Why do students communicate (or not!) with you, their instructor?
There are five motivations that have been discovered for why students communicate with their professors: relational, functional, excuse-making, participation, and sycophancy.
This blog post will discuss the first of those motives, the relational motive. As you can imagine, this is when students are trying to develop a personal relationship with you, their professor. Perhaps they perceive you as someone they could be friends with, and they come to discuss local sports, movies, or campus activities. They will be looking to see what they have in common with you during these conversations. So why would students do this? Perhaps they honestly think they can be your friend. Perhaps they just want to get to know you better. Perhaps they “realize the benefit” of having a nice relationship with their professors, not because they are trying to take advantage, but because they “recognize the potential benefit of having instructors who know them and enjoy talking to them about their interests” (Martin, Myers, & Mottet, 2002, p. 37). This type of interaction will most likely occur outside of class. Martin, Myers and Mottet (2002) note that if this happened often during class, it would be considered inappropriate, a “teacher misbehavior.” Of course, this can happen when students are trying to get professors to talk about something fun and not do work.
The next blog post on students’ motivation to communicate with their professors will focus on the second reason, functional purposes.
Martin, M.M., Myers, S.A., & Mottet, T.P. (2002). Students’ Motives for Communicating with Their Instructors. In Communication for Teachers, J.L. Chesebro and J.C. McCroskey (Eds.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
The CETL Center opened its doors at the end of Fall Semester, and on February 16, just a month and a half later, hosted it first Faculty Focus Seminar. Led by Faculty Advocate and ELI Instructional Designer Bob Loser, fifteen faculty members discussed the research and the strategies that create a strong teaching presence in online discussion forums that lead to the improvement of students’ critical thinking skills.
Here’s Bob’s presentation materials:
Critical Thinking in Discussion Forums – Research Report
Critical Thinking in Discussion Forums – Slides Handout
Students’ personal engagement with the subject-matter of their classes is often the result of the material relating to their personal lives in some manner and/or a ‘fun’ way to process the new knowledge. The use of wikis might infuse a classroom with new energy. A wiki is a webpage that can be opened to the public at large or limited to a group of people such as a class. The contents can be modified by anyone with access to the wiki allowing for collaboration between class members. Apart from text, movies, sounds such as in podcasts, and pictures can be added to the site. It is also possible to merely leave comments (in bubbles) without altering the site.
In the classroom wikis could be used for collaboration be it between predetermined group members or all class members depending on class size. For example, students can be given the task to work on individual, different projects. They may be told to upload a draft to the wiki, and—once that is done—select one of the uploaded drafts of other students to enhance that particular project. Enhancement can range from ironing out stylistic problems as well as introducing new ideas/research to the draft, depending on the instructor’s expectations. Such collaboration would ensure that students become not only familiar with their own project topic but with another as well. Since each alteration is noted by date and author the instructor will have no problem in identifying which student did what and whether the post was submitted in a timely manner. Continue reading
Since the creation of Facebook, the academic community has dealt with the good and bad associated with the social networking site. Harnessing this tool, which consumes many of our student’s lives, could help to enhance their academic experience; however, using this tool ineffectively could undermine instructor credibility.
Research has clearly established the positive relationship between instructor self-disclosure (using personal narratives and humor) and student perception of instructor clarity (Wamback & Brothen, 1997). It also shows us that this kind of disclosure can lead to higher student participation, both inside and outside of the classroom (Fusani, 1994). Facebook is a tool that helps its users to self-disclose to their friends and colleagues. The question becomes: can an instructor’s use of Facebook, which for all intents and purposes, has the same self-disclosing power as an individual in a classroom (if not more) lead to higher student participation and involvement?
In a word: maybe.
There are very few studies about the impact of instructor Facebook pages in the classroom, and they provide Continue reading
CETL and Annandale Evening Administration co-sponsored a very successful and interesting professional day for Annandale’s Adjunct Faculty. On Saturday, February 11, adjunct faculty spent a Saturday in collaboration with their peers and learned about the college, the campus and new aspects of pedagogy and technology.
Feedback has been excellent and if you were there, we’d love comments from you about what you learned Just click on the comment button to add your thoughts or tell us what you liked the best!
Annandale Adjunct Faculy attend the 2012 Adjunct Faculty Day of Teaching and Learning cosponsored by CETL and Evening Administration
We all know Bloom’s Taxonomy. It was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 and it identifies three domains of educational activities: cognitive (knowledge), affective (emotional areas) and psychomotor (physical skills). Of these, most attention has been paid to the cognitive domain, less to the affective domain, and none by Bloom himself to the psychomotor domain. It has been used for decades. Continue reading