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Ensuring Learning: Supporting Faculty to Improve Student Success

Available for Pre-Order.  Expected in Print June 2020 (Due to COVID-19, this will be delayed)...

Ensuring Learning: Supporting Faculty to Improve Student Success is the second book in a two-book series. This book highlights the importance of teaching and learning in student success reform and is a deep dive into the fourth pillar, ensuring learning, of Guided Pathways which is a national movement focused on increasing the number of college students who earn a degree or credential. It emphasizes how institutional strategies such as investing in faculty development through Centers for Teaching and Learning and revising reward structures can significantly improve student achievement and completion rates. This book calls for colleges to prioritize teaching and learning and provides college leaders with guidance on how to do so. For example, strategies to develop and enhance Centers for Teaching and Learning and increase professional development programming that provides ongoing, substantial support to faculty are shared. Readers will benefit from numerous practical suggestions on how to help faculty improve teaching and learning practices and ultimately improve student success outcomes.

Engaging Faculty in Guided Pathways: A Practical Resource for College Leaders

Pre-ordering available.  Expected in print by June 2020 (due to COVID-19 this will be delayed).

Engaging faculty in Guided Pathways: A Practical Resource for College Leaders is the first book in a two-book series. It describes the important role of college faculty in student success reform efforts. In particular, it maps out the faculty role in Guided Pathways, a national movement focused on increasing the number of students who earn a degree or credential. It summarizes the primary tasks associated with the four essential practices of Guided Pathways: determining paths, helping students choose a path, helping students stay on a path, and ensuring learning. This book highlights the need for faculty engagement in all aspects of this work and provides practical suggestions and strategies to engage and empower both full and part-time faculty in this work. Moving the needle on student success outcomes requires high-levels of faculty engagement. Colleges are encouraged to invite full and part-time faculty to the table for important conversations about student success reform and to encourage and support faculty leadership in these institutional efforts. Readers will benefit from numerous practical suggestions.

Why the First-Year Seminar Matters

Why the First-Year Seminar Matters: Helping Students Choose and Stay on a Career Path provides an overview of the Guided Pathways movement and the critical role that the first-year seminar can play in setting the stage for student success. After reviewing the extensive history and research on first-year seminars, Harrington and Orosz suggest that the time is right for colleges and universities to re-imagine the first-year seminar course within the Guided Pathways framework. More specifically, by increasing the focus on career exploration and decision-making and addressing key success skills students need, the first-year seminar can serve as an essential foundational element of Guided Pathways. Readers will find the practical suggestions on how to engage in backward course redesign and the making the case data helpful as they aim to address equity gaps and require this course of all incoming first-year students. 

A research-based first-year seminar textbook that uses a Guided Pathways framework to help students choose and stay on a path, published by Cengage Learning.  MindTap, an interactive e-book with numerous online resources is available. Included in the Cengage Unlimited subscription.



Dynamic Lecturing: Research-Based Strategies to Enhance Lecture Effectiveness

This book presents up-to-date research on the different types of lecture, on what constitutes effective lecturing, and on the impact of lecturing when done appropriately and well. It fills the void in professional development resources on how to lecture, validating the practice when it’s aligned with the educational mission of creating engaged learning environments.They present a range of strategies that enhance student learning during lectures. They open each chapter with the evidence behind each lecturing strategy they describe, and conclude with practical suggestions for quick application in the classroom. They offer readers the lecture planning and evaluation tools for reworking their lectures in ways that provide high-level engagement and achievement for their students.This is a dynamic resource for all faculty interested in revitalizing their teaching. The strategies are succinct, easy to incorporate into lectures and, done well, will have immediate impact and increase student mastery of course content.

Designing a Motivational Syllabus: Creating a Learning Path for Student Engagement

This book demonstrates how, rather than being a mundane document to convey policies, you can construct your syllabus to be a motivating resource that conveys a clear sense of your course’s learning goals, how students can achieve those goals, and makes evident your teaching philosophy and why you have adopted the teaching strategies you will use, such as discussion or group activities.The authors show how, by adopting a welcoming tone and clearly stating learning outcomes, your syllabus can engage students by explaining the relevance of your course to their studies, create an all-important positive first impression of you as an instructor, and guide students through the resources you will be using, the assignments ahead, as well as clear guidance on how they will be assessed. Referred to frequently as the course progresses, an effective syllabus will keep students engaged and on task. Christine Harrington and Melissa Thomas lead you through all the elements of a syllabus to help you identify how to present key messages and information about your course, think through the impressions you want to create, and, equally importantly, suggest how you can use layout and elements such as images and charts to make your syllabus visually appealing and easy to navigate.

An exploration of critical thinking skills students need and how faculty can support students in developing these essential skills.  Practical strategies and case studies are provided.

