Volume 8, Number 4

Are we Effectively Teaching Today’s College Student?


Candice Dowd Barnes, Patty Kohler-Evans and Rachel A. Wingfield, University of Central Arkansas, USA


Evidence suggests that twenty first century college students have less aptitude and less interest in academic learning than their predecessors. This poses a challenge to faculty who are charged with passing knowledge to the next generation of teachers, scientists, managers and others whose field necessitates a degree from a college or university. The authors examine this assertion by taking a closer look at how faculty provide intellectual stimuli to their students, how technology helps or hinders learning, and the complex relationship between faculty and students. Three broad themes are explored: helping students understand the higher education experience, keeping students engaged in and out of class, and continuously assessing for improvement in students’ relationships with those charged with educating them. Specific recommendations, grounded in research, are made for each area explored. The authors conclude that making changes in how faculty approach the experiences students have, will significantly improve the quality of those experiences.


Teaching Effectiveness, College Students, Faculty Development, Faculty-student Relationships