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I have been a consultant for the Wabash Center for more than a decade now, and I still often wonder what I am supposed to be doing when I consult, and how I should be doing it. Supporting colleagues in the intimate and courageous act of opening up their teaching ...
Throughout the spring and summer, from my porch, and in the comfort of my rocking chair, I had noticed bats feeding on insects under the street light. Then, on Sunday night, a bat came into my house. Sitting up in bed, reading on my iPad, I was enjoying an uneventful ...
In the early sixties, our three-generational family lived in a tight-knit African American community in north Philly. Van Pelt Street, just off of Diamond Street, was a long city block of home owners who knew each other, looked out for each other, and cared for all the families on the ...
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2021
Relying on the most ...
Relying on the most recent research in writing studies and learning theory, Jackson gives new teachers practical advice about setting up writing tasks, using daily writing, leading class discussions, providing feedback, joining teaching communities, and other essential tools that should be in every writing teacher’s toolbox. Teaching Mindful Writers is a timely, fresh perspective on teaching students to be self-directed writers. (From the Publisher)
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2020
What are the potential benefits of high-impact practices (HIPs) for online education? That is the key question addressed in this well-researched collection of essays. Whether the reader is new to innovative theory and techniques in online education or an experienced distance educator, they will find a valuable resource here. Each contributor provides a helpful short list of key takeaways and a solid bibliography at the end of their chapter. The introduction and conclusion by the editors, Linder and Hayes, set the framework for the discussion and aptly describe possible future directions for teaching online, blended, or face-to-face courses.
High-Impact Practices in Online Education reads like a dynamic conversation on research with practical recommendations for how to strengthen a variety of teaching contexts. Each topic selected for inclusion covers a specific high-impact educational practice. That list was largely identified in 2008 by George D. Kuh as ten critical components of undergraduate education. First-year seminars, learning communities (LCs), writing-intensive courses, and internships were among those featured components. These practices are still considered high-impact, but newer practices, such as ePortfolios, have been added in subsequent years. All have become part of developing educational strategies to impact student retention and graduation rates.
So, where will readers find what they most need in this collection? For some, a particular topic will draw their attention. My suggestion is to resist that impulse. Try, instead, reading the introduction and conclusion before sampling individual chapters. Understanding the context for the conversation about HIPs matters. The research and literature in this emerging field has been somewhat scattered, but a representative sample is nicely gathered and incorporated into this single volume.
There are no chapters specifically on theological education or religious studies. That said, there is much of worth to educators in those disciplines. For example, June Griffin’s “Writing-Intensive Classes” or Pamela D. Pike’s “Internships” speak directly to theological and religious educators. The same can be said about Stefanie Buck’s “High Impact Practices and Library and Information Resources.” No doubt other readers will discover other favorites as well. Remember that any one of these chapters could make a dramatic difference in most teaching and student learning.
Is there one overarching idea offered as a takeaway? Yes, and it is that best practice principles are, in the end, more important than modalities. That is a valuable point to have in mind as exciting new technologies continue to emerge.