Blog Posts by Dr. J

Are Students Not Engaged in Class? Be Prepared to Take Action

Student Engagement

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 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 their students or meet with them for a scheduled class time.

Educators Need a Teaching Philosophy Statement - Here's How to Get Started

Teaching Statement

As an educator, what would you want to say about yourself if you were asked to explain your teaching philosophy?

You may be surprised, and perhaps you are included in this category, with the number of educators who either do not have a teaching philosophy or cannot articulate clearly and concisely provide (without the use of clichés or generalizations about teaching) any indicator of their own beliefs about learning or teaching.

Do You Have Difficult Students in Your Online Classes? Here's What To Do

Challenging Students

Online classes can be rewarding if students are highly engaged, self-motivated, and performing to the best of their capabilities. What makes online teaching challenging is the lack of visually watching students, which means an instructor does not have the benefit of visually assessing them as they attempt to complete the learning activities and course requirements.

Lacking Self-Confidence? Try These Five Methods to Renew How You Feel

Self Confidence

There is one particular quality that makes everyone shine, one that shows through their work and even within their resume. It is having a well-established sense of self-confidence. A person who is self-confident will approach their work with a measure of certainty; possessing self-awareness of the experience and knowledge or know-how needed to get the job done. Even a resume will reflect that self-assuredness through the word choice used and this will also come across through a person's tone during an interview. Being self-confident comes easily for some people, yet others struggle to try and sustain it. For most people this is a feeling that can fluctuate at times; however, there are steps you can take to become practiced in maintaining confidence in yourself and your abilities or capabilities.

Poor Student Writing: What Is an Instructor to Do?

Poor Writing

There is no question that every student, undergraduate or graduate, must learn to write well and often within a short period of time. Through my work as a faculty development specialist I've found that some instructors will diligently pay attention to the development of the academic skills their students are working on, while others see it as a potential area of conflict and too much work – passing students along without offering very much guidance.

Does Success Depend Upon Hard Work, a Positive Attitude, or Something Else?

Career Success

For some people success seems to happen easily and for others it may seem to elude them. Everyone has experienced some measure of success in their career, even if it involved completing a challenging project or making a contribution to the success of a team. When you think about the times that you have been successful in your career, including your most recent job, do you attribute it to hard work and time on the job, your mindset about working, or is there something else – such as good luck? It can be easy to state that someone who has achieved great success was "in the right place at the right time"; however, that statement minimizes any direct involvement and contribution that the person has made to the development of their own success.

Are You a Corporate Trainer or a Workforce Educator? The Distinction Matters for Learning

Corporate Training

Corporate training has tremendous potential to promote learning in organizations. There are two primary elements that are responsible for how much potential is realized within the corporate training classroom, and those elements are the materials provided and the method of delivery.

An instructional designer, or someone in a similar role, can develop engaging materials but if the delivery is not well executed, the training will not be as effective as it could. In contrast, if the training materials have not been designed in the most engaging manner, or the material is technical in nature, it is the trainer who can still create positive classroom conditions that are conducive to learning.

Do You Feel Stuck in a Rut? Here's How to Get Out of a Career Rut

Stuck in a Career Rut

Feeling stuck can occur at any time during someone's career. Most people want a reliable and steady job, one that provides a feeling of security and a sense of accomplishment. A job can serve a variety of purposes and that includes meeting a need for income or serving as part of a specific career plan and becoming a step towards meeting career goals.

Over time a job can become the basis for a stable career, one that allows for the development of new skills and provides new opportunities. While stability in a career is important, what happens when that job you value becomes stagnant and no longer feels interesting, or you find that the tasks you are expected to perform do not bring out the best in your job performance?

What Makes an Online Class "Real" for Students?

Online Learning

The for-profit online school industry has received a great deal of attention over the past few years and the reasons have involved recruiting practices, low retention rates, and the failure to pay student loan rates. Recently there was an article about one online school that was being audited, specifically regarding the level of faculty to student interactions.

How to Help Students Engage in Online Class Discussions

Engage Students in Discussions

Class discussions can be very rewarding but also time-consuming for an instructor in any learning environment. This is especially true for educators when there is a large class-size, a complex course topic, the instructor is an adjunct and has many other responsibilities, or it is the first time an instructor has taught the course.