Weekly Teaching Tips

Avoiding Exam Surprises

We’ve probably all heard this plaint: “I studied so hard for the test. And I still got a C! How is that possible?”

One explanation is a phenomenon known as the “fluency illusion” or “illusion of comprehension” – an illusion that we may unwittingly perpetuate. “Students are afflicted with this malady on a regular basis for some good reasons,” explains Marilla Svinicki (2004).

Let Learning (not a textbook) Guide Your Course Design

The deadline to order textbooks for spring is October 16. It’s tough to think ahead to next semester when it’s barely midterm, but the best time to reflect on your goals for your students is before you choose a text.

All too often, we let a textbook or list of readings determine the content or structure of a course. And why not?

Who Does the Work? …and Fall Faculty Reading Groups

If someone were to peek into your classroom during a typical class session, what would they see? Research suggests (and experience confirms) that they’d see most of us standing at the front of the room doing all the work—writing on the board, describing, explaining, solving problems–and students sitting quietly, taking notes.