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Midweek Mentor Blog

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Tips to Revive a Class Discussion

By Lynn Bartels

November 12, 2014

Discussion can be an effective teaching strategy. A lively exchange amongst students on the class topic can help students formulate their ideas about the material, learn to share their ideas with others, and respond to others’ ideas. Class discussion can also help you assess how well students understand the material. However, when student participation in the discussion wanes, it can be painful.  If your class discussions are falling flat, here are a few tips to get them going again.


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Turnitin and iThenticate

By Matthew Schmitz

October 29, 2014

Plagiarism is a problem that affects students and faculty. The infographic in this blog (click to enlarge) lists the forms of plagiarism frequently identified in research writing, indicating the commonness and seriousness of each kind. In an effort to prevent academic plagiarism at SIUE, the University has licensed two products, Turnitin and iThenticate, that will ideally help students and faculty avoid those incidents.


As defined on the resource page, “Turnitin is an intellectual prop...

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Can Multiple Choice Tests Measure Higher-level Thinking?

By Lynn Bartels

October 15, 2014

Multiple choice questions are used widely in higher education particularly for large classes where it would be difficult to grade a large number of constructed response tests (e.g., short answer, essays). Despite their widespread use, multiple choice tests are not without their critics.

Testing the Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

One of the chief criticisms is that multiple choice questions don’t measure higher-level thinking (Frederiksen, 1984). The cognitive thinking skills of Bloom&#...

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Online Testing: Pros & Cons

By Wayne Nelson

September 30, 2014

Hanging around in the SIUE equivalent of the “teachers’ lounge” over the years (every department has one), I’ve overheard many comments about testing that have included things like:

  • “Well, we have to give tests to make sure our programs have rigor.”
  • “I’m so worried about giving an online test because I know the students will cheat.”
  • “It takes so long for me to grade my essay tests.”
  • “I don’t give objective tests ...

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Too Much Text on Those Slides

By Lynn Bartels

September 16, 2014

The use of PowerPoint or other types of presentation programs is a mainstay of college teaching today. Walk down the halls and look in the classrooms and you will see faculty talking along with a slide show. Last week, we had one of the largest groups registered for the Midweek Mentor session titled “How Can I Improve My PowerPoint Skills?”  Despite their widespread usage, PowerPoint slides are not always an audience favorite. One informal survey called the Latest Annoying Power...

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Introducing the ITS IDLT Center

By Matthew Schmitz

September 03, 2014

Beginning this semester, the format for the MidWeek Mentor series will alter slightly; instead of only offering videos followed by a facilitated conversation, the new format will include blogs, often written as accompaniments to the topics discussed in the MWM videos. The videos and blogs will be alternated each week, with a new installment being offered every Wednesday.

Another new change is that the members of the ITS Instructional Design & Learning Technologies Center will be partnering with...

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