Professors Who Go Above and Beyond to Ensure Students Learn Effectively

April 10, 2012
With universities’ growing focus on research, the skill of teaching has fallen to the wayside. Students often criticize the system for employing ineffective professors. What good is their knowledge if they cannot impart it to the students they teach? The problem is that apart from end-of-term evaluations, departments do not have the resources to understand the root causes of ineffective teaching. Additionally, professors are under pressure to publish which requires focus on an entirely different set of skills. Improving his or her teaching ability rests with professor.

This is why professors such as Muhammad Zaman of Boston University and Lee Knefelkamp of Columbia University, profiled by the New York Times, stand out for their proactive approach to ensure their students are learning. Each has gone above and beyond their department’s requirement for feedback by constructing a more open avenue for students to share their thoughts. From graphing the results of instructor evaluations to distributing cue cards that ask “What’s working for you?” and “Of what are you needful?” what stands out is their feedback back to the students. They explain how they considered the comments and are working to implement the changes.

Navigating the world of higher education has become exceedingly complicated with pressure to publish and internationalize. It is important that student satisfaction with the quality of their education does not play second fiddle. Professors who, out of their deep passion for their subject, go above and beyond to ensure their students learn effectively impress the importance of doing what you do with excellence, a much more important life lesson.

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