Tomorrow's Professor Listserve # 10
91 MATCHING YOUR CHARACTERISTICS TO THE INSTITUTION
92 - MAKING TRADE-OFFS IN USE OF FACULTY TIME
93 REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
94 Ph.D. INTERVIEW PREPARATION GUIDE FOR POSITIONS IN ACADEMIA
95 WHAT SCIENTISTS WANT TO KNOW
96 TENURE - SLOWLY DYING OF NATURAL CAUSES?
97 GRADUATE STUDENT MENTORING - IT'S NOT THE SAME AS ADVISING
98 COMPONENTS OF QUALITY TEACHING - WHAT AWARD WINNING TEACHERS RECOMMEND
99 GETTING STARTED IN THE RIGHT WAY ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS
100 NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS BY ACADEMIC INSTITUTION
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #91 MATCHING YOUR CHARACTERISTICS TO THE INSTITUTION
Unlike a position in industry, an academic appointment can often run for a life-time . It is important, therefore, to match your interests and capabilities with those of the department and institution to which you are applying. Here are some suggestions taken from an interesting book, Finding An Academic Job, by Katen Sowers-Hoag and Dianne F. Harrison, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1998, pp29-30. Sage publishes a number of small and useful books for graduate students and faculty through their Graduate Survival Skills, and Survival Skills for Scholars series.
UP NEXT: Making Trade-offs in The Use of Faculty Time
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MATCHING YOUR CHARACTERISTICS TO THE INSTITUTION
Dianne F. Harrison
So much time and preparation goes into the [academic job]search that you will want to do everything you can to ensure a good match. This is particularly true for tenure earning faculty positions that come with some sense of job security.
The employing institution invests a great deal of time and resources in the research process, and is intent on finding a good match for the position. Over the next several years, after the initial hiring, the institution will invest further dollars and resources into the position. In most cases, it is not to anyones advantage when a bad match is made and a position or job candidate does not work out. Therefore, it is extremely important that you be realistic in evaluating the type of institution where you will be able and willing to do what is necessary t obtain tenure.
Sharing your thoughts and asking for feedback from your faculty advisor or department chair can be very useful. Ask for candid assessment and advice and be prepared to hear what they have to say without becoming defensive. Assuming that they have worked with you and become familiar with your style and abilities, their guidance in helping you sort out the most comfortable, productive, and successful placement can be enormously helpful. At the same time, you must keep your own preferences in mind. For instance, although your advisor may find you to be a very talented researcher and scholar, you may recognize this aptitude but also realize that you dislike the drudgery and tediousness of the research process. Under these circumstances, you may have an excellent chance at a position at a major research institution, but accepting such a position would mean dedicating yourself to years of work you dislike. If you do best with formulized structures, then you may be more successful at a college that provides research review groups, writing groups, and formalized mentoring. Or, if you know you are self-motivated and enjoy working alone, you may find these types of structures bothersome and a waste of you time. Although you may not find a perfect match, it is important, that you consider elements that will help to ensure a good fit between you and the academic unit. What your dissertation chair or faculty advisor may want for you may be more a reflection of his or her own desires than your own. Having ones student placed at a prestigious institution or successfully engaged in research attracting national attention is a reflection of ones own accomplishments as a senior faculty mentoring young scholars. Be careful that you do not get caught up in the excitement or "honor" and lose sight of those thing that will provide you with the best Fit.
Many academic units have long histories, entrenched ways of doing things, and strong personalities that will change little after you arrival. Do not suppose that you can change the environment, personality, or values of the department when you arrive. Weigh what you perceive as the advantages and disadvantages very carefully. Follow your own instincts with respect to your comfort level, while keeping your professional goals clearly in mind.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #92 - MAKING TRADE-OFFS IN USE OF FACULTY TIME
In Message # 83, Linking Teaching and Research, I quoted from the "Teacher - Scholar Report," by faculty focus group at Brigham Young University.
Here is another interesting excerpt from the report on making trade-offs in
the use of faculty time. The full report can be found at
UP NEXT: Reinventing Undergraduate Education
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MAKING TRADE-OFFS IN USE OF FACULTY TIME
Successful teacher/scholars tend to jealously protect portions of their time; they each have ways of seeking out personal time that is renewing for them. However, these faculty members also allow students considerable access. In general they seem less willing to engage in "community-building" activities on campus and collegial encounters that are not specifically tied to teaching or research. This ties to other research that shows effective faculty avoid administrative positions and limit committee work. We noted that all seemed to stress the importance of family support for their work activities.
Although these faculty members appear to have well-defined goals and focus, not all put in long work weeks, differing from the research that indicates long hours are a defining characteristic of effective faculty. Newer faculty tended to view longer hours as a necessary investment in establishing their careers than mid-career faculty.
*Many effective teacher/scholars are able to compartmentalize their work, allowing them to focus on the task at hand.
*Several indicated that its hard to juggle multiple tasks, but even when they have a heavy teaching load, they can take care of some of the mechanical and organizational tasks relating to research. By staying close to their research, these faculty are able to jump right in without much delay when a block of time becomes available.
*One faculty members experience highlights the value of "multiplying effects." "When you have a win/success in some area, it tends to multiply. I look for activities and tasks which have the potential for those multiplying effects. I wrote a paper that was accepted, and so I was asked to edit a special issue of a journal which then led to editorial contacts with a number of people. The momentum in research tends to build, as you get some wins, you establish a beach head, and youre able to go on. " These faculty members try to identify those things which they do well, and then try to channel resources into those areas.
