If you want to deeply engage your students in course content by shifting away from teacher-centered instruction and towards student-centered projects, try Project-Based Learning (PBL). This hi-impact curricular model makes learning relevant to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom and by tackling real life issues. In PBL, faculty serve as facilitators and even co-learners as students engage in projects such as investigating community problems, analyzing complex social issues, creating new scientific tools, designing a new app, etc. Students are “coached” through hands-on experiences in real-world interdisciplinary settings that require critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. Chico State already has several courses using PBL, some of which include service learning in collaboration with the Office of Civic Engagement.
Below are a few resources if you’re interested in learning more about PBL.
Contentious moments in a classroom, such as when someone makes a politically charged or racially insensitive comment, can be uncomfortable. These comments can also completely derail a lecture and compromise the learning environment. Sometimes our instinct is to quickly redirect the conversation to avoid addressing the comment. A more effective approach, however, is to role-model to students how to manage the situation through discussion. The ideas presented on Chico State’s Our Democracy page include resources to navigate situations like this. For example, the suggested L.E.A.R.N. approach is to…
L – Listen to what students are saying
E – Empathize with their position
A – Assess what to do (take a moment to compose yourself)
R – Respond directly
N – Negotiate how to move forward
It might be helpful for you to have a mental script ready for times like this. For example, you could say something like “Diverse perspectives are welcome in this classroom and I sense some disagreement about this topic. Let’s take a minute to process this idea including writing down your thoughts. Would anyone like to share what came to mind as we seek to better understand each other’s points of view?”
You can always revisit the conversation at the next class after everyone, including yourself, has had time to process it. Ignoring the comment altogether or ending class early is a last resort unless you feel that someone’s safety might be at risk.
The grading/reading/writing space for faculty in MLIB 459 has new featured service to support your work. Aside from enjoying the most spectacular panoramic view on campus, faculty can now enjoy coffee, decaf, hot tea, and snacks in the room between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To welcome you to the “Rose Garden Room” with these new amenities, the Office of Faculty Development and the Meriam Library will be hosting an open house this Friday, 9/13 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Drop in at your leisure to enjoy appetizers, juice shots, and prize giveaways.
Fall 2019 Book Club Invitation!
Do you ever feel like too much of your time is spent in a hurried blur of emails, meetings, and quick tasks? Do you want to be able to invest time focusing deeply on certain tasks without distraction? In the book “Deep Work,” author and professor, Cal Newport, shares strategies for cultivating a “deep work ethic” that can enhance focus so we can produce better results in less time.
If you’re interested in discussing these concepts, the Book Club will meet for one hour on four occasions this semester to discuss the implications of this book on our work as Chico State faculty. Click here by Tuesday, 9/10 to reserve your spot in the FA19 Book Club. You’ll get the book for free and plenty of coffee and snacks at each gathering.