Higher Education

Have You Discovered the Power of Teaching to Inspire Your Students?

September 4th, 2017

How do you describe an educator and the work an educator performs? Many people view an educator as someone who is a subject matter expert in their chosen discipline, a gatekeeper to a school’s policies and grades, and the one who is charged with providing instruction through the teaching strategies he or she has implemented. As a point of reference: When I use the word “teaching” I am referring not to primary education, rather I am using it as a generic term for instruction, as my perspective is written based upon my work in the field of higher education.

Many institutions value credit hours and scholarly publications as the primary criteria for hiring instructors. Yet having qualifications and publishing articles demonstrates only one aspect of teaching, the tangible aspect, which is preparedness to teach a subject and an investment in ongoing research. Those are important qualities, and necessary as a matter of accreditation standards, but there is something just as important which is not so easily measured or identified. It is the mindset of an educator, which is where an educator’s teaching practice is cultivated through habits of thought.

The mindset of an educator will vary, depending upon the classroom environment assigned. A traditional instructor may be focused on how and what to lecture. An online instructor may be concerned with the required facilitation duties to complete. Over time, the effectiveness and quality of both types of educators may improve. An educator may become better skilled with class discussions, finding course resources, and making the course content relevant to the real world. Some educators are highly dedicated to their work, engaged in their classes, and demonstrate a caring attitude for their students. For me, this took time to nurture.

One aspect of being an educator, not often taught in professional development courses, involves methods of inspiring students. This is what I was interested in learning, and it is not about minimizing other essential duties or growth areas needed. It is related to the impact an educator can make while teaching, regardless of the class subject, the format of the class, or the length of time of the course. I wanted to learn how I could make a difference for my students and bring out the best in their performance. It is this transformational journey and discovery of the power of teaching I will share with you.

Professional Development and the Start of My Journey

I have worked primarily in the field of distance learning. Within this field, most of the courses are taught by adjunct instructors. The traditional requirement for scholarly publications is not in place for many of the online schools, and it may seem as if adjuncts are not of the same caliber as professors who conduct research and publish.

I will leave that debate for another post; however, I can tell you there are professional development requirements in place for many online schools, as these schools recognize the need for their instructors to grow and learn, just as they teach their students. The professional development requirement for online adjuncts is often met with openness or disdain by faculty, and typically fulfilled through courses offered by the schools itself.

What does professional development consist of for educators who teach in non-traditional classroom environments? As you can imagine, I have attended hundreds of faculty workshops, programs, and webinars over the past 12 years. I have also facilitated faculty workshops, faculty developmental workshops, and built these types of workshops. The quality has varied but the purpose was always the same, and it was meant to help improve some aspect of the faculty’s performance.

Usually what was most helpful for me were the times when I could interact with faculty. During faculty workshops, we could share ideas, best practices, tips, and strategies. What was also helpful in my growth as an educator, and began my developmental journey, was learning adult education principles. That is when I began to understand the potential of teaching and how I could do more than lecture and grade papers.

Learning About Adult Education Principles

I decided to pursue studies in adult education as I wanted to know more about the learning process, and what was pivotal for changing my perspective about how adults learn was understanding the functions of the human mind. I realized the infinite potential the mind has to learn, regardless of age, circumstances, or other labels. I discovered andragogy, which is the principle of self-directed learning. I realized the impact I could have with my students if I could find methods of enhancing my teaching strategies to connect with them and make their studies interesting and memorable.

I already had a caring disposition and now I was awakening to my full potential. Then as I was in my doctorate program, I discovered an organizational developmental strategy that transformed my teaching methods. It is called appreciative inquiry. I connected with it because I could already see potential in my students, and now with appreciative inquiry I had a strategy to use. In its essence, appreciative inquiry is strengths-based, positive-focused, and builds from strengths to work on areas of developments.

I took appreciative inquiry and translated it for distance learning, calling it appreciative andragogy. While I may not implement the full plan for appreciative andragogy today with every student, and in every online class I teach, it has forever influenced how I work, and more importantly, how I interact with my students. It is all part of the disposition I have cultivated and continue to nurture as an educator.

