaborating with ACUE in a joint venture as part of its nearly century-old mission to prepare campus leaders, support the work of colleges and universities and assist institutions in strengthening student learning, persistence and completion.

If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please contact us.

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