• Building Student Capacity for Reflective Thinking

      Shaffer, Suzanne C. (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2015)
      Well-written reflective prompts, combined with thoughtful faculty feedback, can help students to grow as reflective thinkers. The ability to think critically and reflectively can empower students to positively impact their own lives in college, in their communities, and later in their places of work. This article reviews several approaches to developing effective reflective prompts with practical examples from a higher education classroom.
    • Caring and Control: The Importance of Detachment

      MacLeod, Douglas C. Jr (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2013)
      Should we be finding ways to detach ourselves from our students, when they so clearly need guidance and direction? Should we be placing ourselves at a distance when students are so desperately trying to find someone to lead them to the right path? “Caring and Control: The Importance of Detachment” uses psychological definitions of the term detachment to help prove that the action is absolutely necessary for a healthy professional relationship to take place, both inside and outside of the classroom; and, that we (as teachers/instructors/professors) should have complete control over our “internal working models,” which the students have hardly any control over.
    • Connecting Classrooms for Collaborative Learning

      Kasniunas, Nina T. (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      Teachers are increasingly engaging students through experiential learning and incorporating new technology in the classroom. In this unique collaborative project we brought together two American politics courses (one taught at a college in one region of the United States and another taught in another) via web conferencing to work on a project in which our students designed and conducted an exit poll in each geographical location. Additionally each class worked together via video conferencing to design the survey instrument and to discuss election outcomes. The data allowed for analysis of vote choice and the ways in which geography and other variables affect it. In bringing the two classes together via web conferencing we successfully introduced diversity of viewpoint from an ideological perspective which otherwise would not have existed and cultivated civic engagement.
    • Creating Context for Civic Engagement through the Study of Social Issues

      Bower, Janine A.; Bower, Tim (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      Preparing college students as personally and socially responsible members of society is commonly reflected in institutional learning goals which incorporate outcomes for advancing the development of knowledge, values, motivation and skills related to civic engagement and the formation of civic identity. We suggest a method for providing a context for civic engagement in social sciences courses where students are introduced to skills useful for studying, understanding, and addressing issues of public concern. Students engage in a series of activities focusing on interrelated social issues, in this case food insecurity and food waste, and complete a capstone assignment in which they reflect upon their learning over the semester. A capstone writing assignment provides student the opportunity to reflect upon their experience, the qualitative results from which are used to assess attainment of learning objectives associated with civic engagement.
    • Integrating Civic Engagement with the Online Classroom: Lessons from Tennessee State University

      Robinson, Cara (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      The promotion of active citizenship and a commitment to public service while providing an environment of experiential learning and activity in traditional classrooms with traditional students can be tough enough; however, the task is exponentially more difficult in an online classroom of non-traditional students. The Urban Studies and Nonprofit Management programs at Tennessee State University (TSU) continue to explore ways in which to integrate their programmatic commitments to civic education, service learning and community engagement while understanding the changing landscape of the student body and the demand for online education. This paper reviews the challenges faced by online educators and offers potential solutions for online civic engagement and citizenship curriculum based on the experience of educators at TSU.
    • Moving Beyond the Transmission of Feedback: Strategies to Engage Students

      Squires, Maureen (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2013)
      Feedback is an essential element of formative assessment. For students to grow, deepen their thinking, and improve their writing, they must understand and apply instructor comments. Moreover, students must be active participants in the entire feedback process, being proactive rather than reactive. This paper is rooted in my reflection and experiences and integrates current literature in the field. It discusses common feedback challenges and presents strategies for moving beyond a transmission model of feedback to one that invites students to co-construct feedback.
    • Pinterest in the Writing Classroom: How Digital Curation and Collaboration Promotes Critical Thinking

      Castro-Lewandowski, Athena (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2013)
      Often reworking existing digital materials, twenty-first century writers are increasingly collaborative and multimodal composers. This article explores how teachers of Freshman Year Composition can use the image based social media site Pinterest to harness students' digital curation and collaboration skills and promote critical thinking in the writing classroom. Castro-Lewandowski examines Pinterest's unique affordances and offers a case study of how two of her writing students built their critical thinking skills in a Pinterest-based assignment.
    • Service Learning as a Pedagogical Tool for Citizen Stewards

      Kulkarni, Tara (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      Service-Learning is an effective pedagogical tool in which students apply their classroom learning to help communities in need. Six service-learning projects were conducted in an introductory environmental engineering classroom. In four of the six projects, undergraduate students worked with local K-12 school students in various projects involving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in environmental science and engineering. This paper describes two of the projects, and some student reflections along with my notes on the experience.
    • Talk Amongst Yourself: A SoTL Manifesto

      Neuhaus, Jessamyn (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2015)
      This article identifies four ways that both public presentations as well as published work in the scholarship on teaching and learning could be improved, calling on all potential SoTL contributors to 1.) be yourself 2.) be convincing—but be clear 3.) be honest and 4.) be generous. The author concludes by arguing for the benefits of conceiving of the field as the “study” of teaching and learning, rather than “scholarship.”
    • Teaching Global Issues through Public Intellectuals

      Hornibrook, Jeff (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      By focusing on individual writers, public intellectuals, who are both thoughtful and easily accessible—rather than reading about these broader topics in textbooks—students learn about many of the same important issues while pointing them to specific individuals who they can turn to in the newspapers and political web sites whenever political conflicts and debates arise long after they leave college.
    • The Paradox of Democracy and Higher Education

      Moran, Thomas (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      At the heart of democracy lies a paradox. Democracy is dependent upon citizen participation, but if citizens, exercising the freedom that democracy permits, choose not to participate in the political life of the society, democracy by definition ceases to exist. That paradox confronts higher education today. The question for faculty is how to explore the foundations of civic responsibility in ways that productively acknowledge the paradoxes and the requirements of democratic life in ways that compellingly prepare our students for the civic commitments that they will need to exhibit.
    • The Useful Citizen

      Kasper, Becky (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
    • Twitter: Tweets for Analysts

      White, Susan (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2015)
      Twitter is a popular social media outlet where companies can disseminate information about the firm. Students can obtain usable information that can potentially aid their analyses of firms, with the firm’s Twitter feed as a starting point to garner information that the firm considers to be important. This article looks at the use of social media in assignments, and includes a Business Finance assignment that requires students to find a relevant tweet from their assigned company and relate it to finance theory.
    • Welcome to the Inaugural Issue

      Kasper, Becky (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2013)
    • Writing for the Community: Building Better Citizens in the Professional Writing Classroom

      Devine, Julia (The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning, 2014)
      In the fight for the future of the humanities, can teaching grant writing help? This article explores the relationship between civic engagement, the humanities, and the nonprofit world. I demonstrate how my grant writing class gave students not only professional grant writing experience, but also engaged them deeply in the Plattsburgh community and the wider world. I conclude that a classroom emphasizing collaborative learning and community connections makes students into better professionals and better citizens.