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.
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
Spring Semester Teaching Tips
How long should I retain grading records for my class?April 26, 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.
Use Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) to reflect on your teaching and improve student learning in future coursesApril 19, 2017 | 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. ...
Exam Reflections Promote Metacognition and Self-Regulated LearningApril 11, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
New college students are sometimes surprised that they earn poor grades in an introductory-level or gateway course. Based on their high school experience, they may have great confidence that they will earn high grades in college. Students often appear dumbfounded when they receive their first low exam score.
Improving our Teaching Through Critical ReflectionApril 4, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
After teaching class or after reading your students’ discussion posts in your online classroom, take time to reflect on how things went, how things are going, and how you and your students are experiencing your class. Brookfield (1995) describes strategies to improve teaching through critical reflection.
Change how students think about course material to promote learning that enduresMarch 28, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Lang (2016) proposes that improving a course does not require a complete tear-down and overhaul. He argues that faculty can gradually improve the quality of student learning in their courses if they make small adjustments to teaching strategies and assignments each term.
How to create a lecture that is an effective learning experienceMarch 22, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Lectures enjoy a long and venerable history in academia. Lectures persist because they can be both efficient (reaching large numbers of students at once) and effective teaching methods when they are designed and delivered well.
Create meaningful assignments that promote course learning goalsMarch 7, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Generic assignments (write a 10-page review of the literature on a topic) create problems. Without clear, explicit expectations, students might draw incorrect assumptions and produce work that fails to meet instructor goals. Worse, a few students will seek generic “examples” from the internet or submit work from paper mills, creating problems with academic misconduct.
The value of intentionality for teaching and learningFebruary 27, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
In teaching, we are intentional if we have specific learning goals for our classes. The learning goals tie everything together. They guide our choices when we assign reading materials, whether we select a textbook for a lower-division class or gather articles and chapters from the scholarly literature for a graduate seminar.
New Stephen Chew Videos on Effective TeachingFebruary 22, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Stephen Chew has followed his excellent videos explaining cognitive principles of learning to students with a series of five brief videos on the cognitive basis of effective teaching....
Document the quality of your teaching through formal recognition and teaching awardsFebruary 15, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
A successful faculty career depends on three areas of expertise: teaching, research, and service. Summary data from course evaluations are required documentation for all teaching portfolios, but they are not the only evidence we can provide about the quality of our teaching.
Make your course more engaging – and easier to manage – with eLearning technologyFebruary 7, 2017 | Dr. 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.
Create high-impact assignmentsJanuary 31, 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.
Engaging students in the first five minutes of classJanuary 24, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
How do you open your class to help students navigate the transition from everyday life to the life of your classroom? A good classroom opening enables instructors to “capture the attention of students and prepare them for learning....
Information Literacy Skills for Social MediaJanuary 17, 2017 | Claudia Stanny
Information literacy entails the ability to evaluate the credibility of an information source and the quality of the evidence presented. Traditionally, these decisions have been directed at print media. We want students to differentiate between scholarly, peer-reviewed sources, and other types of print media.
Create strong class beginnings to build community and establish a strong instructor presenceJanuary 10, 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....
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