The National Teaching & Learning Forum

Cover image for Vol. 24 Issue 6

Online ISSN: 2166-3327

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James Rhem, Executive Editor

Editor James RhemHaving felt a passion for teaching for as long as he can remember, James Rhem, creator and executive editor of The National Teaching & Learning Forum, describes teaching and learning as sacramental acts. He was pursuing post-doctoral studies when the opportunity to have a wider influence on the teaching community opened and he began creating publications on teaching for higher education. After founding four newsletters, including the popular Teaching Professor, he founded The National Teaching & Learning Forum in 1990. Rhem is also active as a speaker, offering a humanities perspectives on teaching.

Editor's Note, Volume 24 Number 5

September 2015

James Rhem, Executive Editor:

What’s all this talk about metacognition faculty may be asking themselves. In the current issue of The National Teaching and Learning FORUM Lauren Scharff and John Draeger, creators of the listserv “Improve with Metacognition,”take the idea of having students become very conscious of the processes of their learning and extends it to faculty. They offer a series of useful questions to help faculty move from being “reflective teachers” to “metacognitive instructors.”

These days, part of being thoughtful about one’s teaching involves understanding the thinking and best practices surrounding “the flipped classroom.” Linda Hodges of the University of Maryland offers a concise primer on this timely topic aimed at improved instruction. I saw these ideas in practice in a large chemistry class at Georgia Southern University in March and understand what all the talk is about much better now. Flipping can be a very good instructional practice.

Speaking of what I saw on the road: this issue of the FORUM contains a brief overview-introduction to a series of reports coming in issues this fall on Phase One of the NTLF Residency Initiative. I’ve spent the last six months visiting campuses across the country for a month each looking at their efforts to support improved teaching. It’s been an exciting and educational half year. Read about it in the issues this fall.

But of course there’s more in this issue. Ed Nuhfer’s DEVELOPER’S DIARY column explores the application of coaching (or as it is also known one-on-one or personalized instruction) to the cultivation of so-called “soft skills.” These dimensions of character building and formation used to be a valued part of education. Nuhfer describes a way to bring them back. Enlightened businesses seem to want them again.

Rounding out the issue, our CREATIVITY CAFÉ columnists delve into the research exploring the idea of “creative types,” and Marilla Svinicki’s AD REM . . . column kicks off a three-part exploration of the challenge of teaching important concepts and having that learning transfer to unfamiliar problems.

As always, there’s lots of food for thought in The National Teaching and Learning FORUM.

—James Rhem

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