student success

Putting Off Procrastination

We know the importance of time management. We’re also familiar with the feeling of joy (or relief) that comes after finishing a daunting task. However, despite our best intentions, we’re often all too willing to put off what needs to be done. In How to Study in College, Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens offer suggestions for fighting off procrastination. Share these tips with your students who may find themselves habitually working on assignments until the last minute, or refer to them when you find yourself staring at a looming deadline.  

    Tell others about your plans.By making others aware
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Learning What NOT to Do

We all know the power of a good example. It can serve a model for our own efforts and increase our confidence that we’re setting out on the right track.

Perhaps you already provide exemplars when you assign projects, in order to help students see and understand your expectations. But students may not realize that a thoughtful critique of negative examples can also be instructive. To demonstrate this principle to your students, download an exercise from Dr. Constance Staley’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern, which offers a helpful way to teach your students through “mistakes.”



The Underprepared Student

Not all students are created equally. Many come into a course with the appropriate background knowledge to succeed, but some students come in unprepared. Maybe they aren’t equipped with the required prerequisites or perhaps in a previous course they did not apply themselves to reach their full potential. Whatever the case may be, instructors can find ways to facilitate success with underprepared students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (2011, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning), authors Svinicki and McKeachie suggest several ways to help get the underprepared student ready for class.

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Peer Learning: Make a Visit to the “Post Office”

Have you ever struggled to find a solution to a seemingly simple problem… only to discover, weeks later, that your next-door neighbor or the colleague down the hall had the answer all along? Through these experiences, we often discover that the people right around us can be our best resources. However, for fear of embarrassment, students may feel uncomfortable seeking information about their courses or the campus from their peers. The good news: You, as an instructor, can open their eyes to the benefits of overcoming initial shyness and asking a classmate for some help. Download Constance Staley’s enjoyable Read More…

Critical Thinking – Critical Searching

Conducting an Internet search is certainly a quick way to find information — but once that search is done, it’s imperative to evaluate the trustworthiness of the results.
Even if you don’t have an extensive amount of time to devote to instruction on research skills or information literacy, there are some ways you can begin to provide students with the skills they need to distinguish accurate, authoritative material from that of a less trustworthy nature. For one such method, download an exercise from Constance Staley’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern, designed to help Read More…

Mind Your GPA! Goals, Plans, and Actions

It’s hard not to remain conscious of your grade point average; it is a tangible measure of success. But no matter if you’re a student enrolled in college courses or you’re matriculated in the school of life, it’s important to think beyond simple numbers and develop a more holistic, and longer lasting, measure of achievement. That’s why Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens recommend striving for success by following a different kind of “GPA”: your goal, your plan, and the action you take.

    Your Goal: Have a clear idea for where you’re headed. These can include minor goals, such as completing a project before Friday evening,
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Identifying – and Managing – Students’ Expectations

When students enter your classroom or library for the first time, they bring with them their concerns about their future experiences, as well as their high hopes for positive outcomes. Though some of their preconceptions may be based on projection, rumors, or sheer nervousness, taking the time to know and understand the motivation behind students’ expectations can set the tone for an engaging and productive experience. Rather than try to guess what students are thinking, you may decide to devote some time to a question-and-answer session during your first meeting. In addition to learning more about the students, you’ll Read More…