faculty

Study on Students and 'Authenticity' in Classroom

“Authentic” professors are preferred by students, many of whom learn more from them as a result, according to a new study in Communication Education, the journal of the National Communication Association. The authors questioned some 300 college students on their perceptions of professors’ authentic and inauthentic behavior and communication, and found that authentic instructors were perceived as approachable, passionate, attentive, capable and knowledgeable. Inauthentic professors, meanwhile, were perceived as unapproachable, disrespectful, inattentive, lacking passion and not capable. Students also reported higher levels of learning and deeper understanding in learning experiences they described as authentic, and at-risk students are positively impacted by teachers whose communication is perceived as authentic, according to the study.

The paper says that that professors may work to seem more authentic -- only to the degree that it feels natural -- by conversing with students before and after class, and sharing experiences and really interacting with them as part of teaching. “‘Authentic’ Teachers Are Better at Engaging With Their Students” was written by Zac Johnson, assistant professor of communication at California State University at Fullerton, and Sara LaBelle, assistant professor of communication at Chapman University.

Instructors perceived as authentic were willing to share details about their lives, told personal stories, made jokes and admitted mistakes, according to the study. They also showed concern for their students as individuals, such as by emailing sick students to see how they were doing. “Our participants made it clear that a teacher’s efforts to view themselves and their students as individuals had a lasting impact,” Johnson and LaBelle say. “The process of teaching authentically need not be more complicated than making simple and direct statements regarding the level of concern and care that a teacher holds for their students. … Our implication is not simply that teachers should engage in limitless amounts of self-disclosure. Rather, by making efforts to engage with students beyond their expected roles in the classroom, teachers can greatly impact students’ perceptions of them and their course.”

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Colleges award tenure

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Agnes Scott College

  • Yael Manes, history
  • Nicole Stamant, English
  • Jason Solomon, music

Bates College

  • Jason Castro, neuroscience
  • Caroline Shaw, history
  • Mara Tieken, education

Carleton College

Berkeley Fires Assistant Professor for Harassment

The University of California, Berkeley, has fired an assistant professor -- Blake Wentworth in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies -- after finding he sexually harassed four students, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Wentworth and his lawyer were not available for comment. But he previously sued three of those accusing him, charging them with defamation.

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NLRB: U Chicago Hourly Student Library Employees May Form Union

A regional National Labor Relations Board office said this week that more than 200 hourly employees of the University of Chicago libraries may hold a union election. Hourly student employees are organized elsewhere, but this is the first hourly employee election order applicable to undergraduates since the NLRB said in August that student employees may form unions on private campuses. That decision, which related to graduate students at Columbia University, was surprisingly broad in its scope and opened the door to more undergraduate student employee unions.

Resident advisers at George Washington University planned a union election earlier this month but canceled at the last minute. Library employees at Chicago seek to affiliate with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Graduate student employees at Chicago also want to form a union, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors. A spokesperson for Chicago said it would review the NLRB decision and consider its options.

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Publisher explains how article about viewing the male organ as "conceptual" got published

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Publisher blames faulty peer review and automated system for forwarding articles from one journal to another to explain publication of piece on the male organ as a concept rather than anatomy.

Webinar: Teaching With Technology

Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman discuss the topics from the "Teaching With Technology" booklet. To view the recording of the webinar, click here. To download the slide deck, click here.

Digital materials only slightly more accessible

As reported in Inside Higher Ed, much of the debate about accessibility issues in higher education in recent years has focused on audio and video -- take, for example, the high-profile lawsuits against prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.

Total Online Programs up 9%, Just 2% at Community Colleges

As reported in Inside Higher Ed, a new survey of online education administrators at 104 colleges and universities shows -- as other studies have suggested -- that public and private four-year institutions saw healthy enrollment growth in their fully online programs in spring 2016 compared to the year before, and that they are showing few signs of slowing their investments in the space.

How 6 colleges grant alternative credits

How six colleges that are leaders in adult education calculate and capture alternative learning credits. 

Colleges offer new online degree programs

A list of new academic degrees colleges and universities are offering online.

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