Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

A Strategy to Get Student Buy-In for Active Learning

Published Date:August 30, 2015

A Strategy to Get Student Buy-In for Active Learning. A professor had asked himself, “Do my students know why I ask them to learn this way?” He had moved away from an almost entirely lecture-and-exam format to a more active class using small groups working on authentic problems. However, he was frustrated because his students didn’t understand the value of preparing before coming to class or the benefits of his teaching this way. Here is the assignment and the first-day questions he used to get student buy-in for active learning.

Published Date: August 30, 2015


Building Professor-Student Relationships in an Age of Social Networking

Published Date:August 30, 2015

Building Professor-Student Relationships in an Age of Social Networking. The influence of teacher-student relationships on the quality of teaching and learning is well-documented. What about the use of technology, especially social networking, in interacting with your students? What is the perceived impact and understanding?  In this article are some insights shared by one professor on how to have a good rapport with students online while avoiding any miscommunications and maintaining a professional relationship.

Published Date: August 30, 2015


A Learner-Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone for Learning

Published Date:August 12, 2015

A Learner-Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone for Learning. At its most basic level, the syllabus is used to communicate information about the course, the instructor, learning objectives, assignments, grading policies, due dates, the university’s academic integrity statement, and, in some cases, an increasingly long list of strongly worded admonitions on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in the college classroom. Could portraying the syllabus as a contract set up a less than optimal relationship?  This article suggests some areas to think about when writing your syllabus. 

Published Date: August 12, 2015


Don’t Waste the First Day

Published Date:August 12, 2015

Don’t waste the first day. Do you go over the syllabus page by page on the first day? Take advantage of the first day by hooking students into course content before distributing the syllabus. Do a background probe activity, get to know them and walk from one student to another, make your teaching style transparent. This article describes additional strategies to maximize that first day as a valuable learning experience.  

Published Date: August 12, 2015


Thresholds Are Troublesome

Published Date:May 21, 2015

Thresholds Are Troublesome. Few new ideas in the ongoing inquiry into effective teaching and learning have generated as much productive discussion as the idea of "threshold concepts" and its older sister, "troublesome knowledge."  Another name might be bottlenecks. Threshold concepts are “portals” or gateways to transformative educational development (Meyer & Land, 2003; Trafford, 2008), and “going through” this portal leads to significant and important outcomes for the student. To promote deeper learning, faculty should identify key threshold concepts in their disciplines and assist their students in mastering those concepts.

Published Date: May 21, 2015


Why Are You Teaching That?

Published Date:May 21, 2015

Why Are You Teaching That? My undergraduate experience wasn't as bad as that, but it left a lot to be desired. If you look through everything you're teaching and consider how useful it might ever be to the students, you'll certainly find some "need-to-know" material-things all graduates in your field should know and instructors in subsequent courses will assume they know. You'll also find material that makes you wonder "Why am I teaching this stuff?" If you're like most of us and have more jammed into your course than you can comfortably cover, consider cutting down on some of that superfluous material. Here are some candidates for cutting: It is adapted from Felder, R.M. (2014). "Why are you teaching that?" Chemical Engineering Education, 48(3), 131-132

Published Date: May 21, 2015