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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 19, 2019 | 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.

Why is this course valuable? What did I learn?

November 12, 2019 | Leslie Madsen, Claudia Stanny (ed)

Students from many disciplines have difficulty identifying how their education prepared them for work outside the small number of professionals directly aligned with their major. How many job ads specifically require a degree in History, Biology, or Theatre? Although all of these degree programs prepare students with marketable skills, students struggle to articulate how their undergraduate degree prepares them for employment.

Milestone assignments help students develop planning skills and overcome procrastination

November 5, 2019 | Claudia Stanny

Things always seem to take longer than they take. Whether we are dealing with a contractor on a home renovation or students completing a large project, we often encounter a problem known as the planning fallacy (Buehler, Griffin, & Ross, 19974). Overconfidence in our ability to estimate how long it will take to complete a task encourages procrastination and produces missed deadlines.

Universal Design helps ensure compliance with accessibility of instruction

October 15, 2019 | Claudia Stanny

The University of West Florida has adopted a policy that establishes standards for Electronic Information and Technology (EIT) accessibility in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations and laws. The policy applies to all EIT acquired, developed, distributed, used, purchased, or implemented by or for UWF and used to provide University programs, services, or activities.

Request feedback from your students about your course during the term

October 8, 2019 | Michael Dabney, Claudia Stanny (Ed)

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.

Evaluating and using Open Education Resources

September 17, 2019 | 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. OERs have garnered considerable interest because instructors who adopt OERs help reduce the overall cost of higher education by reducing the amount of money students must spend on textbooks.