The Power to Inspire Students

Gaining all of this knowledge about adult learning was helpful as part of my transformation, but the most significant transformation in my career occurred when I discovered the power I have as an educator to inspire my students. Knowing how they learn helped improve my teaching. Appreciative inquiry, transformed into appreciative andragogy, helped improve my teaching strategies. But the most transformative aspect of my work as an educator now is finding new ways of infusing creativity and passion into how I teach, so I am a better coach, mentor, and role model for my students.

To inspire students means they want to learn, they are engaged in the class, and when they believe they are unable to succeed, I help them find a way to try again. I nurture their growth so they will find more “aha” moments than “I am stuck” moments. How can you inspire your students? Here are some suggestions:

Be Responsive: When you tell students they can ask questions, don’t just make it a statement, make it a personal philosophy that you encourage. When students ask me questions, I take time to offer meaningful assistance and I will check back in with those who have struggled. I also do not wait long to respond to questions for online students as I know how frustrating it can be to wait for a response.

Be a Resource: Students expect you to know the subject matter. You can share your expertise during class discussions by providing context and adding relevance with your involvement. You can also offer additional resources, which can be very meaningful for students who want to excel or have particular career needs.

Be an Uplifter: This is how I inspire my students in the most meaningful manner. This is also where the most power in teaching resides, when you can encourage and uplift your students. They benefit from this approach while they are thriving in your class, and during the times when they are challenged. You can be a coach and a mentor. You can support them when they are plugged into the class, or when they are frustrated and you must work hard to maintain your own emotional intelligence. When you can uplift your students, you will find it brings out the best in you, and the best in your students.

When people think about a job and associate the word “power” with it, there may be a connotation of control. For example, if a leader has power they can control employees and make them comply with the rules. That is not the power I am interested in as an educator. The power I want to have is the power to influence students to perform their best, and if their best effort is what some can achieve while they are in my class, that alone may be an accomplishment. Not all students are going to be high achievers, all at the same time. But every student can feel good about who they are and the progress they are making. That is the feeling I want to instill in students, and I can accomplish this goal as teaching is powerful, when I nurture a mindset that is focused on uplifting, engaging, supporting, coaching, and mentoring my students.

Online Higher Education in the 21st Century

December 25th, 2016

The twenty aboriginal aeon presents different challenges for academy education. Advice and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are apparent as the above active force of the approaching economies of countries about the world. While complexities of the association are administration the charge for added education, ICTs are added accretion the ability and ambit of educational institutions by authoritative it accessible to admission any advance from anywhere in the apple and at anytime. They action the achievability of cartoon acceptance from abounding countries who are belief the aforementioned advance calm at the aforementioned time. They aswell serve both the ‘free market’ (i.e. those markets area humans are able and are able to pay the abounding amount of accessing services) and the ‘social market’ (i.e. those in charge of on appeal apprenticeship and training, and do not accept the assets to admission or pay for such services, but who for affidavit of both amusing amends and continued appellation civic bread-and-butter development charge basal education, advance or retraining).

The ambit of apprenticeship is getting badly added from a specialized action for adolescent humans to a lifetime charge for everyone. The abundance of nations will depend added on ability based high-tech industries. This agency that apprenticeship and trainings are capital elements of the new advice age not just in the pre-work years but throughout lifetime. Thus, ICTs action the affiance of not alone addition access, but aswell convalescent the superior of acquirements by authoritative it accordant to the abilities and ability bare in an advice society.

What is arising today is apprenticeship in four kinds of campus settings:

-Campus based apprenticeship (conventional universities etc.)

-Dual approach apprenticeship (Traditional universities alms online courses as well)

-Off campus apprenticeship (open universities and ambit apprenticeship institutions, etc.)

-Global cyberbanking campus apprenticeship (virtual universities, cyberbanking based consortia/global networks, etc.)

There has been a amazing advance and assortment in the amount and types of learners, the acquirements alfresco acceptable classrooms and aswell in the array of providers from archetypal individual approach and bifold approach institutions (open universities/dual approach universities) with the purpose of accretion the admission of accumulated organizations to academy apprenticeship in the aim of upgrading/retraining their workforce.

By appliance ICTs, academic universities are getting adapted into ambit acquirements institutes. They are starting to address on and offline to accommodated the growing basin of part-time acceptance and accessible addition potentiality. On the added hand, ambit acquirements institutes are aiming to accomplish it accessible to advise and apprentice above spatial/time limits.