*"Small successes tend to generate multiple opportunities in other areas if you manage them well. For new faculty, I think publishing their dissertation is a good starting strategy, then create a research agenda that builds on their strengths. "
*Some faculty appear to waste valuable time upgrading computer equipment and programs that have minimal impact on their ability to get work done. These teacher-scholars make sure that improvements they take on in the name of efficiency are worthwhile.
*Several of these faculty members will sometimes not answer their office door. In so doing they are trying to limit distractions and dedicate portions of uninterrupted time to serious scholarship. "Part of working smart is youve got to quit doing all the stuff that doesnt matter. I see so many of my colleagues, and I fall into this trap myself, spending too much time reading the paper, reading the magazines, upgrading their software, surfing the net, whatever it might be.
"Sometimes say to yourself, Im not going to answer the phone. Im going to put a please-do-not-disturb sign on the door. If you avoid opening the door when it has a do-not-disturb sign showing, people will learn that if the sign is up, they should come back another time. The word will spread. If on the other hand, you always answer the door, no one will obey the directives you might leave on the door."
*Several individuals recommended setting aside personal time. For some, an hour each day was sufficient. For others, extended vacation during teaching breaks was the best strategy. One faculty member stated, "Every day, I have an hour which is mine. Nobody can take it from me. I might use that time to read or exercise, or do nothing at all. But I dont let anybody or anything take that hour from me. I find that hour really helps keep me feeling refreshed and alive."
*Family support seems crucial to these teacher-scholars. "Enlist the support of your family and have a schedule that helps you use time efficiently. Put people first and things second . . . Get some life priorities, because the faculty members whom Ive seen fail, some of them have had problems with support of the spouse, the schedule, etc. "
MAXIMIZING TEACHING AND RESEARCH TIME
*These faculty members felt that the life of an academic can be like having more than two full-time jobs. For them, teaching and research would take as much time as is available. They believe its important to establish some priorities for how much time and effort to devote to these responsibilities.
*One faculty member offered, "If possible, try to schedule classes at times in the day when youre better at teaching, and avoid scheduling classes during times when youre a productive writer and thinker. In order for this to work, you really have to know yourself. Experiment a little and before long you will know how to best schedule your days activities. "
*Course improvements can often require big time investments. These faculty tended to wait during the term breaks to take time to assess how the class went, and identify some changes that would improve the course. Then they would implement those changes. This strategy allows them to make improvements in their courses without having to sacrifice other activities (e.g., research projects, grant proposals, etc.).
*Organize yourself and be realistic. There really is no trick. There is no magic pill that youre able to take that suddenly allows you to teach a full load and write two articles every semester without a lot of hard work."
*Using class time to present their research activities and ideas helps them to reduce their class preparation time and provide important feedback on the paper or presentation that they are working on.
*One suggestion was to somehow optimize the time available for class preparation. "You could spend all day thinking of ways to make your class better or attending committee meetings. You have to make a conscious choice, This is where I stop.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #93 REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
Last year an important report was issued by The Boyer Commission
on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. Called, REINVENTING
UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: A Blueprint for Americas Research Universities,
it is a call for linking the undergraduate experience at research
universities to the unique nature of such institutions. While some readers
have commented that the report is too critical of undergraduate teaching at
research universities and that it does not give credit to undergraduate
research at liberal arts colleges, I believe it is an important document
that speaks to the issue of the relationship among teaching, learning and
research. Below is a brief excerpt from the report, a complete copy of
which can be found at:
UP NEXT: Ph.D Interview Preparation Guide for Positions in Academia
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REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
A BLUEPRINT FOR AMERICA'S RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
[ ..research universities have too often failed, and continue to fail, their undergraduate populations. Tuition income from undergraduates is one of the major sources of university income, helping to support research programs and graduate education, but the students paying the tuition get, in all too many cases, less than their moneys worth. An undergraduate at an American research university can receive an education as good or better than anything available anywhere in the world, but that is not the normative experience. Again and again, universities are guilty of an advertising practice they would condemn in the commercial world. Recruitment materials display proudly the world-famous professors, the splendid facilities and the ground-breaking research that goes on within them, but thousands of students graduate without ever seeing the world-famous professors or tasting genuine research. Some of their instructors are likely to be badly trained or even untrained teaching assistants who are groping their way toward a teaching technique; some others may be tenured drones who deliver set lectures from yellowed notes, making no effort to engage the bored minds of the students in front of them.
Many students graduate having accumulated whatever number of courses is required, but still lacking a coherent body of knowledge or any inkling as to how one sort of information might relate to others. And all too often they graduate without knowing how to think logically, write clearly, or speak coherently. The university has given them too little that will be of real value beyond a credential that will help them get their first jobs. And with larger and larger numbers of their peers holding the same paper in their hands, even that credential has lost much of its potency .
Why, then, should baccalaureate students give their loyalty and their money to research universities? Because the potential remains for acquiring a virtually matchless education. The research universities possess unparalleled wealth in intellectual power and resources; their challenge is to make their baccalaureate students sharers of the wealth. To realize their potential means a complete transformation in the nature of the education offered.
A New Model
What is needed now is a new model of undergraduate education at research universities that makes the baccalaureate experience an inseparable part of an integrated whole. Universities need to take advantage of the immense resources of their graduate and research programs to strengthen the quality of undergraduate education, rather than striving to replicate the special environment of the liberal arts colleges. There needs to be a symbiotic relationship between all the participants in university learning that will provide a new kind of undergraduate experience available only at research institutions. Moreover, productive research faculties might find new stimulation and new creativity in contact with bright, imaginative, and eager baccalaureate students, and graduate students would benefit from integrating their research and teaching experiences. Research universities are distinctly different from small colleges, and they need to offer an experience that is a clear alternative to the college experience.
