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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.

Contributions Welcomed

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.

Best of Teaching Tips

A collection of 80 of the best teaching tips from 2006-2016 categorized and presented in an easily readable PDF format. Best of Teaching Tips

Fall Semester Teaching Tips

How learning-centered is your course syllabus?

November 27, 2018 | Claudia Stanny

The course syllabus serves many functions and must address several audiences. The immediate and primary function is as a planning document for students (and instructors) (O’Brien, Millis, & Cohen, 2008; Weimer, 2002). The syllabus functions as a quasi-contract that establishes expectations about instruction, expectations for student learning, and expectations for the kind of work students will produce and how that work will be evaluated.

Request feedback from your students about your course during the term

October 2, 2018 | Claudia Stanny & Michael Dabney

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. Point out that evaluative feedback from students at the end of the term does nothing to benefit the students who are currently enrolled in the course. Faculty simply can’t correct a problem that they don’t know about.

How long should I retain grading records for my class?

September 4, 2018 | 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?

The how and why of assigning letter grades

August 28, 2018 | Claudia Stanny & June Watkins

Grading systems in higher education have a curious history. In the late 1700s, Yale used Latin designations to identify different levels of merit (optime through pejores) but switched to a numerical score (0 through 4) in 1800, with numbers corresponding to letter grades (Nilson, 2003, 2015). Colleges and universities in the United States now record letter grades on student transcripts and use a numeric system to compute a grade point average.