4 Strategies to Become a Transformative Educator
September 19, 20190

When you are assigned a class and students arrive, do you view yourself as a teacher, instructor, or educator? Is your role a function, one which completes tasks and responsibilities, or do you aspire to accomplish more with your students? Do you consider the instructional strategies you use now to be transformative in some manner, or would you like to somehow transform the students you teach?

A person enters the field of education as a profession, either full-time in a traditional academic institution or as an adjunct (or part time) instructor. A traditional full-time professor may likely be responsible for conducting research, teaching, and publishing scholarly work. An adjunct instructor may teach in a community college, traditional college, or an online school. When someone...

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Help Students Grow With These 3 Supportive Teaching Strategies
June 16, 20190

As an instructor, are you aware of how your students are performing at all times? Do you maintain a proactive or reactive approach to instruction? Do you have supportive teaching strategies which are meant to help students grow?

It is possible you have developed a routine for your instructional tasks and address students when they ask questions or submit assignments. However, there is an aspect of teaching which requires a continued commitment and that is the manner in which you interact with and support your students.

Every educator is aware of the challenges involved in trying to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment, one that is supportive of the learning process and the developmental needs of students. Adjuncts face a greater challenge,...

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5 Methods of Energizing and Motivating Your Students
May 25, 20190

Are your students performing their very best in your class and completing all learning activities on time? Do they always want to be involved in class discussions, eager to be part of the conversations, while demonstrating what they have learned from the assigned reading? Or do you have a typical mix of students, with some who excel, and other who struggle to stay motivated and involved in the class?

For a traditional class, student motivation can be observed. In contrast, online instructors must watch for a different set of cues and develop conditions within a learning management system which are conducive to learning. There is a belief among some educators it is not possible to help students that you cannot see, especially with a quality such as motivation which...

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Six Critical Strategies to Engage Online Students in Class
April 27, 20190

Are your students highly engaged in class, motivated, and performing to the best of their abilities? In a perfect classroom environment, every student would be engaged in the course, interested in the subjects, and performing to the very best of their capabilities. That's what every educator hopes for when they start teaching a class.

The reality for most classes is that while some students may be highly engaged and self-motivated, other students will base their involvement upon what is experienced in the classroom and whether or not their expectations are being met. While addressing student engagement can be challenging for traditional classroom educators, it can be even more difficult for online educators who cannot see...

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5 Steps to Create a Purpose-Driven Teaching Philosophy Statement
April 15, 20190

What would you say about yourself if you were asked to explain your teaching philosophy as an educator? Do you have a guiding mission statement for your instructional practice?

You may be surprised with the number of educators who either do not have a teaching philosophy or cannot clearly and concisely articulate (without the use of clichés or generalizations about teaching) what their beliefs may be about learning and teaching. When I have been responsible for interviewing faculty for online teaching positions, many candidates I spoke with had not developed a clearly defined philosophy statement or never thought it was needed for their career. While it did not automatically disqualify them from a teaching position, it does not help them provide a true representation of...

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Discover Why Positive Psychology Can Transform How You Teach
March 19, 20190

Do you see the best in your students now? Or will you be so focused on classroom management there is only time to get the job done each week?

Do you teach online and see a group of anonymous students you may never really get to know? Or do you take the time to learn what you can, through discussions and feedback, to help students with their developmental needs?

Teaching students is not always a matter of showing up for class, disseminating information and instructions, facilitating class discussions, and providing feedback. It is more about the instructional approach you take and its effectiveness when utilized. This is especially true for online instructors who teach in a technologically enabled environment. Your classroom presence as the assigned...

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Are You a Caring and Compassionate Educator for Your Students?
March 06, 20190

Do you view the learning process as an opportunity to build connections with students through an attitude of empathy and caring about them, or do you see yourself as someone who dictates conditions and demands strict compliance with the rules and requirements of each class?

Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some people choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom. But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice?

I have found there are those who are...

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4 Students to Prompt Student Responsiveness to Your Feedback
February 11, 20190

Do you look forward to providing student feedback, or do you dread the thought of having to read through student papers? Do students engage with and respond to your feedback now? Would you like to be certain students are reading the feedback you take time to develop?

As an educator you may spend a significant amount of time developing feedback for your students, especially for their written assignments. The developmental progress of your students is strengthened when you provide meaningful feedback and they respond to it, either through their actions and improved performance or their follow up questions to you. How do you react when students don’t respond to your feedback? What if they continue to make the same mistakes and their performance does not improve? Do you...

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Discover Why Critical Thinking is Critical for Learning
January 18, 20190

Do you understand what critical thinking means? Have you discovered an indicator when thinking becomes or transforms into critical thinking? Do you recognize when critical thinking occurs in class discussions or written assignments?

The phrase "critical thinking" has become widely used in the field of education and it is a skill which students are told they must learn. A challenge is that this phrase can have multiple descriptions when educators are asked to define it. The descriptions provided by students are even more varied and often described using clichés such as "thinking outside of the box", or they can come closer to what this concept means when they relate it to problem-solving.

This poses a challenge for the inclusion of critical thinking in a list of...

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4 Strategies to Show Students They All Deserve Your Time and Attention
December 31, 20180

When you think about your involvement with a group of students, do you plan to be involved with all of them, some of them, or just those who need your help? Do you devote most of your time to all students or just those who are struggling?

Teaching often takes a great deal of time and energy. When you are assigned a large class, the number of students and responsibilities vying for your attention increases and this can create a time crunch. If you teach courses in a traditional college classroom you know how much time it takes to develop lectures and grade papers or exams. Online instructors may not have to develop course materials; however, they usually have weekly discussions and feedback expectations that demand a significant investment of time. For example, one...

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