Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

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Teaching Strategy Resource Shelf

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  • Tricks and Tips for Teaching with Masks

    (from University of Michigan LSA Technology Services). Tricks and Tips for Teaching with Masks. Above and beyond masking policies for indoor spaces on campus, University of Michigan Face Covering Policy  (University of Illinois Face Covering Policy) requires all people to wear masks in any classroom or classlab. This also includes spaces where classes are being held, such as conference rooms and lab spaces. 

    Teaching with a mask on does present a number of challenges, especially if the instructor has back-to-back courses or multiple sessions on a single day.  Here are 24 Teaching Tips for Teaching with Masks; e.g., how to use a microphone, breathing techniques, and maximizing body language.

  • Using Google Tools to Enhance Course Delivery

    (from Faculty Focus). Using Google Tools to Enhance Course Delivery. As teachers embrace digital tools for online learning, many online tools can enhance and facilitate the organization and delivery of courses. Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Slides, and Google Jamboard have the power to deliver more efficient and effective learning experiences. These digital tools can support professors as they organize course information while also enhancing student collaboration. Google tools also offer a variety of ways to increase productivity and streamline the dissemination of information to students, such as google docs, google forms, google slides, and jamboard.

  • Faculty Tips for Starting the Semester Remotely

    (from Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning). Faculty Tips for Starting the Semester Remotely. The first week of the semester is a critical time for setting the tone of the course, motivating and exciting students for learning, beginning to form a community, and establishing your expectations for students. Here are a few tips for accomplishing these goals when you must start the semester remotely, so that you don’t lose that opportunity, such as prioritize well-being for yourself and your students, set clear communications with your students, and create opportunities for the students to know each other. We have also compiled student tips for starting the semester remotely, which you may want to share with your students.

  • The Rhythms of the Semester: Implications for Practice, Persona

    (from Faculty Focus). The Rhythms of the Semester: Implications for Practice, Persona. We begin each semester on a different note than we end on. The early weeks hold promise and high hopes, both often curtailed when the first assignments are graded. The final weeks find us somewhere between being reluctant or relieved to see a class move on. There is an inexplicable but evident interaction between our teaching persona and the persona a class develops throughout a semester. Some structural factors influence both: among them—the type and level of a course, the discipline, the time of day, and whether the students are a cohort or a unique collection of individuals. Using our understanding of the effects and predictability of the arc, we can help students effectively navigate through the highs and lows of a course. 

  • Make the Most of the First Day of Class

    (from Carnegie Mellon University – Eberly Center). Make the Most of the First Day of Class (Loosely based on Lyons et al. 2003). The first day of class always creates some nervousness, even for seasoned instructors. It helps to have a mental checklist of objectives to accomplish so that you and your students come away with the impression that the course is off to a good start.

    The first class meeting should serve at least two basic purposes: 1) To clarify all reasonable questions students might have relative to the course objectives, as well as your expectations for their performance in class. As students leave the first meeting, they should believe in your competence to teach the course, be able to predict the nature of your instruction, and know what you will require of them and 2) To give you an understanding of who is taking your course and what their expectations are.  These two basic purposes expand into a set of eight concrete objectives.  

  • Last Day of Class

    (from Berkeley University Center for Teaching & Learning). Last Day of Class. "Not with a whimper, but a bang." – (A revisionist view of T.S. Eliot). Make the last day count. Too often, the last day of a class can be taken up with housekeeping-information on the final, last minute details, and course evaluations. But as Richard Lyons, author of several books on college teaching says, "the final class is a key student retention milepost."  Here is a potpourri of ideas from Berkeley faculty

  • Parting Ways: Ending Your Course

    (from Association for Psychological Sciences). Parting Ways: Ending Your Course. Much emphasis has been placed on the use of activities at the beginning of a course to provide opportunities for introductions, begin to create a comfortable classroom atmosphere to encourage discussion and learning, or develop a sense of community and group identity. In many teaching books (e.g., McKeachie, 1999) there is an entire chapter devoted to getting started and what to do on the first day of a course such as breaking the ice, introducing the teacher and textbook, and allowing time for questions. Much less attention has been given to the equally important task of providing closure at the end of a course or seminar.

    After a great deal of time developing a sense of comfort and community in the classroom, ignoring class endings seems awkward and abrupt to both students and faculty. Here are some suggested “parting-ways” techniques.

  • Last Day of Class

    (from Berkeley University Center for Teaching & Learning). Last Day of Class. Make the last day count. Too often, the last day of a class can be taken up with housekeeping-information on the final, last minute details, and course evaluations. But as Richard Lyons, author of several books on college teaching says, "the final class is a key student retention milepost." Some suggestions are: “Thank the class” (where one professor says,  "I take some time to thank the students for their part in the course and to tell them what they did to make my job easier (e.g. worked hard, asked questions, were cheerful, etc.) and “Students' concluding remarks” (after providing your own remarks, ask for theirs). Here is a potpourri of ideas from Berkeley faculty.

  • Final Exams

    (from Harvard University, Bok Center).  Final Exams. Final exams remain one of the most common genre of capstone assignments, set at the end of courses in order to give students (and instructors) the opportunity to synthesize and reflect on the full arc of the semester. To some degree, the popularity of exams among instructors and students may owe something to their sheer familiarity. Often, because instructors assume that students are familiar with the form, they also assume that students need relatively little preparation in order to do well on them, thus freeing up class time for more content coverage. This is not always the case, however, and in order for exams to fulfill their potential for assessing certain levels of understanding, instructors must be clear about the purpose of what they will ask students to do, write good questions, and scaffold students into the exam. 

    Before you settle on a particular genre of assessment, we recommend that you visit these pages on capstone assignmentswriting effective assignment prompts, and sequencing and scaffolding.

     

  • Don't Spam Your Students and Other Practical Communication Tips

    (from Faculty Focus) Don't Spam Your Students and Other Practical Communication Tips.  Like us, students get a lot of messages in their inbox, which leads to students’ eyes glazing over, and then our messages get lost in the mix. How can we avoid that? Set up a consistent communication protocol that is shared with students the first week and then stick to it.

    Here’s an example: Once a week, send students a message that includes what is upcoming along with other important information or announcements. Send that update on the same day each week so that students know that on Friday (or whichever day you choose) they will get a class update. We are going for quality rather than quantity. Yes, this takes a little planning ahead, but the resulting clarity of communication will pay off. Here are ways to maximize communication through other means, such as announcements section, course webpage, and student-friendly assignment schedule.