It is obvious that not every student should, or would wish to, attend a research university. Without attempting to characterize students at other kinds of institutions, it might be said that the undergraduate who flourishes at a research university is the individual who enjoys diverse experiences, is not dismayed by complexity or size, has a degree of independence and self-reliance, and seeks stimulation more than security. A research university is in many important ways a city; it offers almost unlimited opportunities and attractions in terms of associations, activities, and enterprises. But as in a city, the requirements of daily living may be taxing, and sorting out the opportunities and finding like-minded individuals may be difficult. The rewards of the ultimate experience, however, can be immeasurable.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #94 Ph.D. INTERVIEW PREPARATION GUIDE FOR POSITIONS IN ACADEMIA
My thanks to Ms. Page Blauch for calling my attention to an excellent posting on how to prepare for a successful campus interview. The 3,000-word article is one of the best descriptions I have come across on this subject. It can be found at:
[http://www.utexas.edu/coc/adv/JR/InterviewPrep.html]. The guide, written by Trina Sego and Jeff I. Richards, has five parts:
(1) What They Are Looking For
(2) What You Should Expect
(3) How to Prepare
(4) Some Questions You Should Expect
(5) Some Questions You Can (or Should) Ask.
Below is a copy of Part (3), How to Prepare.
UP NEXT: What Scientists Want to Know
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Ph.D. INTERVIEW PREPARATION GUIDE FOR POSITIONS IN ACADEMIA
By Trina Sego and Jef I. Richards
Part (3) How To Prepare
There are a few steps you can take in preparation for your interviews:
When candidates interview with our own faculty, attend their presentation. This is the single most valuable step you can take in preparation for your own interview, because you can see what they do right/wrong and the questions that are asked.
Try to make significant progress on your dissertation before you begin interviewing. A candidate who is farther along is almost always more impressive. If you are in the proposal stage and you are competing against someone who already has collected their data, you are at an inherent disadvantage.
Attend conferences, such as the AAA, AEJMC, and ICA conference, and get to know people. Even if you have a couple of years before you start searching for your job, people may take notice of you and watch your progress with an eye toward hiring you.
Go through the interviewing process at those conferences.
Go through the interviewing process at the AMA Summer Educators Conference, whether or not you desire a job in a marketing department. This is excellent practice, some ad programs do interview candidates there, and you might find a position that really interests you.
Prepare your presentation carefully.
Find out how long you will have. I common length of time is one hour, but that includes time for questions. Consequently, your presentation might be 30 - 40 minutes. Your contact (e.g., the department chair) should be able to give you some idea how long it should be.
Plan it so it wont go over the allotted time. Bad planning can result in people not being able to ask the questions they want, or even missing something that could help to convince them to hire you.
Make it easy to understand. Remember that you (should) know the subject matter of your dissertation better than anyone else, so dont assume that your audience will know everything you do about the topic. Define your terms, explain the basics of the theoretical basis of your study, how them what previous researchers have found, and how your study adds to that knowledge.
Make it simple, but not condescending.
Spend more time on what you are doing, than you spend discussing what has been done in the past.
In only 30 minutes you cant possibly cover everything that is in your dissertation, so remember that what you are presenting is a summary. Hit only the high points.
Be specific. Give plenty of detail about your sampling, questionnaires, experimental design, analytical methods, etc.
Use plenty of visuals, and keep them clear and simple. Put all of your key points on visuals, along with any charts, etc., that will help them to understand what you are doing. If you will need certain equipment, such as a slide projector or videotape machine, be sure to let them know well in advance.
Know exactly what you intend to say, and when you will say it. Have your presentation absolutely organized. Dont try to handle it on the fly. A disorganized or awkward organization is not impressive.
Know precisely how you will handle your visuals, and when you will show them. Again, you want to avoid the appearance of being disorganized.
Practice, practice, practice. This should be the smoothest lecture youve ever given. Faculty members will be watching your presentation with an eye toward assessing your ability to teach.
Give a brown bag presentation of your lecture here, before you do it at any other school. This not only will allow you some additional practice, it will permit you to obtain some feedback from a "friendly" audience. You may find that you want to make a few adjustments as a result of that feedback.
Read throughand think abouteach of the questions outlined in the next sections, before you go on your first interview.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #95 WHAT SCIENTISTS WANT TO KNOW
John Brockman, a writer and literary agent in New York moderates Edge, a Web site where he asked leading natural and social scientists, "What is the big question you are asking yourself?" Below, in no particular order, are my 25 favorites from the responses he reveived. You can find all the responses at: (http://www.edge.org)
UP NEXT: Tenure - Slowly Dying of Natural Causes?
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WHAT SCIENTSTS WANT TO KNOW
(1) What is the crucial distinction between inanimate matter and an entity which can act as an "agent," manipulating the world on its own behalf, and how does that change happen? -- PHILIP ANDERSON Physicist and Nobel laureate Princeton University
(2) Is the universe a great mechanism, a great computation, a great symmetry, a great accident or a great thought? -- JOHN D. BARROW
Astronomer, University of Sussex
(3) How can we build a new ethics of respect for life that goes beyond individual survival to include the necessity of death, the preservation of the environment and our current and developing scientific knowledge? --
MARY CATHERINE BATESON Anthropologist, George Mason University
(4) Which cognitive skills develop in any reasonably normal human environment and which only in specific sociocultural contexts? -- JOHN T.
BRUER President, James S. McDonnell Foundation
(5) How will minds expand, once we understand how the brain makes mind? --
WILLIAM H. CALVIN Neurophysiologist, University of Washington
(6) Any musically aware listener will know of music that breaks out of established forms or syntax to profound effectmy personal favorites include Beethovens "Eroica Symphony," Wagners "Tristan und Isolde," Schoenbergs "Erwartung," Debussys "Apres Midi dun Faune." What is the most that we can ever say objectively about what those composers are discovering? -- PHILIP CAMPBELL Editor, Nature
(7) If ethnicity and the human use of biological cues (and cultural and linguistic cues) to indicate social identity are parts of our evolutionary legacy, it makes it that much harder to eradicate ethnocentrism and racism.