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Professional Development Videos

Using Feedback to Improve Student Learning Webinar

Presented at William Paterson University's Virtual Teaching and Learning Conference May 2020

Dynamic Lecturing Webinar

Presented at William Paterson University's Virtual Teaching and Learning Conference May 2020

Beyond Discussion Forums: Engaging Online Learners

Presented at New Jersey City University January 2020

The Syllabus Can Do That? Strategies to Motivate and Engage Students Before the Semester Begins

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Webinar sponsored by Stylus Publishing.

Increasing Academic Rigor in First-Year Seminar Courses

Plenary speech at the 36th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Creating a Powerful Syllabus

Discover how your syllabus can be used as a motivational and informational resource to help students be successful.

Dynamic Lecturing

In this video, you'll discover research that demonstrates the value of lecturing and perhaps more importantly several strategies you can use to enhance or improve your lectures.

The Value of Teaching Research

In this video, we'll explore the value of teaching first-year seminar students about peer-reviewed research.

Teaching Students about Research

This video focuses on how to teach first-year students about research, emphasizing the different components of a peer-reviewed research article.

The Jigsaw Classroom Exercise

The Jigsaw Classroom Exercise is an excellent example of how to effectively use group work in class.  In this video, you will see how the Jigsaw Classroom Exercise works.  You'll discover how this approach gets every student engaged and why this approach is so effective.

Group and Presentation Skills

In this video, we'll discuss strategies to help students function effectively in groups.  We'll also focus on how we can help students apply Mayer's (2008) multi-media principles to create amazing presentations.

Goal Setting and a Visual Imagery Activity

Discover the ABC'S Approach to Goal Setting:  Aim High, Believe in Yourself, Care and Commit, and Specify and Self-Reflect and the importance of teaching students about goal setting.  In this video, you'll also see a visual imagery activity demonstrated.

Outcome Driven Design

Explore outcomes driven design to improve student learning. In particular, the backwards design process will be reviewed.

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Discover strategies you can use at the start of the semester to create a welcoming environment that fosters inclusion and learning.

Group Work

Explore strategies to increase learning through group work.

Written and Verbal Feedback

Explore ways to improve the quality of feedback provided to students without taxing your time.

Peer Feedback

Discover strategies to improve how students give and receive feedback.

Getting Students to Read their Textbook

Explore the research on whether students read their textbook and strategies to increase the likelihood that they will do so.

Online Discussions

Explore strategies to create effective online discussion prompts and facilitate meaningful online conversations.

Grading Policies

Do your grading policies result in student grades that accurately capture whether or not a student has achieved the course learning outcomes?  During this presentation, several grading policy issues will be discussed.

Academic Integrity: A Video for Students

This video was created to help students learn about academic integrity and how to avoid unintentional dishonest actions.

Academic Integrity: A Video for Faculty

Explore how you as a faculty member can promote academic integrity among students.

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Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Harrington, C., Lyken-Segosebe, D., Braxton, J., & Nespoli, L. A. (in press).  Community college faculty engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning:  A critical component of guided pathways student success reform.  New Directions for Community Colleges:  Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century Community College.  

  • Harrington, C., & Rogalski, D. (in press). Accelerated learning programs for high school students. Department of Educational Leadership, New Jersey City University.

  • Harrington, C., & Melendez, J. (in press). Launching an Ed.D. in community college leadership program with activism in mind.  Impacting Education:  Journal on Transforming Professional Practice.

  • Harington, C. (2020).  Envisioning public scholarship for our times: Models for higher education reform book review. Impacting Education:  Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 5(1), 33-35.  10.5195/ie.2020.117

  • Aloni, M., & Harrington, C. (2018).  Research-based practices for improving the effectiveness of asynchronous online discussion boards. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 4(4), 271-289.

  • Harrington, C., & Gabert-Quillen, C. (2015).  Syllabus length and use of images:  An empirical investigation of student perceptions.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1(3), 235-243. 

  • Dynamic Lecturing in First-Year Courses:  Continuing a Proven Tradition

  • Using Peer-Reviewed Research to Teach Study Skills in First Year Seminars

Podcasts, Blogs and Other Articles

Sample Syllabi

A Syllabus Checklist

This syllabus checklist provides an overview of key content that should be included in the syllabus and poses questions to consider as you strive to use your syllabus as a motivational tool.  For a syllabus rubric and additional information, check out Designing a Motivational Syllabus:  Creating a Learning Path for Student Engagement.

Student Success Course

A first-year seminar syllabus that focuses on both career exploration and developing strategies for academic success.

Student Success Course

A backwards design approach to the student success course syllabus that can be easily customized.

Lifespan Development

A syllabus for Lifespan Development.  This syllabus has been peer-reviewed and identified as an exemplar by Project Syllabus, Teaching of Psychology, American Psychological Association.

Educational Psychology

A syllabus for Educational Psychology.  This syllabus has been peer-reviewed and identified as an exemplar by Project Syllabus, Teaching of Psychology, American Psychological Association.

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Presentation Handouts