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
When is this due? Plan assignment deadlines to minimize technical problems when students submit their work.December 1, 2015
We all face deadlines. We are accustomed to deadlines that end at midnight or at the close of business hours. A conference submission must be posted by 5 PM in a particular time zone. Our tax returns must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than midnight on April 15.
Strategies for monitoring attendance in large classesNovember 17, 2015
Students who attend class regularly tend to perform better in class, even when class grades are adjusted to account for personal characteristics such as SAT scores and high school GPA (Crede, Roch, & Kieszczyka, 2010). George Kuh has long advised that if an activity benefits student learning, we should require it (Kuh, 2001). Embracing this advice, UWF enacted a policy making attendance in General Education courses mandatory for all first time in college (FTIC) students.
Increase the impact of learning activities: Write prompts that set expectations for a substantive reflection on the activityNovember 10, 2015
Do students fully understand the relation between the learning activities we create and course content? Many instructors ask students to write a reflection on a learning activity to focus attention on the connection between experience and course content. However, the prompt for the reflective essay can transform an activity that students enjoy into an activity that engages students in a meaningful way and promotes student learning.
Does the time students spend taking tests reduce the time they can spend learning?November 3, 2015
How often have you thought about the class time you give up to administer an in-class exam? Have you ever thought, “I don’t have time to schedule four or five exams. I need class time to cover content.”
Five concrete strategies that help students “study better”October 27, 2015
A student comes to your office with his most recent class exam. He is not happy. He says he “studied hard” for this exam. He thought he knew the material. How can he do better on the next exam?
Want a short daily teaching tip?October 20, 2015
Like receiving the CUTLA tips but wish they were shorter? Magna Publications now offers a daily Teaching Professor Tip as an app for Apple or Android device. Tips are very short (about 250 characters – slightly longer than a tweet) and sent daily.
What do I do when I have a deaf or hard of hearing student in my class?October 13, 2015
Because diagnostic information is not listed on the notice of accommodations the Student Disability Resource Center sends to instructors, faculty may not always know when a student in their class has a condition affecting hearing.
Join a writing group to help you finish that manuscriptOctober 6, 2015
Academic life is busy. We have courses to teach, meetings to attend, students to mentor, exams to write, papers to grade. The list goes on and on. The tenure clock is ticking. The expectations for promotion haven’t changed. Declining internal budgets increase pressure to secure external grants to support our scholarly work. And we have (or should have) lives. We need time for our friends, family, and ourselves (down time to rest, recharge, and think).
Help students develop effective metacognitive strategies to improve learningSeptember 29, 2015
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).
Encourage students to attend class to improve academic performanceSeptember 22, 2015
Students won’t experience or benefit from great in-class learning activities if they never come to class. Provide an incentive (such as taking attendance) to ensure that students experience the meaningful learning activities you create. Both are necessary to achieve the benefits for student learning and improve retention and graduation metrics.
Off campus and can’t meet with your class? Invite a guest lecturer.September 15, 2015
Don’t cancel class when a conference or other off-campus obligation conflicts with your class schedule. Instead, create a meaningful learning activity for students to complete while you are away.
Develop student writing as a critical skill for professional successSeptember 8, 2015
Writing permeates the professional life of the academic community. We write to inform colleagues of our discoveries. Our scholarly reputations depend on our publications. We write grant proposals to obtain funding for our scholarly efforts. We write exams, handouts, and syllabi to teach and evaluate our students. We write bylaws, policies, and minutes to manage day-to-day university functions.
Meet the members of the campus community who support your work with studentsSeptember 1, 2015
It takes a village to raise a child. African Proverb It takes a university to educate a student. Faculty life is often described as isolating work. Faculty often work on their research and scholarship alone. When we teach, we walk into our classroom and close the door; we are alone with our students. In some departments, we might be the only faculty member with expertise to teach a specific course.
Develop professional networks to support faculty career advancementAugust 25, 2015
Managing a faculty career requires that faculty establish their expertise in three areas: teaching, scholarship, and service. Because professional networks can help faculty develop expertise in each of these areas, Austin and McDaniels (2006) argue that individuals entering the faculty ranks must be able to cultivate professional networks.