Author: Funmi Amobi

  • Alternative grading: A framework for emphasizing learning and de-emphasizing grades

    What does an A, B, C, or D really mean in terms of student learning? Grades are overly emphasized in the assessment of student learning. Instructors give agonizing attention to decisions about how many points or how much partial credit to allocate to students’ work. Students stress about the points they get and oftentimes engage […]

  • Embracing an Asset-based Model of Neurodiversity: Challenges and Academic Supports

    Neurodiversity is a concept or movement that emphasizes that neurological differences should be recognized and respected as a variation of human wiring rather than a disease (Armstrong, 2011; Clouder et al., 2020). While autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often identified as its primary focus, neurodiversity is an umbrella term that includes other neurological conditions such […]

  • Motivating Students to Complete Pre-Class Readings: Strategies and Tips

    Reading is critical to academic learning. Yet, the perennial lament among university professors is, “Why won’t students just do the reading?” It is reported that only 30% of students read the assigned material before class on any given day (Bhavsar, 2020; Hattenberg & Steffy, 2013; Hoeft, 2012). The reasons for not reading encompass poor reading […]

  • Reimagining Assessment in the Pandemic Era: Comprehensive Assessment of Student Learning

    The Latin root word for the term assessment is assidere which means to sit down beside (Stefanakis, 2002; Swaffield, 2010). The picture of an expert sitting down beside a novice exemplifies the act of providing needed structure to facilitate learning success. In the past decades, this learning-centric focus of the meaning of assessment seemed to […]

  • Transparency in Learning and Teaching: Begin with SMARTE and SMARTER Student Learning Objectives

    In my work as an instructional consultant in CTL, I often discuss with faculty how to adjust the wording of course student learning objectives (SLOs) to exemplify measurable SLOs. This served as the initial impetus for creating an infographic to disseminate best practices for constructing student-centered and action-oriented SLOs. However, there is a lot more […]

  • Implementing and Assessing Collaborative Group Work

    The term group work is most often associated with any form of learning activity where students work together. However, there are two approaches to group work. Cooperative learning is an instructional activity that involves students working together in ad hoc groups within a class period to achieve a learning goal (Major, 2015). Examples include the […]

  • A Framework for Engaging Students in Synchronous Class Sessions: Interactive Lecture

    A Framework for Engaging Students in Synchronous Class Sessions: Interactive Lecture There is a plethora of strategies and activities for engaging students in the remote learning modality (Amobi 2020, Chick, Friberg & Bessette 2020; Martin & Bollinger, 2018). In a national survey of faculty during the spring COVID-19 pivot, 63% of participants identified student engagement […]

  • Elevating Student Engagement in Breakout Rooms

    Students want to interact with each other. In fact, they learn better when they do. In a national survey of undergraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic, 65% of participants identified the opportunity to collaborate with other students as one of the aspects of their learning that suffered from the shift to remote instruction. How can […]

  • Four Strategies for Facilitating Group Activities in Remote and Hybrid/Blended Classes

    One of the biggest pedagogical shifts in moving in-person classes to remote learning involves modifying active learning activities. Online courses which are designed from the ground up without face-to-face meetings have many ways to engage students (Forbes, 2020). The challenge is to make our remote teaching also be more active. Facilitating active learning assumes greater […]

  • Should You Require Students To Turn On Their Zoom Cameras?

    Getting students actively engaged in learning is the desired goal of instruction in all modalities. The pivot to remote teaching has rekindled productive inquiry about evidence-based strategies for fostering student-instructor, student-content, and student-student forms of interaction in the virtual classroom. This was the focusing theme of a recent High-Contact Strategies session of the College of […]