Weekly Teaching Tips

Gratitude From Your Students

Students Are Giving Thanks for All You Do! Welcome to the fifth year of our Thank-A-Professor Program! Students have submitted almost 900 tributes so far this fall, and their outpouring of gratitude feels especially welcome this year. Students expressed their heartfelt appreciation for your kindness and understanding in response to their difficulties, and they found […]

Lifting the Load

Considering Cognitive Load If you were going to teach someone how to drive, would you rather start in a large, empty parking lot or on a busy interstate? The answer is obvious, but the reasoning is worth exploring because of the implications for teaching other things. Experienced drivers know that driving on a busy interstate […]

Teaching in Community + Upcoming Events

Building a Teaching Community Sometimes teaching can seem like a paradoxical “alone together” moment: We’re in a room with maybe hundreds of students, but there’s only one of “us.” Much of the behind-the-scenes work of teaching also tends to be done in isolation: writing syllabi, selecting course materials, planning activities, writing feedback, grading. Working alone […]

Another Kind of Active Learning

Exercise Can Be a Study Strategy Faculty and students alike may be exhausted at this point in the semester. It’s common to experience a mid-semester slump, which can be worse for people experiencing ongoing pandemic-related stress. We can all benefit from breaks, physical activity, and a change of scenery, so even when we’re busy, no […]

Start With a Recap

Building Knowledge at the Beginning of Class When designing our courses, most of us sequence the topics, assignments, and activities to build on one another. This approach tends to work well because our courses are also a series of experiences through which students construct knowledge and develop skills over time. Between class meetings, though, students […]

Responding to Student Feedback

So You Collected Midsemester Feedback. Now What? Last week, we suggested collecting midsemester feedback from students, to check in on how things are going for them so far this term. By the time we typically get their feedback, on our course evaluations, it’s too late to incorporate their suggestions or address their concerns. Surveying them […]

Getting More from Exams

Exam Wrappers After students have taken an exam, they usually focus on their grade and how it will factor into their final grade in the course. This focus on scores is understandable, considering the powerful impact of grades on students’ academic progress, financial aid, future goals, and even self-perceptions. But this focus doesn’t help students […]