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Ask an Author! How to Build Stronger Connections between Instructors and Students.

Monday, February 6 at 12pm ET

It can be disheartening to speak to a sea of blank faces or black Zoom screens. Meaningful connections between instructors and students are at the core of the educational experience, and for many of us, the very reason we teach! Join an interdisciplinary panel of Macmillan authors for a conversation on the importance of instructor and student connections and practical tips for helping to forge that bond.


James Morris

James Morris

Professor of Biology, Brandeis University

James Morris is Professor of Biology at Brandeis University. He teaches a wide variety of courses for majors and non-majors, including introductory biology, evolution, genetics and genomics, epigenetics, comparative vertebrate anatomy, and a first-year seminar on Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from Brandeis and Harvard. His research focuses on epigenetics. He currently pursues this research with undergraduates to give them the opportunity to do genuine, laboratory-based research. Dr. Morris received a PhD in genetics from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a National Academies Education Fellow and Mentor in the Life Sciences. He is also a reader for the AP® Biology exam and an author of Biology for the AP® Course.

Betsy Barefoot

Betsy Barefoot

Author, Your College Experience, Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Betsy O. Barefoot is a writer, researcher, and teacher whose special area of scholarship is the first-year seminar. During her tenure at USC from 1988 to 1999, she served as co-director for research and publications at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. She also taught University 101 and graduate courses on the first-year experience and the principles of college teaching. She conducts first-year seminar faculty training workshops around the world and is frequently called on to evaluate first-year seminar outcomes. Betsy is co-director and senior scholar in the Policy Center on the First Year of College and Vice President of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education both in Brevard, N.C. In her Policy Center role she led a major national research project to identify institutions of excellence in the first college year. She currently works with both two- and four-year campuses in evaluating all components of the first year.

Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys

Assign Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys to encourage better study habits and help students succeed in your course. Surveys are designed for various points in the course and allows students to self assess while giving you an insight into your course success.

Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys in Achieve