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Welcome to Exchanges

A note from the Editor:

Welcome to Exchanges, the Journal of Teaching and Learning in the California State University. The CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning is pleased to offer this new publication, first posted here in January 2001, and featuring essays, articles, reports, and reviews written by our faculty.

Exchanges offers articles in several departments. In the Research Articles department we present scholarly studies of teaching and learning. Articles posted in this department have undergone anonymous, independent peer review by three or four CSU faculty, following criteria and guidelines set forth by the Editorial Board. We have several articles in the pipeline--either out for review or back to the authors for revision, and ITL has recently issued a new Call for Papers.

In other departments of our journal, From the Classroom, Viewpoints, Reviews, etc., papers submitted undergo review by the member of the Editorial Board providing the lead for that department. Most papers submitted to Exchanges are returned to the authors with suggestions and requests for revision, but the entire process moves relatively quickly, thanks to online and internet tools readily available to us. As I write this (May 2001), we have a number of articles in review and a number being revised by authors. Also, we have sent books out to faculty willing to write review essays for us, in response to our Call for Book Reviewers. ITL is grateful to publishers (Jossey-Bass, Anker, Johns Hopkins, and Atwood) for providing review copies of books that we've requested.

Since the early planning stages of this new online journal, we've been discussing whether to publish issues periodically or to adopt a "rolling publication" procedure, posting articles throughout the year, as they are accepted. We decided on the latter, and post articles, with dates, as they are accepted and prepared for publication. To find the most recent postings in any section of the journal, go to the department homepage where you will see a table of contents presented in order of publication, with the most recent articles appended to the end of the list. As the journal grows, we will move earlier publications to a separate archival listing.

Since our initial postings in January, we have added several articles and book reviews that I encourage you to read. Two address the complex issue of evaluating teaching effectiveness: a Viewpoints essay by Edward White (Cal State San Bernardino, emeritus), and a review, contributed by Michelle Saint-Germain (Cal State Long Beach) of a recent book, Evaluating Teaching in Higher Education.

New in the Viewpoints section of Exchanges is an essay, "Don't Be Afraid to Ask the Students," contributed by Bunny Paine-Clemes, California Maritime Academy, that reports suggestions from students for improving the general education program. She reports: "Focus group members insisted that the crucial factor in their ability to learn is not how courses differ but how instructors differ--and that it is the instructor who determines the success of the course."

In From the Classroom you will find a new essay from Maria Dolores Costa, Cal State Los Angeles, describing a way to engage students as active participants. Professor Costa reports the results of adapting to the college classroom selected behaviors from a genre many students know well: television game shows.

Also we are pleased to share with you insightful reviews of several books on teaching and learning in higher education (in addition to the one on evaluation mentioned above): Janice Schultz (San Diego State) on Donald Bligh's updated classic What's the Use of Lectures?; Sorel Reisman (CSU Fullerton) on 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups: Essentials of Web-Based Education by Donald Hanna et al.; and a review by Ted Humphrey (Cal Poly Pomona) of the practical Classroom Communication: Collected Readings for Effective Discussion and Questions edited by Rose Ann Neff and Maryellen Weimer.

Also new for our journal is our readers' comments feature, accessed in the blue field on the left ("Post Your Comments"). We invite readers to respond to issues and ideas presented in the articles, to pose questions, and to offer suggestions and comments on our journal.

In addition to reading articles and posting your comments, we invite your participation as an author. You will find our Call for Papers and Submission Guidelines in the blue field on the left, and I would be happy to respond to questions you may have that those guidelines don't address (cholder@calstate.edu). We do need faculty to help us with manuscript review as well. If you are interested in reading, reviewing, and providing authors with feedback on papers submitted to our Research Articles (Scholarship of Teaching) department, please send me your name, department, and a paragraph on your areas of expertise and interest.

Again, my thanks to our CSU faculty authors and to ITL and Chancellor's Office staff, especially our webster, Ty Melvin, and our Interim ITL Publications Manager, Joanne Bergman. Dr. Bergman is returning to Minnesota with her husband, Cal State Long Beach professor Ed Borowick, after spending Spring Semester in two part-time positions, as a lecturer in English at Cal State Long Beach and as our Interim Managing Editor of Exchanges. We are grateful for Dr. Bergman's expert assistance at ITL from February to mid-May and hope that she stays in touch from the Northwoods via the internet.

Carol Holder
Faculty Director, CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning
Executive Editor, Exchanges
May 22, 2001

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Last Upated: December 22, 2006