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Checking student understanding is essential for effective teaching. Do your students have preconceived notions of a topic? Are they following your lecture? Do they understand the connection between this topic and your course goals? There are many ways to evaluate student understanding (through assignments, projects, or exams), but I encourage you to check student understanding […]

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As we leave fall break and Daylight Savings Time behind, and look forward to Thanksgiving break and the end of the year, you may find that your students’ motivation is flagging. This is a good time to take stock of the plans you have for the remainder of your course and to think about ways […]

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Research on flipped-learning – the concept where first exposure to new material is done outside of class while applied learning activities and higher-order thinking is conducted in class – is expanding at an incredible pace. The goal of this post is to give a qualitative overview of  what the current literature does and does not […]

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Teaching Controversial Topics Part 2: Classroom Environments Last month, in the first installment of this series, we considered two reasons to teach controversial topic and three frameworks with which to do so. This month we will focus on how instructors can develop a classroom environment conducive to productive engagement with controversial issues. This post will […]

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“If your goal is to engage students in critical thinking… you need to present interesting challenges to solve, rather than simply explaining how other smart people have already solved those challenges.” – Therese Huston Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) are both student-centered teaching pedagogies that encourage active learning and critical thinking through investigation. […]

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Closed-Loop Learning Analytics

Now that we’re four weeks into the semester, you may be wondering: how can you effectively help students who are struggling to keep up in your course? This issue can be broadly categorized into two major components: (1) identifying at-risk students (ideally early in the semester), and (2) intervening with those students to increase their […]

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This week’s blogpost is twofold. It reminds you that this is a great time to solicit early-semester feedback from your students, and serves as the first in a four-part series on teaching controversial topics.    Gathering Early-Semester Feedback You are likely approaching the point in the semester at which you begin to develop a rhythm. […]

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Almost nothing is more frightening for a new TA than the possibility of asking a roomful of students a carefully-crafted discussion question and getting back only a roomful of blank stares. But the Kaneb Center is here to help. We recently hosted our annual TA orientation, which closed, for TAs in the humanities and social […]

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First Names on the First Day

The title of this blog serves as a reminder of the goal I have for each new class I teach – making an attempt to know first names of my students by the first day of class. Why? Because students learn better when they recognize and understand that I am not just another authority figure […]

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Summer with the Kaneb Center

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of another semester in one piece. You deserve to catch your breath and enjoy some time-off. In addition to getting some rest, we encourage you to set yourself up for future success by taking advantage of the Kaneb Center resources.  To help you hone your pedagogical prowess […]

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