Can we do it? -- RACHEL CASPARI Anthropologist, University of Michigan
(8) What might a second specimen of the phenomenon that we call life look like? -- RICHARD DAWKINS Evolutionary biologist, Oxford University
(9) A crowd can empty a football stadium in minutes, solving what is an intractable computational problem and exhibiting large-scale adaptive intelligence in the absence of central direction. Why are decentralized processes ubiquitous throughout nature and societyevolution, itself, is such a processand why do people remain so distrustful of them that they will sacrifice their autonomy and freedom for centralized solutions? --
ARTHUR DE VANY Behavioral scientist, University of California at Irvine
(10) How on earth does the brain manage its division of labor problem that is, how do the quite specialized bits manage to contribute something useful when they get "recruited" by their neighbors to assist in currently dominant tasks? -- DANIEL C. DENNETT Philosopher, Tufts University
(11) What do collapses of past societies teach us about our own future? --
JARED DIAMOND Biologist, University of California at Los Angeles Medical School
(12) What makes a soul? And if machines ever have souls, what will be the equivalent of psychoactive drugs? Of pain? Of the physical / emotional high I get from having a clean office? -- ESTHER DYSON President, Edventure
Holdings; RELEASE 1.0 newsletter
(13) What goes on inside the head of a baby? FREEMAN DYSON
Physicist, Institute for Advanced Study
(14) As biological and traditional forms of cultural evolution are superseded by electronic (or postelectronic) evolution, what will be the differentially propagating "units" and the outcome of the natural selection among them? -- PAUL EWALD Biologist, Amherst College
(15) Will the "theory of everything" be a theory of principles, not particles? Will it invoke order from above, not below? -- KENNETH FORD
Retired Director, American Institute of Physics
(16) How do intelligent beings learn to adapt successfully on their own to a rapidly changing world without forgetting what they already know? --
STEPHEN GROSSBERG Cognitive scientist, Boston University
(17) How can we reconcile our desire for fairness and equity with the brutal fact that people are not all alike? -- JUDITH RICH HARRIS
(18) What do collapses of past societies teach us about our own future? --
JARED DIAMOND Biologist, University of California at Los Angeles Medical
(19) Is there a way to enlarge our separate tribal loyalties, to include all our fellow humans? -- REUBEN HERSH Mathematician
(20) Why is music such a pleasure? -- NICHOLAS HUMPHREY
Psychologist, The New School
(21) For how long can Christianity and Islam survive the recovery of living organisms from beyond our planet by our species? Can religion exist after humans have created living entities that reproduce? -- RICHARD LEAKEY Paleoanthropologist; former director, Kenya Wildlife Service
(22) Why are religions still vital? -- ELAINE H. PAGELS Professor of religion, Princeton University
(23) Fundamentally, is the flow of time something real, or might our sense of time passing be just an illusion that hides the fact that what is real is only a vast collection of moments? -- LEE SMOLIN Physicist, Penn State
(24) Why are most individuals and all human societies grossly underachieving their potentials? -- DUNCAN STEEL Author
(25) Is the phenomenology of modern biology converging on a small number of basic truths or will it increasingly diverge, becoming so endlessly complex that no single human mind will be able to encompass it? -- ROBERT A. WEINBERG, M.D. Biologist, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, M.I.T.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #96 TENURE - SLOWLY DYING OF NATURAL CAUSES?
The following excerpt is from, Academic Duty, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 138, by Donald Kennedy, Bing Professor of Environmental Science and President Emeritus of Stanford University. Althoough Kennedy is not necessarly advocating the ellimination of tenure, the excerpt speaks of what may well be an increasing trend, the growth of non-tenured track faculty, particularly at research universities.
UP NEXT: Graduate Student Mentoring - It's Not The Same As Advising
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TENURE - SLOWLY DYING OF NATURAL CAUSES?
"Finally, we must confront the question whether the institution of tenure as we have come to know it is likely to survive its present trials: uncapped mandatory retirement, financial stringency, and public disapproval. There is a powerful reluctance to abandon it, for reasons already stated: it does provide protection against political interference, and arguably leaves senior faculty members freer than they would otherwise be to pursue creative but high-risk lines of scholarly investigation. On the other hand, it exacts a price in productivity that many find unacceptable in hard financial times.
"In fact the argument may be moot. In many places, especially the large research universities, tenure may be slowly dying of natural causes. The most striking change in faculties over the past thirty years has been a gradual but inexorable increase in the number of faculty members who not only lack tenure but will never get it - and in many cases dont expect it. The "parafaculty," known by titles that disguise without quite deceiving, such as lecturer, senior lecturer, clinical associate professor, professor (teaching), and the like, now perform a vast array of academic work once accomplished by tenure-line faculty, including the teaching of many undergraduate courses. Many of them are excellent teachers, indeed, on many campuses it is a source of tension that they receive accolades from students that re denied their tenure colleagues.
"Although this situation may be partly the result of the "regular" facultys retreat from responsibility to students, as many of the academic muckrakers contend, there is a better explanation for it. After all, downsizing and outsourcing have become the battle-cries of corporate America as it contends with what is essentially a problem of too much job security. In dealing with the "tenure problem," as some administrators are inclined to call it, universities face the same thing - as the result not of a legacy of collective-bargaining negotiation, but of a policy adopted many years ago for purposes having little to do with traditional "conditions of employment" issues. The growth of the parafaculty, seen in this light, is the academic equivalent of outsourcing, adopted as a result of similar economic incentives. The two-class faculty is now a fact of life in many places, and that will doubtless give rise to its own generation of new problems."
