5 tips for preparing your faculty job application materials

by Julie Dodd

The last assignment for Mass Communication Teaching (MMC 6930) is to develop an online teaching portfolio.

Most of the students in the course typically are at least a year away from being on the job market, but the process of preparing job application materials helps them be more prepared to enter the job market — both by having materials developed and by realizing now what they should be working on to be more competitive when they do apply for faculty jobs.

Dr. Karen Kelsky has a helpful website with faculty job advice — “The Quick and Relatively Painless Guide to Your Academic Job Search” (2014)

Here are five tips for finalizing your job application materials:

 Tip #1 – Embed your name on your documents – Any documents posted online, such as your PPT slides or syllabus, should include your name as a header/footer. That’s not a requirement for our assignment but advice for “best practices.” That helps you get credit for your work when it may be used by others – such as someone who might use your PPT slides in their own teaching.

Tip #2 – Name your digital files – In naming files, include your name and use all lower case and no spaces.
NO: Teaching Philosophy.pdf
YES: garcia_teaching_philosophy.pdf

Tip #3 – Be consistent with font and type size – When preparing documents, we sometimes copy/paste materials from different files. But you don’t want your final document to look like it was copy/pasted. So when you’ve completed the document, select all and then set the font and point size.

Tip #4 – Carefully proofread your work – Be sure to proofread your work. The impact of a well-written cover letter or vitae is diminished by grammatical or spelling errors. Read your writing aloud. Have a trusted colleague or friend read your work.

Tip #5 – Test digital files and links – Be sure you have tested links in digital files and have made sure your digital files open. (If you are creating your vitae in InDesign, for example, you should save the file as a PDF to make it easier for those receiving the file to open it.)

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Academic dishonesty in college classes — Pro-active and reactive efforts for teachers

by Julie Dodd

uf_conductAcademic dishonesty.

Every college instructor is concerned about that issue.

We want to evaluate each of our students on his/her own work. We want students developing standards of ethical behavior to carry forward into their professional and personal lives.

What can we do to promote academic honesty? And what can we do if we discover academic dishonesty?

Strategy #1 – Determine what your educational institution has in place to help you as an instructor.

At the University of Florida, the Dean of Students Office provides that support.

UF students are required to sign the Student Honor Code that lists and explains a range of inappropriate academic behavior, including plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration.

UF has an established process for addressing honor code violations. The guidelines are very clear that the instructor must contact the Dean of Students Office to report any academic dishonesty issue. The Dean of Students Office provides a form for reporting violations and has a Student Hearing Committee and review process for a student who has more than one violation.
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How to handle distractions, disruptions and discipline issues in the college classroom

by Steven Gallo
University of Florida Master’s student

Steven Gallo

Steven Gallo

It’s a topic that many teachers think they’re prepared for, but it’s easy to get caught off guard when confronted with a discipline problem or some other disruption in the classroom. Just like a lesson plan or a presentation, it’s important for teachers to rehearse and prepare for disciplinary situations so that we don’t feel prepared and don’t respond well when problems arise.

Let’s take a look at a few common scenarios that teachers may encounter and the strategies we could employ for each.

Students who argue about grades

There will almost always be a student each semester who has concerns about a grade(s) and who will want to speak with you about it. A situation like this could potentially evolve into a disciplinary matter, but if handled correctly, it can be a “teachable moment.”

Here are a few strategies to consider:

  1. Make sure your syllabus outlines the expectations for when grades can be discussed (e.g. must be during office hours and within a week of receiving the assignment grade, etc.)
  2. Review the assignment expectations and/or grading rubric with the student
  3. See if the student understands your written feedback
  4. Identify areas for improvement so the student knows what to work on going forward
  5. Wait to make any decisions about changing a grade until after meeting with the student

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