Great idea for course evaluations

Interesting blog post from Brian Croxall in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, who asked his class to write letters to future students:

I found that the students wrote, on average, far more on these evaluations than they have on past ones that I have provided. And in writing something directed at fellow students rather than me or some faceless, unknowable bureaucracy, I’d say that the students were much more candid. This means that they are more direct in talking about my strengths and weaknesses. And while it’s nice to hear the former, it’s the latter that will actually help me do a better job the next time around.

Read the whole post:

Improve your course evaluations by having your class write letters to future students


Interested in summer reading groups?

The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal (2010)

By Parker Palmer, best-selling author of The Courage to Teach, and Arthur Zajonc, professor of physics at Amherst College and director of the academic program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The Heart of Higher Education proposes an approach to teaching and learning that honors the whole human being—mind, heart, and spirit—an essential integration if we hope to address the complex issues of our time.

Challenges of the Faculty Career for Women: Success and Sacrifice (2008)

By Maike Ingrid Philipsen, professor in the social foundation of education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Based on interviews with female faculty members at various stages in their careers, this compelling resource examines how women faculty members juggle the extraordinary demands of their personal lives with the pressures of their academic careers. 

Faculty in Residence Program

Exciting new program announced by CSU’s Residence Life: Faculty in Residence. Spread the word, including to incoming new hires. Here are some excerpts from the site’s FAQ:

What are the goals of the Faculty in Residence program?

1. Create a more seamless experience for students

2. Increase the level of informal faculty/student interaction

3. Enhance learning and development within the residential environment

4. Allow for a greater personalization of the residential environment

Who is eligible for the Faculty in Residence position?

Any full time faculty member at CSU may apply for the faculty in residence position. The ideal faculty in residence candidate will have a high level of enthusiasm and a strong commitment to student success and will be able to demonstrate the following:

1. History of involvement and interaction with students outside of the classroom setting

2. Keen understanding of common academic and development challenges that college students face

3. Willingness to make sacrifices necessary to live within the residential environment in exchange for the unique opportunity to  make a positive contribution to the residential environment

4. Course load includes at least one lower level course with predominantly first year students (Broadway Crossing Residence Hall) or a course taken by first year Honors Students (Rankin Residence Hall)