Tomorrows Professor Msg. # GRADUATE STUDENT MENTORING - IT'S NOT THE SAME AS ADVISING
While all graduate students have advisors, at least eventually, they do not all have mentors. Yet, having a mentor - or better yet - multiple mentors, can be key to graduate student and professional success. The posting below describes the graduate student mentoring program at Oklahoma State University, which has some good ideas for everyone interested in furthering this important activity. Additional information can be found at:
UP NEXT: Components of Quality Teaching - What Award Winning Teachers Recommend
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GRADUATE MENTORING - A GROWING PARTNERSHIP
Oklahoma State University
Probably more than any other single factor, mentoring contributes to a graduate students success. Students with mentors are more likely to make timely progress toward their degrees, to enter their professions, and to meet the various challenges of their careers. And while mentoring often goes hand-in-hand with advising, the two are nevertheless distinct: ideally a student may have several mentors. For just as professionalism is more than the acquisition of knowledge, so must mentoring extend beyond the classroom or laboratory and even beyond academic and career advisement.
Mentoring is a personal as well as a professional relationship. While the nature of that relationship varies with individuals, it is, above all, one of collegiality, of mutual trust and respect. A mentor provides guidance in all aspects of the professionfrom necessary writing and critical thinking skills to office politics and ethics. And it is not just the student who benefits from this relationship; those who practice mentoring find it to be one of the greatest rewards of their professional lives.
What is a mentor?
"Mentors are advisors, people with career experience willing to share their
knowledge; supporters, people who give emotional and moral encouragement;
tutors, people who give specific feedback on ones performance; masters, in
the sense of employers to whom one is apprenticed; sponsors, sources of
information about and aid in obtaining opportunities; models, of identity,
of the kind of person one should be to be an academic." Zelditch, M. 1990,
"Mentor Roles," Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Western
Association of Graduate Schools
What are some common priorities of mentoring? (Synthesized from a survey of OSU faculty identified as successful mentors.)
To respect students as colleagues and thus to encourage sharing of ideas, experiences, and ethics.
To guide students toward professional independence by allowing them to define their own research and solve their own problems, and by urging them to attend conferences and to publish.
To provide opportunities for students and faculty to get to know one another as persons and as professionals.
To create intellectual challenges and make standards clear through open, frequent, and consistent communication.
To provide reliable advice and continual encouragement.
To be readily available.
To inspire students to become mentors themselves.
What questions and challenges does mentoring pose?
Why this page?
In recognition of the importance of mentoring, the Graduate Faculty Council is seeking ways to encourage mentoring at OSU, not by offering prescriptions but by offering opportunities for faculty and students to think about mentoring. The Council welcomes suggestions about how to increase awareness of mentoring at OSU and how to help faculty develop mentoring skills. If you have ideas or comments about mentoring, contact your Graduate Faculty Council representatives through the Graduate College at: (http://uresearchws-8.lse.okstate.edu/gradcoll/mentoring/).
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #98 COMPONENTS OF QUALITY TEACHING - WHAT AWARD WINNING TEACHERS RECOMMEND
The following posting, sent to me from The Center for Teaching and Learning at California State University, Sacramento, (http://www.csus.edu/ctl/index.html) identifies five components of quality teaching (fairness, application, challenge, entertainment, and service) as revealed by a dozen teachers who were nominated for outstanding teaching awards.
UP NEXT: Welcoming Students to Your Classroom
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COMPONENTS OF QUALITY TEACHING
How can we maximize our students thinking, learning, motivation, and curiosity? Kathleen McKinney provides a possible answer ("Faces: Five Components of Quality Teaching," Teaching Sociology, July, 1988: 298-301). McKinney asked 12 excellent teachers (nominees and winners of teaching awards) to write an answer to the open-ended question: "What makes you a high-quality teacher?." Five components emerged which she describes by the acronym, FACES: fairness, application, challenge, entertainment and service. These components are basic, yet they may frequently be neglected. McKinney believes all five components are equally important to quality teaching because of the different purposes they serve. She also believes these characteristics should be incorporated into all phases of teachingoffice hours, informal meetings with students, advising, class preparation, and actual classroom teaching. The extent to which any instructor accomplishes each component is dependent upon many factors from the style of teaching of the instructor to class size to students characteristics.
Fairness does not mean being an easy grader or an easy teacher. Being too easy is very unfair since you cannot differentiate students equitably if they produce different levels of effort and outcome. Fairness is concern, consistency, being responsible, organized, knowledgeable, and using a framework rather than arbitrary power. Fairness increases trust and credibility with students. One of the award winning teachers put it as follows: "Any teaching style can work if the teacher is truly involved and sincerely interested in his or her students."
McKinney mentions several strategies for including fairness in our teaching: use of a contract syllabus, clear and consistent grading, a reasonable yet challenging workload, treating students as adults, meeting our responsibilities, and providing some choices for students in the class structure and requirements.
This component refers to helping students learn to use what we teach them (theories, knowledge, skills, and thinking) in their personal and professional lives. The relevance of what we teach and what students learn should be a constant in all teaching. Students must be taught not just to remember ideas but to develop an ability to use them. As one of the outstanding teachers stated, "To be a teacher is to be an enabler." Another reported, "I attempt to make the material real and important to the students lives; thus I make the content applicable not only to their career goals, but to their quality of life."
Strategies for incorporating application include the use of group projects, discussion, exam questions, which emphasize application, projects, problem solving exercises, field placements, internships, original examples, and thought-problems.
