Meeting the Challenges of the Two-Year Faculty Classroom, Part 2: Making the Survey Course Engaging

AHA Session 94
Friday, January 4, 2019: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Boulevard A (Hilton Chicago, Second Floor)
Michelle Iden, County College of Morris
Wake 'em Up: Survey Engagement through Controversial Topics
Mike Davis, Northwest Florida State College
Engaging the Everyday
Michelle Iden, County College of Morris
Actively Learning: Creating Critical Thinkers through Action
Lisa Rude, Normandale Community College
The Audience

Session Abstract

Two-year faculty frequently teach introductory level courses to non-majors of diverse educational backgrounds who are taking history courses as a requirement. Many students, then, are unprepared for a college level history course. Indeed, a 2011 journal article in New Directions for Community Colleges acknowledged that teaching underprepared students is one of the top challenges two-year faculty face. It is vital, then, that these courses are taught in an engaging way so as to help encourage student success. Successfully engaging students in the History survey courses could also foster greater interest in the discipline and its impact on society, thereby working against recent trends of decline in student interest. Since a large number of the courses taught at the community college level are survey courses two-year faculty are in a strong position to work on and combat ways to make those courses engaging.

This roundtable will present practical ways to address this topic. Panelists will discuss approaches such as incorporating controversial topics in to class discussion, flipping the classroom so that students are prepared for the college classroom experience, using alternative assignments to exams, or incorporating active learning techniques.

The aim is to start an active dialogue that can help all present deal with problems they’ve faced in the classroom. While the focus of the workshop is on the particular challenges faced in the two-year classroom, all are welcome to participate and share ideas regarding the practical approaches to making introductory courses engaging. Significant time will be allotted at the end for audience participation. Audience participation will be encouraged throughout the entire session through the use of, which allows for anonymous questions and comments.