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					HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR STRENGTHS < # 4 from the TLC 11-17-08 >

 There are three dimensions of higher education. Our mission must be to educate both the mind and heart, to
 develop both skills and ethics, to cultivate good professionals who are good people. Our purpose must be to
             help each student grow in intellect and character, to help each learn how to do things
              right and how to do the right things, to help each learn what is necessary for both a
                                    productive livelihood and a productive life.
                       ~ Louis Schmier, in POD Listserv post 11/12/08 (lightly edited)

                       “I will not be able to attend today’s workshop (sorry—I’m overloaded!!)
                                    but could really use some assistance in this area.”
         from faculty email to a Teaching Center regarding a workshop on coping with overload, quoted in
                    Making Time, Making Change: Avoiding Overload in College Teaching
                                                  ~ Douglas Robertson
                                 [BORROW THIS BOOK FROM TLC IF YOU ARE DOWNTOWN]

Executive Summary In October’s message, I reflected on Meeting Students Where They Are, instead of
  where we wish them to be. This month we continue that thread. Among attitudes underpinning college
     success are persistence and self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to reach a learning outcome or
 personal goal. These attitudes are learned. Students often reach us bitterly discouraged and disabled in
this respect, troubled by doubt of their own competence. Many don’t understand that people learn different
   content in different ways and at different speeds, and that one can learn to compensate for deficits by
 working harder or differently. In this message, consider how to show students their strengths and how to
   encourage them to raise their own personal bar to achievement by attitude shifts. It’s about hope and
                            prompting change by reducing risk and fear of failure.

  After a brief experiment with Office 2007, which displays badly on some computers, I have returned to formatting this mail in Office 2003.
   Full-time faculty and selected staff receive this message from distribution lists constructed in the TLC. Adjunct faculty should receive it
 forwarded from their colleges. Links were tested and active when the message was sent. If you find otherwise or wish to comment or to
                                                   opt out, please contact mdabney@hpu.edu.

                                                   TIP OF THE MONTH
   Our colleagues at Honolulu Community College have, over the years, developed one of the most frequently
         visited faculty development sites on the web. The organizing brainchild behind this is Jerry Cerny.
 It is chock-full of links to practically anything you might need, from The Secrets of Study Success to Five Basic
   Types of Questions, to Ed Nuhfer’s Knowledge Survey, a way of determining what students think they know
                  about your content without giving a test, to Achieving Success with Adult Learners.
               You can find these things using a search engine, but HCC has collected them for you in
      a user-friendly format, in the Teaching Tips Index. Browse this fun site on one of those rare rainy days.
                   You can also link to HCC through TLC’s web site: http://tlc.hpu.edu “Resources”

                                          Help Students Find Their Strengths
                                       [Message #4 from the TLC: November 17, 2008]

“Some students are just not cut out for school” In a moving piece on YouTube, Michael Wesch
(a professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Kansas State University) reports hearing this often from
frustrated faculty colleagues. For one view of higher education’s problems and promise, watch nine
minutes of an hour-long video (A Portal to Media Literacy) at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4yApagnr0s in which Wesch speaks to faculty at the
University of Manitoba. Also learn there what Wesch means by “a crisis of significance” in education.
[We used the first ten minutes of this video as a discussion kickoff in the new faculty morning segment
of Fall Orientation.]
Examine your beliefs What are your own beliefs about student competence? Skip Downing, a
long-time community college instructor and the founder of oncourseworkshop.com, has made a
career of combining faculty development with student success strategies. In the item linked below,
“Choices of Successful Students,” one of TLC’s FAQs, you can get the flavor of his program.
Oncourse runs an annual conference and nationwide workshops; and Skip tirelessly promotes the
exchange of success strategies among faculty:

Explore its web site for more: http://www.oncourseworkshop.com/, including a self-assessment
you can also offer to students: http://college.cengage.com/downing_assessment/jsp/questions1-

Teach students to assess and understand their personal academic strengths. The link just
above is a free, online self-assessment tool that prompts thinking about the behavior and attitude
variables that underlie success. Such an exercise could be a good way to open conversation with
students about these variables. From there, students can learn how to determine personal learning
preferences. Many simple, free, online, instant-scored instruments are available on the web, and
John Collins, a colleague at the University of British Columbia, suggests asking students to do any
three, and then triangulate the results: In what ways do the three instruments agree, and how do they
disagree? Do the assessments match your self-perceptions? What areas would you like to work on?
How can one compensate for areas of relative weakness?

      http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html (a 44-item questionnaire from North Carolina State
      http://www.ulc.arizona.edu/learning_style.php (a 22-item survey online with immediate feedback
      VARK is a 16-item questionnaire that provides immediate web feedback: http://www.vark-
      A Learning Style Survey for College (by Caroline Jester, Diablo Valley State College) is a 32-item
       instant-feedback instrument at http://www.metamath.com/multiple/multiple_choice_questions.html
      An overview of learning styles can be found at http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/ By
       digging into this site you can find another survey.
      Pedagogy resources from the Teaching and Learning Center, University of Nevada at Las Vegas can
       be found at http://tlc.unlv.edu/pedagogy/learning.htm. It includes a three-minute “quick assessment” of
       preferred learning styles in a class, by Leora Baron, the center’s late director.