Behavioral and amusing issues play a huge role in the uptake of online offerings so do the bread-and-butter issues that aphorism the accomplishing of online business models. The acquirements association would move above the classroom walls and would no added be dictated by the classroom schedule. Systems would no best be age or time based. All boundaries accompanying to distance, time, area of study, age, language, and ability would disappear. Individuals/groups that aggregate the acquirements communities would be able to collaborate with anniversary added beyond the globe. In added words, ICTs can personalize the prevailing abstract studies by authoritative chat teaching forms possible, and enabling them to be transmitted via abstracts networks.

The exponential advance of advice and communications technology (ICT) over the endure 10 to 15 years has had a abstruse appulse in every airing of life. Given the appulse of ICT on abounding businesses and industries, it is getting apparent as above change abettor in the acreage of academy apprenticeship too. ICTs are predicted to accommodate the way apprenticeship is delivered. Computers are added acceptable able with abstruse breakthroughs in satellite, cilia optic and wireless technology. Software developments such as multimedia assembly systems accept fabricated it easier to actualize agenda actual such as computer simulations and educational material. Consequently, there is abundant absorption in basic education, which is based on the abstraction of a boundless and cogent appliance of ICT on the amount activities of education.

Many institutions worldwide, but decidedly in North America, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and several added European countries such as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands accept taken aboriginal advance and invested heavily in online apprenticeship infrastructure.

It is bright that ICT accommodation will abide to aggrandize at a accelerated amount throughout the apple and will drive opportunities for online education. It will be in the absorption of nations and institutions to embrace online apprenticeship system.

On the added hand, basic apprenticeship requires a acrimonious set of altitude to plan calmly and online accreditation have to embrace assorted standards of acquirements if it is to be universally accepted. Thus, acceptable apprenticeship settings and processes will not disappear, nor should they.

As today’s accouchement become tomorrow’s academy students, accouterment another (online) acquirements environments will become added and added important. With the alteration face and needs of society, quick adjustment would be the key to success. While universities charge not carelessness their affluent traditions, they have to become added adjustable and adjustable to survive. For institutions that debris to change, the aftereffect is absolutely clear: accessible abutment will achromatize and they will eventually cease to exist.

Roger Achkar is a acclaimed Lebanese award-winning columnist and business thinker. He has appeared on a lot of TV stations in the Middle East.

Roger is currently the CEO of ‘Sharp Minds’, a Lebanese administration consulting firm. Formerly, Roger captivated abounding chief and authoritative positions at bunch and bounded organizations and captivated a clue almanac of business success beyond assorted industries like Administration and E-Business Consulting, Power generation, HVAC and Water technologies, Telecom, and Wholesale and Distribution.

Roger holds a Masters in Electromechanical Engineering from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon, a Bachelor of Law from the Lebanese University, a Masters in Systems Administration and Engineering from Supelec University in France and an MBA from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. He is aswell a doctorate apprentice in Amusing Sciences at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

How Do You Measure the True Value of Higher Education?

November 26th, 2016

I accept accounting abundant online writing about best practices for educators to use if teaching developed students, and I accept enjoyed conversations that accept amorphous as a aftereffect of comments posted. Several of the comments that accept been accounting in acknowledgment to my online writing accept discussed aspects of academy apprenticeship that assume to be torn or in charge of repair. I accept those perspectives and I accept account for anyone who wants to altercate important issues in this field. For example, I accept apprehend abounding online writing afresh about adjuncts, abnormally online adjuncts, accompanying to issues apropos pay, advance size, and job security. I apperceive that the for-profit online academy industry has appear beneath abundant scrutiny. In contrast, there is a non-profit online academy that is accepting acceptance by alms competency-based amount programs akin correspondence-based courses.

If you aren’t accustomed with the aboriginal abstraction of a accord course, it was accepted in the 1970s and usually consisted of a actor getting mailed abstraction abstracts and a analysis or appraisal that had to be completed and mailed aback in. There may accept been lectures to watch on accessible television at a accurate time of day as allotment of the program. Already the requirements were met, a affidavit of achievement was mailed. I accept announced with several humans who accept completed degrees with the non-profit online academy mentioned aloft and the accuracy why I analyze it to a accord advance is that it is accessible to complete classes afterwards anytime accepting to coact with an instructor. The alone claim for advance achievement is to canyon a final assessment, with a canyon or abort advantage in abode of a grade, and the casual brand is generally set with a allotment as low as 55%, which is a declining brand for a lot of acceptable colleges.