Occasionally we may make the mistake of not demanding enough of our students, of underestimating their ability, potential, and performance. To protect against this, award-winning teachers will seek to challenge students without losing control over them. McKinney states that the "trick is not to aim too high, but to aim above students average current level in regard to reading, assignments, papers, and exams." Substance, which challenges is crucial in courses along with insisting that students try out new skills, new projects, and new ways of thinking. As one teaching award winner put it, "I have never talked down to my students and I never assume that my students prefer an easy course to a challenging one."
Strategies for challenging students include teaching controversially, playing the devils advocate to encourage thinking, critiquing drafts of assignments before they are turned in for grading, providing detailed written and verbal feedback on exams and assignments, giving detailed examples of what is expected and wanted from students, and even grading on a curve if the aim has been set too high for most students who have put forth real effort. Be aware, however, that challenging students takes extra time and effort and also may invite frustration.
McKinney admits that this is a very controversial aspect of teaching. She does not mean pure entertainment without subsistence. Rather what she means is that teaching must involve enthusiasm, insight, understanding, and occasionally good humor. Classes should be enjoyable and stimulating. One award-winning teacher expressed this dimension as follows: "I have found the formula for good teaching is simple: 1) Have something substantive to say: 2) Know how to say it. Having the former without the latter is irrelevant; having the latter without the former is vacuous. The first point has to do with good training in graduate school...the second is much more elusive and is quite frankly, dramatical."
"Entertainment" can be enhanced through numerous mechanism: film, video, guest speakers, debates, simulation games, phone interviews, and field trips. Even our own style can be of some help: use of gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, vocabulary, and sense of humor.
Each of the award-winning instructors indicated that being a good teacher goes beyond being fair, focusing on application, challenging and "entertaining" students. High-quality teachers are also very concerned about their discipline and bringing the best of their discipline to bear on issues of content, advising, and curricula. Teaching means that we have something to profess. Substance is critical.
Service means representing the discipline by giving guest lectures to wider audiences, conducting and participating in workshops for interested groups, writing and doing research, especially on teaching, and sitting on committees concerned with teaching and curricula.
McKinney recognizes FACES as an ideal. She concludes by urging each of us to "assess the relative importance and feasibility of incorporating each component into our own teaching."
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #99 GETTING STARTED IN THE RIGHT WAY ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS
As both beginning and experienced teachers know, getting started "right" the first day with a class can make all the difference in how things go for the rest of the semester. Here are some excellent tips on this topic sent to me from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Indiana State University (http://www-isu.indstate.edu/ctl/home.html). Note: I have combined and slightly edited two messages on starting and finishing a class, thus the unusual length of this posting.
UP NEXT: Update on TP Listserve Subscribers by Institution
--------------------------- 1,445 words --------------------------
GETTING STARTED IN THE RIGHT WAY ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Center for Teaching and Learning
Indiana State University
What better time than the beginning of the semester to consider the importance of welcoming students in your classroom? Of course, this is not to advocate some kind of big group hug. Rather, good teachers use the normal patterns of social interactions to draw students into academic work. Classroom anthropologists have identified patterns in social interaction that create expectations about how to work in the classroom. The tips for this week and next [both presented here] offer ideas that use these patterns to draw students into effective working relations.
Phase 1: Entering the Lesson
Social encounters usually begin with some action that acknowledges everyone and establishes a welcoming tone. Learning interactions are no exception. Teachers can use the moments when students are entering the classroom to build a commitment to the class. Here are some simple, but socially valuable, tips.
Be Early. Arrive 5 minutes early for class. Whether inside or outside the classroom, let students know that you are ready to talk with them: smile, nod, make eye contact, chat, whatever suits your style.
Shake Hands. This simple gesture communicates. In your large classes, greet a few. You will find that those who are welcomed are more ready to respond in class.
Have Students Meet. Have students greet someone else in the class. Even if this ritual takes only 30 seconds, you should find that your class warms up considerably. Add some fun: have students use greeting rituals from various cultures, or ask students to create and lead the daily greeting (no embarrassing tricks allowed).
Social Ice Breakers. While often misunderstood and over-used, the right ice breaker can help a group of students get over the chill of anonymity.
Phase 2: Start the Learning
The transition from everyday social life to learning encounters requires a shift. Students may not be ready to start work when the teacher is. Use the following tips to shift their attention to the common work of learning your lessons.
Content Ice Breakers. Short activities can be used to introduce course content. For example, list several terms from an essay and have students get a signature next to each term that a classmate knows. Or, handout a set of index cards, each containing instructions for one step in a process such as solving a math problem. Have students form a team with those whose cards contain the other steps. Give teams a problem to solve with each student responsible for the steps listed on his or her card. Debrief results.
Critical Reading Guide. Bob Votaw, a geologist from IU-NW, gives students a page for writing answers to key questions about the required reading. These are due as students enter the next class. By quickly reviewing a sample, he identifies common understandings and frequent mistakes. He adjusts his lecture to their responses.
Quick Quizzes. Give students a short quiz. The material will be fresh in their minds as you start your lesson. It is not necessary to collect and grade the quiz, but explain how their responses relate to success in learning the material.
RSQC2. Ask students to quickly write response to some simple prompts over reading or previously covered material. Ask the CTL for a detailed description of the five prompts used in the RSQC2 method.
Pre-Test. You can use a formal pre-test over the material to be covered. Informal methods are less intimidating but equally effective in connecting student to material. Have students write their own definitions of a term, ask them to write down their idea of a process or historical sequence, or make some guesses about statistical facts or likely outcomes.
Attention Grabber. Use a problem or a demonstration to capture students imaginations about what is to come. Often, an intriguing example will provide a guiding context for the material that follows.
