Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Category: Professional Development (page 1 of 2)

How to Create a Summer Writing Routine

Finding time for fun and relaxation while also working on your academic summer projects tends to be a difficult task. As I covered creating a research routine last time, today’s post is all about creating a writing routine that works well with your summer schedule. Once you reach the point where drafting could or should be happening, how do you balance this work with any leftover research and all your non-work summer activities? Here’s a step-by-step process for creating your summer writing routine.

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How to Create a Strong Summer Research Routine

With the standard academic year complete, grad students and faculty alike tend to turn their attention to their research. Sure, research can’t be completely ignored during the academic year, but for those of us who aren’t teaching in the summer, research takes over our minds and schedules. Summer shouldn’t just be all about research, though. Relaxation and fun needs to play a role in our plans, as well. Here are a few ways to create a summer research routine that works for you.

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Designing a Course Assessment to Get Student Feedback

Are you tired of relying on student evals as the only form of student feedback on your courses? Is that feedback even helpful at all? Personally, I prefer to ask my students course-specific questions at the end of the semester. That way, I gain insight into how my students feel about the required texts, assignments, and course tools I’ve chosen to use during a particular semester (among other information). In today’s post, I describe the seven elements I ask about when designing a course assessment. I highly recommend designing your own versions for your future courses.

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The BEST Assessment Tool to Use Midway through the Semester?

When checking for written student feedback on end-of-year evaluation opt-scans, I always hope I don’t receive a comment about a small, simple change I could have made that would have made a major difference for a student. At that point, nothing can be done. Of course, that student could have made this suggestion during any of the occasions that I ask students how they are doing with the class activities and if there is any concern they’d like to bring up. Still, as a student and an instructor, I know voluntarily deciding to critique an instructor to their face isn’t exactly an easy thing to do.

Fortunately, I’ve found a way to decrease this type of feedback on my student evals by completing a course assessment midway through the semester. I’ve mentioned this tool before when talking about my various assessment strategies, but today’s post is all about the “Midterm Chat.” This is my top tool for insuring that (a) my students get the most out of my class and (b) my evals are as positive as I can inspire them to be.

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5 Great Places to Find Inspiration for Class Assignments

Creating innovative classroom assignments can be a struggle when trying to balance all your other responsibilities. It can be easier just to rely on your old faithful assignments, rather than consider how to enliven your syllabus with new assignments that might better engage your students. Today’s post provides a lists of places where you can quickly find inspiration for classroom assignments. It also provides specific examples of my own assignments that have received good results from my students. If you’re looking for new ways to find classroom assignment inspiration, definitely check out this list of five resources. If you’re looking for a place to organize all your ideas, this digital teaching journal might work for you.

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Top 5 Online Resources for Teachers

 

I focused last week’s post on the top tool all college instructors should be using in their learning management system (LMS). In today’s post, I broaden my advice to some amazing resources I’ve come across while searching online for ways to improve my courses. My list doesn’t focus on online tools like Trello or Kahoot, but rather websites with plenty to offer teachers who want to create innovative and engaging course content. If you’re interested in learning more about useful tools rather than online resources, here are a few blog posts I’ve written that are all about that topic (post 1, post 2). Once you check out those, though, I still recommend giving this post a read, as well! Here’s a teaser: there’s a huge catalog of college courses with all their materials listed just waiting for you to explore…

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