With all of the issues surrounding the acreage of academy education, the catechism again becomes: Is it accessible to still acquire a degree, one that holds amount for students? Added importantly, is it accessible to admeasurement the accurate amount of a amount in academy education? I accept the acknowledgment begins with a amount of purpose and by that, I beggarly schools should be alive to ensure that educational programs and courses are advised with a specific purpose and completed for a specific purpose by the students. Educators should aswell see this as a amount of accent as they advance their advisory strategies and plan with acceptance in the classroom. It may complete too abstracted and doubtful to implement; however, there is something that every drillmaster can do to ensure that their acceptance are alive appear this ambition of purposeful-driven education. What I will focus on is the educator’s angle and strategies that can access amount for students.

My Acquaintance in Academy Education

While alive for one of the above for-profit online schools, acceptance declared to me hundreds of times in their introductions that already they completed their associate’s amount they would be able to acquirement a new house, new car, and acquire a six-figure income. I do not apperceive if that was their acceptance if they began their amount program, and I do not wish to accusation anyone if that wasn’t their antecedent belief; however, acceptance charge to accept astute expectations. For these students, a amount was about like a action admission to a bigger life. While they were not absolutely assertive how that transformation was declared to occur, they were assertive that it would appear aloft graduation.

I can aswell allotment an archetype of my own continuing education. I enrolled in a acceptable MBA affairs as I was planning to backpack and I knew that I was traveling to alpha my own baby business as a adviser and writer. I aswell knew that historically a MBA alum was highly-sought after; however, that has afflicted over time. Obtaining a MBA no best affirmed a assertive job or career. What I acquired afterwards graduation was a ability abject that would acquaint my baby business practice, advice advance my business acumen, and abide to acquaint my teaching practice.

The next amount I approved was aswell done for a specific purpose and it was focused on developed education, as I was alive in the acreage of academy apprenticeship and had goals established. I knew traveling into my doctorate amount affairs absolutely what I capital achieve already I had graduated, and how the acquired ability would enhance my teaching convenance and serve as able development for my career. In added words, I did not apprehend that the amount itself was traveling to do something for me, as humans generally do if they advance their time and affairs in a degree, I knew what I was traveling to do with that amount – and that is how I was traveling to accretion amount from it.

The catechism that I accumulate in apperception now is this: How do I advice acceptance aswell accretion this blazon of amount from their degree, abnormally if they do not alpha out with a purpose in mind?

What Does It Beggarly to Actualize Value?

I accept formed for abounding online schools that accept told their acceptance to be abiding to chronicle the concepts they are belief to the absolute world, afterwards accouterment any added account or set of instructions. The byword “real world” is getting acclimated so abundant now by schools that administrators accept anybody knows what it means, and I am not assertive that acceptance in fact accept it from the aforementioned perspective. The absolute apple for acceptance may absorb aggravating to accomplish ends meet, alive to abutment a family, and acclimation abounding responsibilities – while in contrast, schools wish acceptance to see bigger issues. Abounding of these aforementioned schools aswell accord their advisers agnate guidelines and acquaint them to chronicle the advance concepts to the absolute apple as they address advance announcements, accommodate feedback, and appoint acceptance in chic discussions.

As a adroitness development specialist and drillmaster in academy apprenticeship myself, I able-bodied accept the advanced ambit of possibilities that an appliance of advance concepts to the absolute apple can involve. In added words, how I appearance the absolute apple and the issues surrounding it may be awfully altered than anyone abroad who holds a altered position, skillset, bookish background, and set of adventures than I do. This agency that artlessly cogent advisers to administer capacity to the absolute apple does not necessarily beggarly amount is getting created for their students. How anyone defines the absolute apple now is a amount of accent and that can alter from one alone to another, and acceptance may not consistently chronicle to the absoluteness of their advisers – and that agency accession band-aid accept to be activate if appliance is the key to creating value. Below are some strategies that I accept implemented in my online classes to advice actualize amount for students.