Student participation is not simply a question of motivation but one of social relations too. People work better when they are noticed and guided into the working part of the lesson smoothly. Abrupt switches will inevitably leave some students behind. Build a welcome phase and a settling down phase into the first few minutes of your lessons and you will find more students are ready to engage in the learning activities you have planned. Utilizing these interaction patterns creates a context in which social relationships focus students on the task at hand. Contact the CTL for a list of other tips for the start of the semester.
A Closing Routine
The social patterns described last week draw students into your learning activities. It is equally important to end your classes with routines that help students know what to take from the experience. The final moments of a class are best used to consolidate ideas and set the stage for the next meeting. Squeezing in additional information does not provide the same gains as reinforcing, summarizing, and reconnecting students to the important material. Listed below are tips for the two phases that occur at the end of most social encounters.
Phase 3: Clearing Up
Near the end of an interaction, people often highlight and confirm the main points of the encounter. Such "clearing up" generates immensely valuable teaching moments. Use the following tips to create reflection activities that help students re-process your lesson.
Minute Paper. Give students 1 minute to write down the main point of the lesson. Have them briefly discuss their ideas with their neighbors. You can collect & respond to their comments.
Journal Entry. Ask students to write a journal response to the lesson for several minutes. Ask us for some guiding questions.
Complete Grids. Give students an outline or grid that pulls key ideas and information together. Have them spend several minutes completing parts you deliberately leave undone. Ask the CTL for a sample.
Application Cards. Have students list 2-3 applications of the material just covered. Share responses & comments on how your lesson links to everyday settings.
Exam Questions. Put on the overhead one or two questions from your test bank that are related to the lesson. Allow students a couple minutes to discuss possible answers.
Debriefing. Ask students to reflect on what worked for them in the lesson (and what didnt). Have them discuss and write down one suggestion for themselves and one for you.
Feedback. Gather some targeted feedback during the last few minutes of a class. A short survey can tell you how things are going. Ask us for our short, general model.
A number of valuable reflection techniques can be found in Angelo and Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques. Drop by the CTL and review the 50 CATs described in their book.
Phase 4: Making A Good Exit
Social interactions end nicely when participants know what is expected at the next meeting. It is also a valuable practice to acknowledge good efforts and successes.
Assignments. Save several minutes to discuss expectations and questions about assignments.
Q&A. Open the class up to general questions and answers during the final minutes. If response is low, have students write their questions down and hand them in.
Return. If you have no intention of reviewing or commenting on papers or exams when you return them, give them back as part of the exit phase, leaving a couple minutes for individuals to review and make arrangements to talk with you.
Honorable Mention. Take a minute to acknowledge quality student work. A mention is enough; you might share a students efforts as a model for others. A public pat on the back leaves people feeling good about the class.
Study Groups. Allow students a couple minutes to meet their study groups (set these up beforehand) so they can make arrangements to meet or get started on homework.
Rituals. Just like greeting rituals (see last week), you can create a moment for good-bye rituals. Shake hands, have a round of applause for hard group work, or make a simple comment like, "Thank you for a good effort today, I look forward to our next class."
Bringing a class (or advising session) to a good end provides greater interest in and commitment to future interactions. When a teacher takes a few minutes at the end of the class period to connect the main ideas to relevant applications, students are able to see the purpose for the work you have assigned. This kind of preparation helps students see the purpose of their efforts. They will find it easier to stay motivated between class sessions. Good closing routines set the stage for success on homework assignments and increase the likelihood that students will return to the next class session prepared to work. When planning your next class, include opening and closing routines and turn natural social patterns into effective supports for your lesson.
Tomorrows Professor Msg. #100 NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS BY ACADEMIC INSTITUTION
In recognition of the 100th posting on Tomorrows Professor Listserve I am updating Message #50 (8/12/98) that gave a breakdown of the number of subscribers by academic institution. In the earlier message I stated, "There are 911 subscribers as of August 10, 1998 representing 160 U.S. and Canadian academic institutions, plus an additional 212 subscribers from industry, government, professional organizations, and foreign universities."
As of March 2, 1999 there are 1,555 subscribers representing 235 U.S. and Canadian academic institutions, plus an additional 471 subscribers from industry, government, professional organizations, and foreign universities. The total number of subscribers is 2,026. Subscriptions are increasing at a rate of about 75 per week and have expanded to include individuals in the humanities and the social sciences.
Here are some other statistics:
*Top ten institutions by number of subscribers, recognizing that the largest institutions are the ones likely to have the most sign-ups:
|University of Michigan||54|
|University of Calif. - Los Angeles||49|
|University of Missouri||47|
|University of Arizona||45|
|University of Calif. - San Francisco||44|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||36|
|University of Calif. - Berkeley||36|
|Number of institutions with 10 or more subscribers||35|
Number of institutions with 2-9 subscribers
|Number of institutions with one subscriber||103|
Please continue to send your comments and contributions to me for possible posting, as you can see it can be an effective way to reach a large - and growing - community of people interested in preparing for, finding, and succeeding at careers in academia.
Note: Watch for a posting shortly on the establishment of the new
Tomorrow's Professor Listserve Discussion Forum.
