Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

Build-in Self-Assessment to Develop Critical Thinking: A Case for Annotation

Published Date:October 27, 2016

Build-in Self-Assessment to Develop Critical Thinking: A Case for Annotation. If we want students to be critical thinkers, we must routinely and explicitly give them structured practice opportunities to critically examine their own thinking. Squeezing two or three metacognitive activities into a hectic semester teaches students that such reflection is only for special occasions. Rather, student self-evaluation should be a daily course routine.  As an alternative to time-consuming, discrete, self-reflective assignments, we’ve turned to annotation as a built-in flexible routine to bolster any stage of the learning process. Annotation can help define grading criteria and reinforce course ideas.  

Published Date: October 27, 2016


Thinking Creatively and Critically

Published Date:October 27, 2016

Thinking Creatively and Critically. The posting below gives some excellent suggestions on how to help your students think more creatively and critically. It is by Rebecca Brent and Richard M. Felder and is from Chemical Engineering Education, 48(2), 113-114 (2014).  Check out Felder's website for more articles on teaching . Two popular targets on the list of Things These Students Can't Do are creative thinking (coming up with innovative ideas) and critical thinking (making judgments or choices and backing them up with evidence and logic). Some examples are: idea generation and prioritization, explanation of unanticipated results, and problem formulation.

Published Date: October 27, 2016


A Simple Invitation - Please See Me.

Published Date:October 11, 2016

A Simple Invitation - Please See Me.  It all began with a simple message that I wrote on the tests or assignments of students who were struggling: “Please see me so we can discuss your performance on the test (or assignment). Let’s see what we can do to improve your grade.” Although initially I was not collecting data on the effectiveness of my “invitation,” I soon realized that most of students—about 80 percent—responded to it. Notably, those who met with me began to do better on future tests; their assignments improved as well.

Published Date: October 11, 2016


An Innovative Learning Strategy for Exams: 2-Stage Exams and 2-Stage Reviews

Published Date:October 11, 2016

An Innovative Learning Strategy for Exams: 2-Stage Exams and 2-Stage Reviews. Students take an exam individually. Once they complete the exam they turn it in and get into a group with 3 other students. The students then take the identical test but this time they work together on the questions. There is one answer sheet for the group so they all have to come to agreement on each answer. Listening to their peers and arguing for their case helps them to understand the answer better, even if they had gotten the question correct on their individual test. This also works well for a review when students begin a new class and the instructor wants to review the prerequisite material.  Directions for this strategy for taking and review the exam are here.

Published Date: October 11, 2016


Caring about Students Matter

Published Date:September 27, 2016

Caring about Students Matter. Good teachers care about their students. We all know that, but sometimes over the course of a long semester, it’s easy to forget just how important it is to show our students we care about them. But it isn’t always easy to care about students. We may care theoretically, even actually, but when we’re tired, stressed by all that our academic positions require, and pulled by what’s happening at home, showing that you care isn’t all that easy. And then there are those students who themselves so clearly don’t care—about us, our course, their major, or their learning. This article explains why caring is important and how to convey that concern.

Published Date: September 27, 2016


Time to Do This! Informal Early Feedback (IEF): A Valuable Opportunity for Just-in-Time Feedback.

Published Date:September 27, 2016

Time to Do This!  Informal Early Feedback (IEF): A Valuable Opportunity for Just-in-Time Feedback.  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. Here is a description of the process and sample forms for you to adapt. You can contact CITL for assistance to create the form and/or analyze the results. 

Published Date: September 27, 2016