Posts tagged Dr. Mark Reisinger

Creating An Active Learning Environment in College Classrooms

College enrollment for the 2018 fall academic term in the United States is expected to hit more than 20 million students according to a report from Statista. The rapid enrollment growth is putting a burden directly on professors to innovate in overcrowded lecture halls and meet the needs of Gen Z students.

These overcrowded lectures, where devices can be as much of a distraction as they are a tool, are a challenging setting to engage students. But students who don’t actively engage often lose interest in material and become less willing to apply themselves on assignments and exams. These students are also less likely to have a positive perception of their learning experience, which can be reflected in semester evaluations.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple addition or change in class structure that will empower students and encourage them to participate. However, one popular method professors in top colleges and universities are successfully incorporating is active learning. In fact, many different active learning techniques can be tailored to fit any classroom and can lead to increased engagement and a better understanding of class materials.

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Implementing Technology in College Classrooms

When Dr. Kaston Anderson-Carpenter steps in front of his psychology class at Michigan State University, he sees 175 students interacting with laptops, tablets and smartphones in a carefully constructed academic environment. His courses are filled with Gen Z students; a digital generation of non-traditional students who rely on technology to do research, access their textbooks, complete their homework and communicate with their peers and professors.

Dr. Anderson-Carpenter’s classroom is not unusual for professors teaching in the 21st century. Students are no longer thriving in traditional classrooms which expect them to passively absorb information through lectures. Instead, studies show that teaching trends are moving toward app-based learning, microlearning and mobile learning where students can take ownership of their education and consume information in a familiar way. A study from Barnes and Noble College shows that Gen Z students expect digital learning tools to be utilized on-demand with low barriers to access, to create interactive learning environments.  Since this new generation of college students expect classrooms to use digital learning tools, it’s important for professors to consider ways of implementing technology that will not only intrigue students but bring value to their education.

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Time Management Tips for Professors

Finding and managing time as a professor is overwhelming. For many professors, clocking a 60-hour week is the norm and finding where to cut back can be tricky. Facilitating classes, mentoring students, conducting research and professional development activities are just the beginning; and when midterms or finals come around, any established routine doesn’t last. Suddenly, on top of a packed calendar, there’s a constant stream of student emails asking for clarifications and extended deadlines, colleagues seeking advice and required staff meetings; all while trying to make sure grades for hundreds of students are accurate and submitted on time.

One way to ease some of the stress and anxiety that comes with being a professor is to focus on time management. By setting goals, making an actionable plan and implementing technology, professors can relieve stress and facilitate a more streamlined, impactful course for the next generation of doctors, scientists, scholars and citizens to enter the workforce. But first, it’s important for professors to understand how they are spending their time and where they can afford to cut back.

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Creating an Inclusive Classroom with Packback

How a student-focused professor engages and connects with 150+ students in a single lecture.

Every Monday morning, Dr. Mark Reisinger enters his office at Binghamton University and prepares for his week. He answers student emails, uploads grades and prepares for his next geography class. But when the prep work is done, he leaves his office and chats with students. As a Collegiate Professor, Dr. Reisinger spends half of his time outside of the classroom building relationships, advising and teaching students that learning doesn’t just happen in the lecture hall.

Dr. Reisinger became a Collegiate Professor in 2010 and has mentored hundreds of students. His close relationship with students has allowed him to apply student feedback and experiment with different classroom techniques throughout his tenure.

“I am not the faculty member who stands up in front of the class and lectures,” says Dr. Reisinger. “I am the professor who is constantly moving around the classroom, lecturing and questioning students to keep them engaged.”

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The Packback Method: Best Practices for Engaging Students

Our platform, Packback Questions, is an assistive technology designed to guide the development of curiosity and critical thinking in students. We’ve seen professors use Packback to help students fall in love with the subject matter, and we understand that a professor’s role in student growth is irreplaceable. But finding innovative ways to connect and challenge the 21st-century student can be overwhelming alongside a schedule filled with classroom prep, research, administrative duties and other commitments! The Packback Method helps by highlighting three simple steps to help busy professors connect and challenge students in 15 minutes or less!

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