Embed skill instruction in content classes. As you become aware of student skill deficits, you can
re-focus on needed skill development without losing content time. One way to do this: offer a mini-
workshop on some specific skill in the last five or ten minutes of a class: e.g. tips for learning from a
text, skillful navigation of a multiple-choice test. By using time at the end of a class, you allow easy
opt-out by students who don’t need this help. If you know the deficit is widespread, use a little class
time to build a T-chart, asking students to identify and focus on specific behaviors related to a concept
like participation or preparation for class. The T-chart concept, originated by David and Roger
Johnson at the University of Minnesota to help develop team skills, is explained at
http://www.hydroville.org/system/files/team_strategies.pdf and you can develop simple ways of
doing this with a class. I can help in a face-to-face meeting or in a forthcoming workshop.

Teach students that attitude is a choice and makes a difference. Students often are stuck in
negative or self-defeating attitudes or behaviors. In a newsletter from the online Adjunct Success
program, Richard Lyons points to the “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Students.” It is available at
http://www.vetrol.com/temp/ASeNews15Oct08.pdf. A sample:

 Habit 1: Be Proactive
 • Talk with each of your professors one-to-one before the first exam
 • Sit in the first three rows of every classroom in which your courses are held
 • Take the initiative to introduce yourself to two other good students in each class
Crawl, walk, run. In “What the Army Taught me about Teaching,” Martha Kinney underscores the
importance of scaffolding: building understanding, confidence and competence in small steps. For
instance, a professor might identify and assign specific steps of preparing a research paper, instead
of assigning the paper and assuming that students know all the steps. The scaffolding concept is
neatly explained at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/webdesign/Scaffolding/ and the
Kinney paper, which I’ve used as a workshop tool in précis form, can be found at

Post Script on Skill-Building: Here is a short follow-up to Message #3: Meeting Students Where
They Are (about skill-building in the context of content instruction). In a recent newsletter to Seattle
Pacific University faculty, my colleague Susan Van Zanten comments: A 2007 survey called “How
Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today’s Global Economy,” asked 305 top corporate
executives what they most wanted to see in a job candidate. The top three choices were “teamwork
skills,” “critical thinking and analytic reasoning skills,” and “oral/written communication.” While today’s
global economy has changed radically, I think it’s a fair assumption that these three skills are now
needed more than ever, in areas ranging from ministry to teaching, public relations to medical care,
and performing arts to banking. We certainly can use them in higher education. How do you help
students—undergraduates and graduates alike--develop these skills within your discipline? Do you
explain to students why you assign group work or oral presentations, what the connection is between
their learning activities and their future life?
                                            Advance Notice
Adjunct Success: Cohort 3 TLC offers no-cost enrollment in AdjunctSuccess, a web-based support
program started in September 2006 by Richard Lyons, a long-time student of, consultant to and advocate
for adjunct faculty. By subscription paid by HPU, this program is available to all HPU faculty. It provides
frequent and topical live web seminars, access to recordings of seminars you want to hear (but could not
attend) a chat space, and access to a vast library of teaching resources. To learn more about the
program, explore at http://adjunctsuccess.net/index.php and click the Individual Professors link. Or see
TLC's FAQ: http://faq.hpu.edu/tlc/faq-pro/index_hpu.php?action=article&cat_id=011&id=44&lang

For those who complete an online assessment next spring, we issue a certificate of participation, and we
keep a database record of enrollment (which you can request any time for reappointment or promotion).
TO ENROLL: contact Sandra Meyer (smeyer@hpu.edu). Please include your name, campus e-mail
address, time-zone you will be logging in from (HI, etc), discipline (Bus=Business; ED= Education;
HS=Health Sciences; Hum=Humanities; MS=Math/Natural Sciences; SS=Social Sciences; Oth=Other),
and number of years of teaching experience. Your enrollment will be acknowledged promptly (except
when Sandra is on vacation 11/21-12/5). Our third 2008-2009 faculty cohort will close about January
15, 2009. Soon after that date, enrollees will receive welcome mail, a username and a password, (TLC
does not have access to this information), with instructions about how to access program resources.

7th Annual Winter Concert, International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble On Friday, 12/5/08, Hawai'i
Pacific University's International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble, along with the HPU Chamber
Orchestra will present their 7th Annual Winter Concert, Stille Nacht. The Chamber Orchestra will
perform works by Felix Mendelssohn and J. S. Bach, as well as traditional holiday favorites. The
International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble will perform pieces honoring King Kalakaua, Queen
Lili'uokalani, and Princess Ka'iulani. The vocal groups will also present traditional spirituals, folk
songs from around the world, and songs for the holiday season. The concert will culminate with a
candlelit, joint performance of Stille Nacht (Silent Night). Admission is free. 7:00pm, Central Union
Church. Mike’s editorial comment: Five stars!

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