US AND CAANDIAN INSTITUTIONS NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS
NOTE: If I've missed your institution or made an error in its designation,
please let me know.
|Arizona State University||30|
Boise State University
Bowling Green State
|Brigham Young University||02|
|Buffalo State University||01|
|Calif. Polytechnic Univ. - Pomona.||06|
|Calif. Polytechnic Univ. - SLO||13|
|Calif. State U. - Bakersfield||07|
|Calif. State U. - Domingez Hills||02|
|Calif. State U. - Fresno||07|
|Calif. State U. - Fullerton||02|
|Calif. State U. - Hayward||01|
Calif. State U. - Long Beach
|Calif. State U. - Los Angeles||01|
|Calif. State U. - Northridge||06|
|Calif. State U. - Sacramento||09|
|Calif. State U. - San Bernadino||02|
|Calif. State U. - Sonoma||01|
|Calif. State U. - Stanislaus||01|
|California Institute of Technology||23|
|California Lutheran University||01|
|Calstate Central Office||01|
|Carnegie Institute of Washington||01|
|Carnegie Mellon University||03|
|Case Western Reserve University||03|
|Catholic University of America||01|
|Central Michigan University||01|
|Colorado School of Mines||03|
|Colorado State University||01|
|Dakota State University||01|
|Delaware State University||01|
|Florida Atlantic University||01|
|Florida Institute of Technology||01|
|Florida International University||01|
|Florida State University||01|
|Gaccustavus Adolphus College||01|
|George Mason University||01|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||27|
|Georgia Southern University||01|
|Glenn County Schools||01|
|Harrisburg Area Community College||01|
|Harvey Mudd College||02|
|Henderson State University||07|
|Idaho Boise State University||01|
|Indiana University - Purdue University Indiana||06|
|Iowa State University||02|
|Johns Hopkins University.||20|
|Kansas State University||01|
|Le Tourneau University||01|
|Louisiana State University||04|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||36|
|Miami University of Ohio||02|
|Michigan Technological University||08|
|Minnesota State Universitie||01|
|Mississippi State University||03|
|Missouri Western State College||02|
|Morgan State University||01|
|Mount Sinai School of Medicine||01|
|New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology||01|
|North Carolina Agricultural/Technical State U.||03|
|North Carolina State University||04|
|North Dakota State University||02|
|North Seattle Community College||01|
|Northern Arizona University||01|
|Northern Michigan State University||01|
|Ohio State University||04|
|Oklahoma Christian University||01|
|Oklahoma State University||04|
|Old Dominion University||01|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||01|
|Oregon State University||13|
|Pacific Lutheran University||01|
|Pittsburgh State University||07|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||01|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||01|
|Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||01|
|San Diego State University||02|
|San Francisco State University||01|
|San Jose State University||07|
|Santa Clara University||01|
|Scripps Institute of Technology||04|
|Seattle Pacific University||01|
|Simon Fraser University||01|
|Slippery Rock University||01|
|Sonoma State University||03|
|South Carolina State College||01|
South Dakota State University
|Space Telescope Science Institute||01|
|St, Olaf's Colleges||02|
|St. Cloud University||01|
|St. Mary's University||02|
|State University of New York||03|
|Texas A&M University||11|
|Trenton College of New Jersey||02|
|Trinity College of Hartford Connecticut||01|
|United States Military Academy||01|
|United States Naval Academy||01|
University of Alabama
|University of Alaska||02|
|University of Arizona||45|
|University of Arkansas||01|
|University of British Columbia||02|
|University of Calgary||02|
|University of Calif. - Berkeley||36|
|University of Calif. - Davis||32|
|University of Calif. - Irvine||33|
|University of Calif. - Los Angeles||49|
|University of Calif. - San Diego||23|
|University of Calif. - San Francisco||44|
|University of Calif. - Santa Barbara||03|
|University of Calif. - Santa Cruz||02|
|University of Central Florida||03|
|University of Central Oklahoma||01|
|University of Chicago||02|
|University of Cincinnati||05|
|University of Colorado||03|
|University of Connecticut||03|
|University of Dayton||09|
|University of Delaware||05|
|University of Denver||02|
|University of Florida||06|
|University of Georgia||02|
|University of Guelph||01|
|University of Hawaii||03|
|University of Idaho||01|
|University of Illinois - Chicago||02|
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||15|
|University of Iowa||01|
|University of Kansas||03|
|University of Kentucky||03|
|University of Manitoba||02|
|University of Maryland||06|
|University of Massachusetts||07|
|University of Miami||01|
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
|University of Mississippi||01|
|University of Missouri||47|
|University of Montreal||01|
|University of Muncton||02|
|University of Nebraska||24|
|University of Nevada||03|
|University of New Hampshire||04|
|University of New Mexico||03|
|University of New Orleans||01|
|University of North Carolina||11|
|University of North Florida||01|
|University of North Texas||02|
|University of Northern Colorado||01|
|University of Oregon||01|
|University of Pennsylvania||08|
|University of Pittsburgh||02|
|University of Rhode Island||04|
|University of Saint Louis||01|
|University of Saskatchewan||01|
|University of Southern California||01|
|University of Tennessee||02|
|University of Texas - Austin||22|
|University of Texas - El Paso||01|
|University of the Pacific||03|
|University of Toledo||01|
|University of Toronto||06|
|University of Utah||08|
|University of Vermont||31|
|University of Victoria||01|
|University of Virginia||09|
|University of Washington||08|
|University of Waterloo||05|
|University of West Florida||01|
|University of Western Ontario||01|
|University of Wisconsin||12|
|University of Wyoming||01|
|Utah State University||01|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U.||20|
|Wake Forest University||01|
|Washington State Community and Technical Col.||01|
|Washington University - St. Louis||05|
|Wayne State University||02|
|Weber State University||01|
|West Virginia Network||01|
|Western Kentucky University||01|
|Western Michigan University||08|
|Worchester Polytechnic Institute||03|
|Worchester State College||01|
OTHER (personal, industry, government,
professional organizations, universities outside
the U.S., and Canada)
|TOTAL as of 3/2/99||2026|
Note: Anyone can SUBSCRIBE to Tomorrows-Professor Listserver by sending
the following e-mail message to: <Majordomo@lists.stanford.edu>
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