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
Fall Semester Teaching Tips
Create strong class beginnings to build community and establish a strong instructor presenceAugust 29, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Whether you teach online or in a traditional face-to-face class, the success of the class depends in part on the sense of community you establish with students. Use the first few days of class to establish your presence in the class, build trust with students, and help students connect with one another....
How long should I retain grading records for my class?September 5, 2017 | 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. ...
Create writing assignments that engage students in deep learningSeptember 12, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Why do we assign writing in our courses? One good reason to assign writing is to give students practice and constructive feedback on their writing to help them learn to communicate more effectively. A second, perhaps more compelling reason, is that well-constructed writing assignments engage students with course content and deepen disciplinary learning. ...
Evaluating and using Open Education ResourcesSeptember 19, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Open Education Resources (OER), often published under a Creative Commons license, are free or low-cost resources that range from instructional modules (cases studies, rubrics, activity handouts that can supplement existing textbooks) through complete textbooks. ...
Use backward design to reflect on and document the quality of course designSeptember 26, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Backward design (Barr & Tagg, 1995; Fink, 2003) helps instructors design courses in which learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment strategies align. That is, all aspects of the course (assignments, class activities, assessments) focus on intended learning outcomes. ...
Request feedback from your students about your course during the termOctober 3, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Model the use of formative feedback for your students and reinforce the credibility of the end-of-term course evaluations. Introduce the topic of the value of formative feedback by discussing the value of formative feedback on your teaching. ...
New service to help faculty accommodate students registered with SAROctober 10, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) has implemented a new web-based service management system for approval and delivery of disability accommodations for registered students enrolled at UWF. ...
Create high-impact assignmentsOctober 17, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
The success of team-based learning depends on the quality of the assignments instructors design for team projects. The principles for creating a high-impact assignment that engages students in complex, high-level thinking also apply to individual assignments.
Make your course more engaging – and easier to manage – with eLearning technologyOctober 24, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
The University of West Florida eLearning system includes several tools and features that can help you organize your course content and communicate with your students. Using eLearning can simplify your work and improve communication between you and your students.
Help students develop effective metacognitive strategies to improve learningOctober 31, 2017 | 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).
Clarity and organization in the classroom improve student learningNovember 7, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Although we may have cherished memories of eccentric instructors, I have yet to hear anyone reminisce that they loved a course because the instructor was disorganized or that the lectures were incomprehensible. As a student, I appreciated courses that were well-structured, with a clear plan for the academic term.
Improve student learning and metacognitive skills with frequent testsNovember 14, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Students and instructors are accustomed to using tests to assess learning. However, a test can also be a learning experience.
Assign graded work early in the term to alert students to problems with their learningNovember 28, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
The first exam or major graded assignment in the term delivers a loud message to a certain number of students in a course: You are not performing well enough to succeed in this course. What can faculty do to help students who are “on the edge” pull back from the brink of disaster and succeed in the course?