The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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ACUE Logo –
December 1, 2016

Good morning,

This week is jam-packed with instructors' insights and ideas, like how to get students to write with passion and stimulating students through syllabi. Plus, check out our exclusive Course in Effective Teaching Practices video in the ACUE Community Expert Series—with a preview below!

News in brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

Brain training. A Georgetown University researcher is testing new interventions to improve how people with dyslexia read, which could be a breakthrough for people with the learning disability. (nprEd)

Activating emotions. Harnessing students’ emotions can provoke curiosity and create positive learning experiences. (Vitae)

Unpacking tutorials. Small group work and color-coded sticky notes are two techniques for teaching complicated technical skills in large classroom settings, according to George Williams. (ProfHacker)

Probing passive learning. Lectures are most effective when the instructor presents the content clearly, explains its value, and offers opportunities for reflection. (The Scholarly Teacher)

Madam Secretary. Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, has well-established views on elementary and secondary education, but her perspectives on higher education remain unclear. (The Chronicle of Higher Education — Paywall)

Overarching questions. Connecticut College’s revamped curriculum helps students see how their academic experiences are relevant to their lives outside of the classroom. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Invitation to learn. Rather than merely conveying information, a syllabus should demonstrate how the course will stimulate and challenge students, Kevin Gannon suggests. (Vitae)

Redesign by example. Thanks to databases of published materials, many instructors are turning to peers’ teaching portfolios to redesign their own lessons. (edSurge)

Compelling narratives. An English professor reveals how she encourages all students, even those who are not self-described writers, to craft essays with passion and conviction. (Inside Higher Ed)

Blended classrooms. Joshua Kim envisions a higher education classroom of mixed learning, where remote and residential students can learn together synchronously. (Technology and Learning)

Enhancing critical thinking. Colleges should prioritize and create better systems for helping students develop critical thinking skills, Ben Paris argues. (Inside Higher Ed)

ICYMI: The ACUE Community Expert Series 
Derek Bruff –
Derek Bruff
Dr. Bruff offers advice to faculty developers and explains why visualization skills are more important than ever in today's digital age. Watch more of Dr. Bruff in ACUE's Using Concept Maps and Other Visualization Tools module. 
Saundra McGuire
Dr. McGuire shares who inspired her research interests and discusses strategies to promote student learning. You can see more of Dr. McGuire in ACUE's Engaging Underprepared Students module. 
As always, thanks for reading! Email Geoff Decker at with feedback and ideas for the newsletter, or just to say hello. 
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