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Are you culturally current with the millennial generation?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I love the millennial generation. Their enthusiasm for life energizes me. Unfortunately, what we typically hear about the millennial generation are horror stories about helicopter parents and students who ooze with entitlement issues. What we don’t often hear about this generation of learners are the very things I love most about them. I love their passion for our earth, their willingness to embrace diversity, their desire to connect, their desire for meaningful learning, and their love of technology. Yes, we can stomp our feet and demand that our students conform to our teaching style. We can complain that they are dependent on technology, that they resist a strict diet of lectures, and that they embrace instant gratification. In other words, we can resist what is. Or we can meet millennial students where they are, demonstrating that we are the transformational leaders our students need. Meeting students where they are includes becoming culturally current.  Christy Price tells us that millennial students express frustration when professors don’t know how to use the technology in their classrooms. They perceive professors as “lacking connection to Millennial culture” when they use old shows that were relevant 15 years ago but are no longer “practical references that the average college student […]

Why We Need to Address the WIIFM Question in Our Classroom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Have you seen the Broadway show Kinky Boots? There are many great lines in the show. But, one of my favorite lines reminds me of what I believe all college students ask themselves when they’re sitting in our classrooms. WIIFM? The shop owner is excitedly explaining his ideas about expanding his shoe shop to Kinky. And a bored Kinky asks the owner, “Are you going to get to the part about where it concerns me?” In other words, Kinky’s asking, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) meaning, “How is this relevant to what I want?  I’m curious. How often do we educators charge into our classrooms and similar to the shop owner splatter our students with content before answering the WIIFM question? I admit that I’ve done it. Typically, it’s because I’ve had “so much material to cover” that I’ve lost myself in trying to get to it. How do we know when students DO NOT perceive the material as being relevant to them? Eyes are glazing over. Cell phones are in use. Social media posts are rampant In other words, we have a classroom full of inattentive students.  How do we get into this spot? We have agendas, objectives, and a curriculum to satisfy. That’s naturally where our thoughts […]

How to improve student test scores and get inside their heads

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I’m a long time believer in authenticity and transparency. In all things, really. Always have been. So, as you can imagine, it comes natural to me to want to debrief teaching and learning activities. Debriefing is a transparent reflection strategy, where team members reflect upon a recent experience, discuss what went well and identify opportunities for improvement. The reflection can be about a case study, simulation scenario, patient outcome, writing assignment or test. In fact, in our simulation study, students indicated that debriefing was the most beneficial feature of the simulation. I wonder if students would say the same for debriefing tests? Wow, wouldn’t that be a great research question? Sorry, I can’t help myself. I think in teaching and learning research questions.) 🙂 In this series of articles concerning why students don’t score well on tests, we first discussed the use of cognitive wrappers, a reflection strategy that students use to examine their test performance and study strategies, and to plan their improvement strategies. Debriefing graded tests is a magical reflection strategy to examine why students didn’t score well on their test and how to improve student test scores. Students and faculty connect, using this reflection strategy together.  Debriefing: Reflection Strategy #2: I’ve witnessed […]

WARNING: Immediate student rescue impedes learning

By Kelly Beischel, PhD, RN, CNE She asked me. “How will they benefit?” And I thought “Quit with the freaking questions and just give me the answer, dammit!” And then I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. I laughed so loud that my dog looked at me and slunk away. Let me explain… I’m in a solo-preneur Facebook group where we often help one another when we’re stuck or are blocked in our thinking. I was having a block in coming up with a cool title for my incivility teleseminar. So, I posted a request for help to name the teleseminar. Rather than giving me an answer, Christina, one of the members of this Facebook group relentlessly asked me questions about how the participants would benefit from attending the teleseminar, what would they gain from knowing the signs of bullying etc. I laughed at my “just give me the answer” response because Christina was simply doing her job as a coach, asking me questions until I gained clarity. That’s what teachers do too. We coach, right? We ask questions until students gain clarity. And then my next thought? “That is exactly what our students are thinking – if not saying.” “Just tell me already.” “Just give me the answer.” We’ve all heard it […]

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