This may seem to deviate a bit from my focus on faculty development but teaching as they do in the classroom (and online) has kept reminding me of the ultimate purpose – our students. The students need to acquire leadership awareness and skills more than ever, and the following is what I communicated to them today:
Demonstrate your leadership in learning
Remember: You may learn little (a national concern now: Insidehighered.com – news – Academically Adrift) if all you care is about your grade in this course. You CAN learn a lot in the classroom AND online IF you take charge of your own learning and think hard as to how it will benefit you now and in the future. Tell me how I may help you – if you prefer to do presentation online (or in the classroom), let me know and I’ll make adjustment to the presentation schedule. If you require more learning material, tell me and I’ll get more for you. If you need individual consultation, let me know and we’ll schedule an appointment. We had an active virtual classroom session and I heard most preferred face-to-face meetings, so our next meeting will be in the classroom and I’ll be with you (instead of video conferencing). The key word is learning (via reading, research, writing, and exchange/discussion – at the graduate level), and my grading will not be based on a particular argument you make (so you’re safe) but your level of effort and actual achievement as shown in your own work and contribution to the class. It’s fairly easy for me to assess how much reading you’ve done for the course but very hard for me to help you with a better grade if you never show up online and your paper has little literature support. So, help me to help you, and enjoy discovering new horizons in building up your knowledge and skills of analytical/critical thinking!