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ERIC Number: EJ1114831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Instructional Clarity and Organization: It's Not New or Fancy, but It Matters
Blaich, Charles; Wise, Kathleen; Pascarella, Ernest T.; Roksa, Josipa
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v48 n4 p6-12 2016
In higher education it is sometimes hard to ignore the doom and gloom combination of shrinking budgets and expanding accountability. Education is also in the midst of a conversation about teaching and learning that encompasses a range of innovative pedagogies, assessments, and high impact practices. Organizations such as the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, useful student surveys like the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Higher Education Research Institute's (HERI) suite of Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) surveys, IDEA's Student Rating of Instruction have contributed to this national conversation about teaching and learning. While budgets and workloads may not be experiencing "the best of times," it is possible that college teachers have never had more information about different research-tested pedagogies that can be used to strengthen that work. Sometimes in the sea of information, educators lose sight of the fact that there is another way to sharpen teaching and strengthen the educational impact of our institutions--improving the clarity and organization of classes. Although it may not sound as transformative or exciting as some of the pedagogies and high impact practices, it often turns out to be very important for student learning, and can pay dividends regardless of whether it is applied with these innovative pedagogies and practices or used on its own. The research on teaching clarity and organization presented here are an invitation to a deeper and more challenging inquiry about whether students experience classes, assignments, and projects in the way instructors intended. Regardless of the approach, faculty can learn and improve on the skills necessary to strengthen the clarity and organization of their classes (Weimer & Lenze, 1997). The capacity to engage in clear and organized instruction is a skill, not an innate gift, and one that is well worth improving.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A