Blog 31

Happy New Academic Year!

Celia Popovic

Celia Popovic, Teaching Commons

Tuesday September 6th 2016

For those of us who have spent a lifetime in education in the northern hemisphere, September is a time for new starts, for new ventures and for new faces. I can barely look at a calendar for the month without fighting an impulse to rush to the stationers to buy pencils, books and organizers. For some of our students it may be a time for anxiety and trepidation as they embark on the next stage of their educational and life journey.

One thing is for sure there is no shortage of advice for faculty and students alike. I have come across some interesting articles and web pages designed to support this transition into the new academic year, and while I don’t intend adding to the advice I have collected some of the articles that caught my attention.

Advice for new faculty:

Academic Affairs published this survival manual for new faculty in September last year. It contains some practical advice from experienced faculty which will be of interest to new and less than new colleagues – in case you missed it, here it is:

Advice for the first day of class:

In his piece called ‘The Absolute Worst Way to Start the Semester’, Kevin Gannon urges us to avoid using the first session to work tediously through the syllabus. He has some engaging ideas that you may wish to consider trying instead:
Advice for a sabbatical:

In Five Steps for a Successful Sabbatical Chris Tachibana (Science) provides practical advice gleaned from professors who recently completed their sabbaticals. He advises – 1. Go for it, 2. Get away, 3. Start planning now, 4. Expect the unexpected and 5. Cant’ do it? Let them come to you.

Advice for institutions:

In this piece Joshua Kim suggests there are three things that all institutions should do – 1. Redesign introductory foundational and other larger enrolment courses, 2. Develop capabilities and experience in blended and online learning, and 3. Move towards a culture of practice of data driven continuous improvement. You can find his article in Inside Higher Education, here:

Advice for students:

While the amount of advice available for students is immense, this article from the New York Times stands out as it is advice for students from older students. You may wish to share some of this with your students, particularly if you have first year classes:

And finally –  advice or rather a request for the York community:

As avid readers will know the Teaching Commons publishes a weekly blog from September to May, on issues to do with teaching and learning at York. We are always looking for contributors, please contact Celia Popovic – if you are interested.

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