Weekly Teaching Tips

Happy Last Week of Classes

Goals for a Great Last Week At any point in the semester, we know that the more content we try to race through, the less students actually learn. To learn deeply, they need opportunities to think, to analyze, to apply concepts, and to develop skills through practice and feedback. Now, when (mysteriously–how did this happen?) […]

Your Students Thank You

Thankful for Your Teaching Welcome to the seventh year of our Thank-A-Professor Program, which invites students and alumni to send messages of thanks anonymously to their professors. Students have submitted hundreds of tributes this fall, and we hope their gratitude will warm your Thanksgiving. We’ll be sending individual letters to their recipients over the next […]

Shouldn’t They Already Know How to Cite?

Teaching Students to Incorporate Research “My students don’t know how to incorporate source material into their work. They don’t even correctly cite their sources. They should know how to do this by now!” This is one of the most common complaints we hear from our colleagues across disciplines. Certainly it can be frustrating to get […]

Getting Better Final Projects

Ending the Term with Students’ Best Work Picture this: It’s the end of the semester. Students have submitted their final projects, whatever form those take in your course, and you’re reading through them, feeling delighted (or relieved) because so many meet or exceed your expectations, and because you see evidence that students have done so […]

This Was Only a Test

Bouncing Back After a Bad Exam When students don’t do as well as we would wish on exams, we may assume it’s because they didn’t study enough, but there are a variety of reasons they might struggle. Pinpointing the issue(s) can help us make adjustments to give students the best possible chance at success. Here […]

Scaffolding Complex Work

Scaffolding: Providing Support as Students Learn In the initial phases of building, construction workers need temporary support structures called scaffolding to accomplish their work. Similarly, our students need support and guidance as they learn complex concepts and skills that they are unlikely to master on their own. Scaffolding is the temporary structure we provide to […]

Asking Students for Feedback
+ Upcoming Events

Exploring the Effects of Our Teaching If we think about teaching as an inquiry-driven process, our curiosity about our students, and about learning, can lead us to improve our practice. Among the many useful questions we can pose, this one is essential: How do I know whether my students are learning what I intend for […]

Who’s in Your Office?

Inviting Students to Office Hours It’s gratifying when students perform well on exams and projects, but if a few of them are struggling, there’s still time to get them on track before midterm. For most of us, office hours seem like the best place to provide individual support to students and to find out what […]

Learning from Exams
+ Fall Reading Groups

What Can Students and Faculty Learn from Exams? Exams are some of the most common tools for gathering evidence of how much students have learned, but they can also be opportunities to learn, both for students and for us. For students, exams can be opportunities to learn when we assign exam wrappers or other reflections […]

Formative Feedback
+ Fall Reading Groups

Giving & Getting More Frequent Feedback When many of us were undergraduates, the graded work in many our courses consisted of only a midterm and a final, but a course that has only two exams is one in which most students don’t get the practice and feedback necessary for learning. In such courses, students may have […]

Disciplinary Ways of Knowing

Welcoming Students into Our Disciplines Since the first week of classes didn’t provide the welcome we might have wanted, many of us spent the last week getting our classes back on track and establishing a welcoming and productive classroom community. In addition to the warm welcome we provide on a personal level, it’s also helpful […]

Planning a Great First Day

Welcoming Students on the First Day of Class Around six thousand students will be starting at FSU on Monday. Your class may be their first experience in a college classroom. What kind of impression do you want to make? These new students (as well as our returning students and our transfer students) are probably both […]