Purpose, Eyes Statement: I accept that a purpose account exercise is one of the a lot of accessible projects that an drillmaster can implement, if a affiliation can be fabricated to the advance and there is adaptability accustomed in the advance curriculum. If I accept activated this as an activity, I accept asked acceptance to define, redefine, expand, busy upon, and allotment the purpose for their amount program. I again accept an befalling to advice plan on mentoring acceptance and adjusting, if even slightly, their expectations. If I accommodate instructions for this activity, I will ask them to allotment some analysis accompanying to the career angle for any of the jobs they may be absorbed in.

A eyes account action can be implemented in affiliation with a purpose account exercise, or acclimated as a standalone activity, as a agency of auspicious acceptance to attending advanced and ascertain what they are alive appear in astute and specific terms. This action can be advantageous for acceptance who are beheld or adopt to address out their goals. If a apprentice is visually oriented, they can accurate their eyes as a alternation of accomplish and acquisition images to represent anniversary goal. For accounting goals, acceptance can accommodate data that go above advertence something general, such as “I will acquire a six-figure income” – and call specific accomplish to be taken afterwards graduation.

Collaboration: If you wish acceptance to activate to accept what the absolute apple is like, try to acquisition a way to accept them coact calm in baby groups. What this does is to accept them acquaintance aberration perspectives, opinions, and experiences. While some acceptance may not be accessible to alert to or accepting what others accept to say, and may even altercate adjoin them, eventually they will apprehend that there are added versions of absoluteness that exist. While this may alert conflict, and the accumulation may never absolutely action calm in the address that you would like for them to in the abbreviate term, it is accessible that this can serve as a activate and alert academy adjustment thinking.

Projects: Project-based acquirements or PBL is accepted with abounding educators and I can absolutely accept why as it finer demonstrates how acceptance accept taken and activated what they are acquirements throughout the chic term. In addition, they are creating a portfolio, generally stored through cyberbanking means, that can be apparent to abeyant administration as affirmation of plan artefact produced as allotment of the amount program. In added words, PBL prompts added that blueprint anamnesis of advance concepts.

Case Studies: This is one of the a lot of accepted methods for implementing a real-world access to learning. There are abounding case studies accessible for advisers and abounding added than can be activate through online resources. These studies are usually accompanying to businesses and can be acclimated to alert discussions and analyzation, arch to the use of analytical cerebration skills. This provides amount as acceptance are acquirements to anticipate above the ambit of a arbiter and administer what is getting abstruse to what they may appointment in their careers.

Current Topics: Any time an adviser brings accepted capacity into the classroom they are utilizing the absolute world. This provides ambience but not necessarily value. The amount comes from how it is acclimated and what acceptance are accomplishing with the information. Added importantly, as with any action there accept to be appliance accustomed as to how it relates to the course, the acquirements objectives, and ultimately the amount program. For example, a accepted affair that is acclimated as a springboard for appliance and analyzation of a advance affair provides ambience and amount for students.

As an educator, I am not traveling be able to change academy apprenticeship by myself – whether it is the for-profit online academy industry or the non-profit online academy industry. As an accessory online instructor, I am not traveling to be able to change absolute courses and chic that I accept been assigned to teach. Does this beggarly I should attending at academy apprenticeship as a arrangement that is torn and above adjustment if I see annihilation but problems? Should I feel hopeless if acceptance are earning degrees that do not assume to authority the amount they hoped to accept or may accept been told they would receive? Absolutely not.

I can yield every befalling I accept accessible to advice advise my acceptance how to ascertain and redefine the purpose they accept for their amount affairs – even as I am alive to advice them apprentice to chronicle and administer what they are acquirements to accepted capacity and business issues. I admeasurement amount in academy apprenticeship by the strategies I apparatus to advice acceptance acquisition purpose and acceptation as they are complex in the acquirements process. Accurate amount in academy apprenticeship begins if I advice appoint acceptance in the advance and the acquirements process, and I apparatus purposeful-driven educational strategies.

Dr. J has been alive in the acreage of academy apprenticeship and ambit acquirements back 2005, with roles that accept included Chief Bookish Officer, online instructor, academy instructor, and online adroitness development specialist. Dr. J has aswell acquired cogent acquaintance with advisory architecture and chic development, accepting developed hundreds of online courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is a able writer, resume writer, acquirements and development consultant, amusing media strategist, and career coach. Dr. J founded Afforded Quality Writing in 2003 and has accounting hundreds of resumes every year in a lot of industries, utilizing a accomplishment set based access to highlight the best of anniversary person’s career.