Smith, First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom 

First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom 

Smith, Gary A. “First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom.” The National Teaching and Learning Forum, vol. 17, no. 5 (September 2008): 1-4.

Smith, of the Office of Support for Effective Teaching at University of New Mexico, has written a useful article on things that can be done on the first day of a class in a learner centered class to get student “buy-in” and and set the groundwork for the semester to come.

The articles is available here.

Or, here: Smith (2008) First Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom.

Learning Colleges and Educational Change: An Interview with Terry O’Banion

The Spring 2003 edition (Volume 14, number 2) of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at University of Illinois at Champaign’s Update: On Research and Leadership contains an interview with Terry O’Banion, President Emeritus of the League of Innovation in the Community College.  The article is a great distillation of his thought on the “learning college” and community colleges in general.

The interview is available here.

eBook – Educating the Net Generation

Net Gen eBook Icon

The Net Generation has grown up with information technology. The aptitudes, attitudes, expectations, and learning styles of Net Gen students reflect the environment in which they were raised—one that is decidedly different from that which existed when faculty and administrators were growing up.

This collection explores the Net Gen and the implications for institutions in areas such as teaching, service, learning space design, faculty development, and curriculum. Contributions by educators and students are included.

The ebook is available for free from  EDUCAUSE here.  Or, you can view the website to see individual chapter here.

Mark Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

Marc Prensky

Marc Prensky, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.”  One the Horizon, volume 9, number 5 (October 2001).


Marc Prensky, “Digital Native, Digital Immigrants, Part II: Do they REally Think Differently?”  One the Horizon, volume 9, number 6 (December 2001)

Marc Prensky’s original articles on the concepts of digital natives and digital immigrants from On the Horizon.

The full articles are available on his website here and here.

7 Principles of Good Feedback Practice

Juwah, Charles, et al. provide a list of seven principles they consider to be best practices in providing feedback to students.  The list is in “Enhancing Student Learning Through Effective Formative Feedback” (see link below).

  1. Facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning.
  2. Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning.
  3. Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, standards expected).
  4. Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance.
  5. Delivers high quality information to students about their learning.
  6. Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem.
  7. Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching.

The full document is available here.

Glossary of Some Assessment Terms

Affective Domain: Outcomes of education involving feelings more than understanding; likes, pleasures ideals and/or values.

Assessment: The Latin root assidere means to sit beside. In an educational context, the process of observing learning; describing, collecting, recording, scoring, and interpreting information about a student’s or one’s own learning. At its most useful, assessment is an episode in the learning process; part of reflection and autobiographical understanding of progress. Traditionally, student assessments are used to determine achievement of learning objectives and grades.

Authentic Assessment: Assessment strategies that require students to directly reveal their ability to think critically and to apply and synthesize their knowledge.

Cognitive Domain: Outcomes of education involving thinking and content knowledge, logic, classification and problem solving.

Evaluation: Both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of student behavior, plus value judgments concerning the desirability of that behavior. Using collected information (assessments) to make informed decisions about continued instruction, programs, and activities.

Formative Assessment: Observations which allow one to determine the degree to which students know or are able to do a given learning task, and which identifies the part of the task that the student does not know or is unable to do. Outcomes suggest future steps for teaching and learning.

Learning Goal: See Learning Objective

Learning Objective: What you want students to know and understand after they complete a learning experience, usually a culminating activity, product, or performance that can be measured.

Metacognition: The knowledge of one’s own thinking processes and strategies, and the ability to consciously reflect and act on the knowledge of cognition to modify those processes and strategies.

Performance Assessment: See Authentic Assessment.

Portfolio: A systematic and organized collection of a student’s work that exhibits to others the direct evidence of a student’s efforts, achievements, and progress over a period of time. The collection may involve the student in the selection of its contents, and should include information about the performance criteria, the rubric or criteria for judging merit, and evidence of student self-reflection or evaluation. It should include representative work, providing a documentation of the students’ performance and a basis for evaluation of the student’s progress. Portfolios may include a variety of demonstrations of learning and have been gathered in the form of a physical collection of materials, videos, CD-ROMs, reflective journals, etc.

Rubric: In general a rubric is a scoring guide used in subjective assessments. A rubric implies that a rule defining the criteria of an assessment system is followed in evaluation. A rubric can be an explicit description of performance characteristics corresponding to a point on a rating scale. A scoring rubric makes explicit expected qualities of performance on a rating scale or the definition of a single scoring point on a scale.

Summative Assessment: Evaluation at the conclusion of a unit or units of instruction, or an activity or plan to determine or judge student skills and knowledge. Also an evaluation of the effectiveness of a plan or activity.