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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

Spring Semester Teaching Tips

High Impact Practices: What they are and why they matter for student learning

April 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).

How to submit student work for an originality report from Turnitin through Canvas

April 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.

Reflective elements of assignments deepen student learning and develop cognitive skills to monitor and direct their future learning

April 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.

Microresistance: How to be an ally to targets of microaggression

April 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.

Use Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) to reflect on your teaching and improve student learning in future courses

March 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.

Microaggressions: What they are and what to do about them

March 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.

Become a more productive writer by joining a writing group

February 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.

Structure expectations for an annotated bibliography to improve students’ ability to read the primary literature

February 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.

Turnitin workshops for faculty offered during the spring term

January 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.

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?

Purpose and content of a syllabus

January 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.