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* Today’s post comes from the 2018-19 Teaching Issues Writing Consortium, a collaboration of over 40 institutions of higher-education. Author information is included below * “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker Students spend hours on co-curricular […]

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Today’s post will focus on tips for setting the atmosphere of your classroom in those few minutes just before class officially begins. These quiet minutes are something I began to notice this semester, partly because my students are particularly reserved this time. The silence before class starts has become almost distracting–and since I like to […]

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In every course I’ve taught so far, I’ve reserved a few points in the rubric — 5 to 10% or so — for “in-class participation.” At this point, this is mostly just a habit. In early courses I designed, I included such points because every course I’d ever seen had done so, and this is […]

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Learning progresses primarily from prior knowledge, and only secondarily from the materials we present to students. Students come to the classroom with a broad range of pre-existing knowledge, which influences how they interpret and organize incoming information. How they process and integrate new information will, in turn, affect how they remember, think, apply, and create […]

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First day as a TA

Adapted from Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington. A successful first day can be a key component of a successful quarter. On the first day consider ways to involve your students in a discussion of course content. Try modeling or practicing strategies […]

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With over half the semester completed, instructors are now in a good position to review their syllabi. How well does it serve the goals of the class? What elements  could use revision? What might you want to add to future syllabi? Today’s post will run through course policies you may want to adjust based on […]

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Things to Do Over Spring Break

Reflect: Think back on the first half of your semester and write down 2-3 things that you think went really well and 2-3 things you think could have gone better. Reflect upon both the successes and shortcomings of your class and write down 2-3 things you might do in the second half of the semester […]

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Midterm season is fast approaching (if it hasn’t arrived already) and you may now face the challenge of designing one or more exams that will fit the students, the material, and the goals of the class. You probably touched on some of these elements when designing the course or creating the syllabus, but the actual […]

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There has been a push in education theory lately, and amongst administrators familiar with the area, to make sure that educators act intentionally to be more “culturally responsive” in the way they design their courses, lessons, classrooms, and even pedagogical interactions. In this post, I’ll talk about a couple of things I’ve done via course […]

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Often, especially at the beginning of the semester, it may seem difficult to get students to participate in classroom discussions. Below are some strategies that may help get conversations started: Wait at least 10 seconds before you clarify a question or add a new one. A lot of the time, students do have thoughtful answers […]

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