In this space, we will occasionally highlight articles from around the Web that offer interesting perspectives on college teaching and higher education. Here are some short, thought-provoking pieces that caught the eye of CRLT staff during the past week:

  • Bookmark iconAn article from the Faculty Focus newsletter on the relation between grading and student learning.  Why not give all of your students A's?
  • A Tomorrow's Professor blog post that offers helpful suggestions for inspiring students to set challenging goals for themselves.  What if not all of your students come to class eager to be challenged?

Do you have other recommendations you'd like to share with U-M teachers? Include them in the Comments section below. 

CRLT Occasional Papers logoCRLT's latest Occasional Paper, "Teaching in the Cloud: Leveraging Online Collaboration Tools to Enhance Student Engagement," has just been released. A collaborative effort by CRLT Assistant Director Chad Hershock and U-M Political Science and Philosophy Professor Mika LaVaque-Manty, the paper describes how a wide range of instructors at Michigan use online collaboration tools to enhance student engagement and course management. 

Here's how the authors explain the research behind this new publication:

Dr. Haithcock

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Michael Haithcock is well-known beyond U-M as a great conductor. He has garnered widespread acclaim for directing the world-class University of Michigan bands, he has commissioned and recorded numerous new musical works, and he is much in demand as a guest conductor.  Given this high profile, it might be easy to lose track of the fact that he's also an outstanding teacher of student musicians right here at the University of Michigan. As a teacher of conducting and director of student ensembles at U-M since 2001, Haithcock has gained a reputation as a professor who devotes extraordinary amounts of time to his individual students. He meets one-on-one with every member of the Symphony Band each semester, attends the senior recital of every band student, and writes scores of recommendation letters annually.

In the wake of the recent vandalism in Haven Hall and the run-up to Election Day, many U-M instructors are thinking right now about how they can most productively address potentially controversial topics in their classrooms. Our website features many resources to help you...

  • Introduce potentially controversial content
  • Facilitate productive discussion of sensitive topics
  • Handle “hot moments” in class
  • Address conflicts between students

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A list of resources on these topics and more. You can also request a consultation with a one of CRLT's professional staff if you want to discuss additional strategies for creating effective inclusive learning environments in your classroom.  

What strategies have you found productive for inclusive discussion of hot topics? Please share your ideas in the comments section.