Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)

Published Date:February 22, 2016

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs). 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 in your classes.

Published Date: February 22, 2016


Now is the time to do an Informal Early Feedback (IEF)

Published Date:February 22, 2016

Now is the time to do 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. Here are the directions and example IEFs. If you would like assistance in developing your own IEF or interpreting the results, email did@illinois.edu

Published Date: February 22, 2016


10 Assessment Design Tips for Increasing Online Student Retention, Satisfaction and Learning

Published Date:February 7, 2016

10 Assessment Design Tips for Increasing Online Student Retention, Satisfaction and Learning - How much time do we put into the design of the assessment plans in our online courses? Is most of that time focused upon summative graded assignments that factor into the course grade? Or, do they also include opportunity for practice and informal feedback? I confess that I have an increasingly difficult time with online courses that limit assessment plans to a few papers, projects, quizzes, and tests. In an age of educational innovation and online learning, perhaps it is time to further explore enhancements to traditional notions of grading. Click here to read the suggested strategies. 

Published Date: February 7, 2016


Building Professor-Student Relationships in an Age of Social Networking

Published Date:February 7, 2016

Building Professor-Student Relationships in an Age of Social Networking. Sometimes the only interactions we may have with students occurs online. 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. Also, included are a few suggestions for establishing authority and professional boundaries while still maintaining professor-student relationships characterized by warmth and friendliness. 

Published Date: February 7, 2016


First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom

Published Date:January 26, 2016

First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom. Why had my evaluation scores gone down while student achievement had gone up? The reason became clear as I read the written comments. The students were displeased with the greater work. They were content to ignore reading assignments, assuming that I would lecture over the content that was important. They were content not to review information and construct knowledge except by cramming the night before exams. What I needed was a way to engage them to see that how I taught the course mattered to them; that learning this way helped them accomplish goals that were important to them. Read here for strategies to help student buy-in for more active learning.

Published Date: January 26, 2016


Three Active Learning Strategies to Push Students Beyond Memorization

Published Date:January 26, 2016

Three Active Learning Strategies to Push Students Beyond Memorization. Many students come to us having achieved academic success by memorizing the content, regurgitating that information onto an exam, and promptly forgetting a good portion of it. New material builds upon the material from the previous semesters, it is critical for students to retain what they learn throughout their coursework and as they begin their careers. Here is a description about the strategies and how to implement them.

Published Date: January 26, 2016