CUTLA Teaching Tips for Student Engagement
Teaching, learning, and assessment tips that facilitate student learning or promote student engagement based on scholarly literature and suggestions from faculty who have successfully used these strategies.
To Receive Teaching Tips
CUTLA Teaching Tips are weekly e-mail messages to the faculty of UWF describing an instructional strategy that faculty might find helpful in promoting active learning and student engagement. If you are a UWF faculty member and do not currently receive the Teaching Tip e-mail but would like to receive future postings, contact CUTLA.
Do you have an instructional strategy that improves student learning or promotes student engagement with your class? Send a description of your teaching tip to Claudia Stanny at the Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment for posting in a future Teaching Tip mailing.
Teaching Tip Topical Archive
The Topical Archive Teaching Tips is an accumulation of CUTLA's weekly Teaching Tips arranged in categories. Archived Teaching Tips
Spring Semester Teaching Tips
Purpose and content of a syllabusJanuary 8, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
A well-written syllabus serves multiple purposes and audiences. The syllabus serves its immediate audience, students, when it describes the overall purpose of the course, documents your expectations for assignments and how you will evaluate students, and creates a common course reference that you and students will used to manage day-to-day activities during the term. It invites students to become members of the class as a learning community.
How long should I retain grading records for my class?January 15, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
The term is finished. You finished grading the exams and papers, computed final grades, and submitted them to the Registrar. Time to celebrate and clean the chaos that accumulates in your office in the last weeks of the term. You hope to begin the next term with a clean desk, an organized bookshelf, and orderly files. What to do with old exams, syllabi, and other class materials you accumulated during the term?
Turnitin workshops for faculty offered during the spring termJanuary 22, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Stephanie Stocks, a consultant at Turnitin, will facilitate a series of three webinars for faculty at UWF on how to use Turnitin. Workshop topics include the following: accessing Turnitin through Canvas, using the erater and quickmarks tools to grade with a rubric and give students feedback, submitting work for an originality report and interpret the report, and creating a PeerMark assignment in Canvas and conducing student peer reviews.
Structure grading to provide meaningful feedback, motivate students, and direct future learning activitiesJanuary 29, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Students often think of grades only as rewards for work completed, but the grading process can also be structured to provide students with meaningful feedback and improve future learning. What are the characteristics of feedback that achieves these goals? Crisp and Bonk (2018) identify six characteristics that define high quality feedback.
How to interpret your student course ratingsFebruary 5, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Ratings on course evaluations play a pivotal role in annual evaluations and decisions about tenure, promotion, and teaching awards. Faculty should also use course feedback from students to reflect on teaching and course design. However, both processes require that we interpret student ratings appropriately and use the feedback from student comments wisely.
Help students develop effective metacognitive strategies to improve learningFebruary 12, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Metacognition refers to our knowledge about how memory and cognitive processes operate and how we use this information to select activities and learning strategies to improve our memory and regulate our learning. However, many students hold false beliefs about which strategies are most effective in helping people learn (Chew, 2015; McCabe, 2011; McGuire, 2014).
Structure expectations for an annotated bibliography to improve students’ ability to read the primary literatureFebruary 19, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
When we ask students to summarize and evaluate the primary literature in an essay or research paper, students face two daunting challenges. First, they must be able to read and understand the complex arguments published in the primary literature. Second, they must integrate these arguments and draw their own conclusions, summarizing the primary literature in their own language.
Become a more productive writer by joining a writing groupFebruary 26, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Which persona best describes your writing habits? Are you a sprinter, a marathoner, a weekend warrior, or a couch potato? Writing for publication is as central to academic life as teaching, grading papers, and conducting research. Faculty must regularly publish their writing to achieve success in an academic career. Nevertheless, faculty often struggle to find the time or energy to write, much less make writing an integral element of their routine.
Microaggressions: What they are and what to do about themMarch 5, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Definitions of microaggessions resonate with the adage about “being pecked to death by ducks.” A single duck peck won’t kill you, but it hurts. A gang of persistent, pecking ducks, however, can kill. Similarly, a microaggression is a brief, small indignity, either intentional or unintentional, that insults or marginalizes the targeted person. Individual, microaggressions are hurtful and annoying; collectively, they undermine a person’s dignity and identity.
Use Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) to reflect on your teaching and improve student learning in future coursesMarch 19, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
The final weeks of the term are one of the best times to reflect on student learning and consider changes you might want to implement the next time you offer the course. Identify activities and assignments that worked well and make notes to yourself about modifications to assignments, rubrics, and other aspects of the course that might create improvements.
How to be an effective mentorMarch 26, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Mentoring (and being mentored) can be rewarding and transformative events. In the best mentoring relationships, both the mentor and the mentee realize benefits, especially when the relation evolves into a collegial collaboration, where mentor and mentee function as equal partners. Successful mentoring entails strong listening skills. While mentoring requires a commitment of time, this need not be an onerous commitment.
Microresistance: How to be an ally to targets of microaggressionApril 2, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
"Congratulations on having both of your proposals accepted for presentation at that conference. I guess they did not have many submissions this year." This backhanded compliment is an example of a microaggression, a small, brief, slight or indignity, delivered intentionally or unintentionally, that insults or marginalizes the targeted person. Verbal comments, behavior, and other small indignities of daily life are classified as microaggressions. Sometimes we are the target of a microaggression.
Reflective elements of assignments deepen student learning and develop cognitive skills to monitor and direct their future learningApril 9, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
In a busy world, people can get so caught up recording events (posting photos of fabulous meals, a child’s recital, or vacation scenery on social media) that they neglect to experience the activity. Similarly, busy students may complete the assignment we craft to promote learning without noticing how the assignment promoted learning important disciplinary knowledge or skills. They will notice the time and effort the task required, but they might not notice the benefit for their learning.
How to submit student work for an originality report from Turnitin through CanvasApril 16, 2019 | June Watkins and Claudia Stanny (Ed.)
This process works best when instructors enable Turnitin when they create the assignment in Canvas, before any student uploads a paper. However, sometimes we decide we need a Turnitin review after we encounter student submissions that look problematic. Unfortunately, Turnitin must be activated in an assignment before the first submission [for] seamless integration with Canvas. The minute the first student uploads a paper, it is too late to add Turnitin for that assignment. But all is not lost.
High Impact Practices: What they are and why they matter for student learningApril 23, 2019 | Claudia Stanny
Student engagement refers to a group of “educationally purposeful activities” that foster student learning. Since 2000, researchers using evidence from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and student records have documented the positive relation between student participation in high-impact learning experiences (HIPs) and outcome metrics such as retention, progress toward degree, and academic performance (Kinzie, 2017).