Professor leading a class


Check back often to find updated resources and links. The resources below will change based on faculty input and feedback. 

The Learning Commons has staff members who sit on a variety of faculty committees including First-Year Experience, Academic Standing, Early Alert Team,  Enrollment, Financial Aid and Academic Progress in order to gain meaningful program feedback so we can provide relevant and useful support for students.

Teaching & Learning

The Absolute Worst Way to Start the Semester: published on August 3, 2016 on Vitae. Written by Kevin Gannon, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning and Professor of History, Grand View University. "...let "Syllabus Day" go -- some traditions aren't worth keeping."

Small Changes in the Classroom: The First 5 Minutes: published on January 11, 2016 on The Chronicle of Higher Education. Written by James M. Lang. "The opening five minutes offer us a rich opportunity to capture the attention of students and prepare them for learning. They walk into our classes trailing all of the distractions of their complex lives — the many wonders of their smartphones, the arguments with roommates, the question of what to have for lunch. Their bodies may be stuck in a room with us for the required time period, but their minds may be somewhere else entirely."

How Learning Works: 7 Research Based Principles for Smart Teaching: by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Marsha C. Lovett, Michele Di Pietro and Marie K. Norman. This book was used at our May 2017 workshop and we continue to use it for faculty study in the fall of 2017. "Any conversation about effective teaching must begin with a consideration of how students learn. However, instructors may find a gap between resources that focus on the technical research on learning and those that provide practical classroom strategies. How Learning Works provides the bridge for such a gap."  Copies available in the Learning Commons.

The College Life

The Power of the Personal: published on August 15, 2014 on The Chronicle of Higher Education. Written by Daniel F. Chamblis. "Especially for traditional-age students at residential colleges, research has shown that friendships are a necessary prerequisite for retention and integration. Research has also shown that peer and professor connections are the central daily motivators for exploring, discussing, studying, and learning, and that relationships of all kinds are often tied to a major positive result. What matters most in college, then, is who meets whom, and when."

What Now? Intentionally Designing Life at College and Beyond: published on EdSurge on May 22, 2016 written by Gabrielle Santa-Donato. "The design thinking process starts by identifying a human need and uses empathy and testing to arrive at a way to answer it."  Read more about the Designing Your Life course at Stanford in this article published in Wired Magazine's March 2015  issue: Stanford's Most Popular Class Isn't Computer Science — It's Something Much More Important.

Administrative Elements

ChairsGuide.pdf: This Department Chair's Guide was published by Knox College; with permission given to share freely. While some of the material is specific to Knox College, much of it is general and applicable to any college department chair.