A publication of the North Carolina Community College System
to NC-NET News
In This Issue:
Resources from the NC-NET Academy:
From Good Teaching to Student Learning
Embracing Diversity in the Classroom
Western Center hosts Teaching and Learning
Self-paced Podcasting Course Complete
NC-NET Information Sessions Available
Resources: From Good Teaching...
Exchange from the NC-NET Academy
The NC-NET Academy is in its second full year of providing facilitator-led
online courses for faculty development. Each course has been popular,
as evidenced by swift enrollments and lengthy waiting lists. In
this issue of NC-NET, we share a few resources and readings from
two Academy courses.
From Good Teaching to Student Learning
is designed for new faculty members, both full- and part-time.
The course challenges participants to investigate complex issues
such as: How well does your teaching style mesh with your college’s
mission? What’s different about adult learners? How do we
reach them and how do we know that we did? The course is designed
for participants with minimal background in education theory and
application and is intended to enhance new instructors’
understanding of community college students and the factors critical
to student success.
Articles for Review and Reflection:
“Adult Learners in Postsecondary Education”
by Susan Imel
briefly explores research examining different facets of the experiences
of adult learners in postsecondary education—instructors
and instruction, cognition or knowledge construction, expectations
of outcomes, and the effect of race. In light of these factors,
she outlines recommendations for improved teaching practice:
Involve adult learners in sharing and critiquing their life
experiences in the classroom.
Be sensitive to individual differences.
Adopt curriculum that is inclusive and culturally relevant.
Use instructional strategies that enable adults to form relationships.
“Assessment that Promotes Learning”
by John P. Lowe
Lowe’s article provides practical steps for designing assessments—not
just tests—that encourage students to become aware of their
First, the single most important factor influencing learning
is what the learner already knows. This observation has two
important ramifications for me. One is that I expect the students
to be able to call on knowledge and skills from prerequisite
courses, and it is important that I let them know that. The
other is that I expect them to come prepared to class each day.
Usually that means they have read ahead or done a certain problem,
so it is important for me to demonstrate what that day's task
is. Just saying that they must be prepared is not enough; I
must also show them what they must do to be prepared.
second factor to remember is that awareness of learning motivates
learning. This is an easy one to forget, and one I need to attend
to more often. I try to find ways for students to experience
the payoff when they make an investment in improving their learning/thinking
skills. When they see results, they become more highly motivated.
My tendency, however, is to ask more challenging questions as
students get more sophisticated, so that test results tend to
stay constant. This interferes with the buildup of confidence
I would like to encourage. Even though I can see their growth,
they don’t if their test scores remain fixed.
Resources: Embracing Diversity
Academy course Embracing Diversity in the Classroom asks
instructors to identify the changes they see around them. How is
America different? How is North Carolina different? How have both
education and our students changed over time? Course participants
learn ways to cultivate a climate of respect and creativity within
a diverse student population.
Informational and Teaching Resources on Diversity
“The Cost of Change: (Re)Educating North Carolina’s
Workforce” is a presentation by NCCCS President
Martin Lancaster describing the many changes affecting North Carolina,
including demographic, economic, and technological changes. [View
presentation by President Lancaster.]
Embracing Diversity in the Classroom explores subjects
that can be tricky and highly personal—and hard to discuss
without feathers getting ruffled. Heated moments in the classroom
can also be teachable moments, particularly through the use of
strategies that honor each student’s uniqueness and channel
conflict into positive expression. Below are several to try in
A resource from the Arizona State University Intergroup Relations
Center offers strategies for de-escalating conflict and tension
when it emerges in the classroom:
Checklist for the Standards-Based Classroom” by
A checklist to help teachers reflect on and improve their efforts
to create a more equitable learning environment in their classrooms:
The NC-NET Western Regional Center will
host “Becoming an Intentional Learning College:
No Student (Or Employee) Left Behind” at Southwestern Community
College in Sylva on March 23, 2007. Central Piedmont
Community College president Dr. Tony Zeiss is the keynote speaker.
For details, visit the Western Regional Center webpage, http://www.nc-net.info/westerncenter.htm.
Register by March 12 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
or calling 800-447-4091 x273.
Technology in Education, a new self-paced online course,
has been completed for NC-NET by a group of educators from Guilford
Technical Community College, Wake Technical Community College
and Stanly Community College. The course explores how podcasting
can be an integral part of the learning process for students.
It consists of three parts:
One focuses on the technology of podcasting, walking
you through the steps of recording and distributing your podcasts.
Two discusses the pedagogical factors of incorporating
podcasts into your curriculum.
Issues introduces ways for you to continue your learning
about this new technology through the use of blogs, podcasts
and your chosen aggregator.
assessments and an end-of-course survey are also included. Check
out this new resource today by logging in to the NC-NET Blackboard
server, accessible from the NC-NET modules webpage: http://www.nc-net.info/modules.htm
you are interested in hosting an NC-NET Information Session
for faculty at your institution, contact Nancy Massey
at the System Office in Raleigh. Nancy coordinates the project
for NCCCS and is available for presentations at your campus on
how to use NC-NET’s free resources to enhance instruction.
To schedule a session, contact Nancy at Masseyn@nccommunitycolleges.edu