Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

Are Happier Students Better Performers?

Published Date:March 8, 2017

Are Happier Students Better Performers? The importance of student happiness cannot be underestimated as a determining factor in academic performance, especially in the context of today’s universities. However, teachers can be empowered in their roles as holistic educators and become positive mentors for their students, providing understanding, empathy and encouragement. Furthermore, they can also train students in developing their emotional resilience. This should be given particular emphasis in this day and age, where students are increasingly vulnerable to the negative effects of boredom, stress and frustration in their university courses. So, teachers have an increasingly important role as contributors to student happiness.  It can be said that a truly happy student is likely to excel in his academic pursuit.

Published Date: March 8, 2017


Learning with Students vs. Doing for Students

Published Date:March 8, 2017

Learning with Students vs. Doing for Students. Here’s a quote, “I see myself as a learner first, thus I create my classes with learners, not for them ….”  When I think about classes I think about myself as a teacher first. So, I’ve been trying to imagine facing a teaching task from the perspective of a learner. The quote represents another push away from teaching and toward learning. But the preposition “with” makes it something more than just another admonition to be more learner-centered. Classes are created with learners, not for them. Even given my long-standing interest in learner-centered teaching, I have to be honest and admit, I created courses and now create workshops for learners, not with them.  Perhaps here is a way by doing beneficial things for students if I use what I have learned by doing things with them.

Published Date: March 8, 2017


Do Quizzes Improve Student Learning? A Look at the Evidence

Published Date:February 23, 2017

Do Quizzes Improve Student Learning? A Look at the Evidence. There’s a lot of talk these days about evidence-based instructional practices. Recently I’ve been trying to locate the evidence that supports quizzing, wondering if it merits the evidence-based label. Tracking down this evidence in our discipline-based research is challenging because although quizzing has been studied across our disciplines, it’s not easily searchable. What this evidence tells us is that given a particular set of conditions, quizzes produce positive results, in most cases a range of them. And that gives us three things to consider: quizzes are an evidence-based instructional strategy only in a general sense; to determine if quizzes produce the desired results, evidence is needed; and consideration of the instructional design is of profound importance. Additional details are here.

Published Date: February 23, 2017


Three Guidelines and Two Workarounds for Tackling Makeup Exam Policies

Published Date:February 23, 2017

Three Guidelines and Two Workarounds for Tackling Makeup Exam Policies. Are you one of the many instructors who loathe makeup exam requests? Makeup exams often create more work and can put us in the awkward position of judging the truthfulness of our students’ excuses. Although we can’t avoid makeup requests entirely, we can better prepare ourselves and our students by having a transparent and fair makeup exam policy. When designing your policy, always ask yourself: Does the policy allow students to learn what you want them to learn in your course? Here are three guidelines for an effective makeup exam policy and two possible workarounds

Published Date: February 23, 2017


Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) for Immediate Feedback on Student Learning

Published Date:February 9, 2017

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) for Immediate Feedback on Student Learning.  Want to get timely information about how well and what your students are learning? Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are generally simple, non-graded, anonymous, in-class activities designed to give you and your students useful feedback on the teaching-learning process as it is happening. An additional benefit of using CATs is that they also serve as active learning strategies. The standard references on CATs is Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd edition, by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross (Jossey-Bass, 1993). This article from Vanderbilt Center for Teaching provides several examples and how to implement CATs.

Published Date: February 9, 2017


In the next few weeks, administer an Informal Early Feedback (IEF)

Published Date:February 9, 2017

In the next few weeks, administer an Informal Early Feedback (IEF). Student evaluations of teaching are an important part of the feedback that instructors receive. This feedback can be especially helpful when it is collected during the semester. Our students can tell us if we are clear, accessible, respectful or timely. They may also be able to tell us if the activities we give them are well aligned with the ways we evaluate their learning. Responding to students’ comments by discussing them in class, and making changes as appropriate, can lead to increased motivation, better learning, and possibly improved end-of-semester student ratings. Check this site for directions and sample IEF forms.

Published Date: February 9, 2017