Power of Teaching Clarity and Organization
A recent article in the Chronicle describes how Mary-Ann Winkelms’s pedagogy of “transparent” teaching—in particular helping students understand a task, its purpose, and how they will be evaluated—can lead to their success and persistence in college. The article references the Wabash National Study, in which we found that teaching clarity and organization linked to positive outcomes like critical thinking and academic motivation. Of the good teaching practices highlighted in the study findings, teaching clarity and organization is one of the most powerful. In Practitioners’ Corner, Charles Blaich and Kathleen Wise write about the outcomes of clear and organized teaching, describe how different populations of first-year students are affected by a lack of clarity and organization, and discuss implications for faculty.
Learning Gains in British Higher Education
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has recently announced its support for a large-scale, longitudinal pilot project that will look at learning gains during students' time in English universities and colleges. According to a Times Higher Education article, the project will likely be similar to the Wabash National Study, which used both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as examined students and institutions, to investigate liberal arts outcomes. Learn more about the HEFCE project and view a presentation on measuring learning gains by Center of Inquiry Director Charles Blaich and Associate Director Kathleen Wise at the HEFCE national conference in February 2015 .