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Now that you’re getting to know your students, and their learning habits, on an individual level, it’s a good time to think about how you can foster equitable participation in your course. If you’ve noticed imbalances in your students’ participation levels, it’s best to address those imbalances now, before they become ingrained in your classroom […]

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Ready or not, the beginning of a new semester is upon us! Have you ever noticed that most students settle into the pattern of returning to the same seats, classday after class day, throughout the semester, even though they chose them randomly on the first day of class? One of the reasons for this is […]

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Preparing for a new semester can be daunting, but dedicating some time to our teaching assistants (TAs) can be one of the most effective ways to save time and headache throughout the entirety of a course. We often overlook this support staff in favor of our own, more direct, preparatory responsibilities; however, an effective TA […]

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This is the fourth and final installment in our series on teaching controversial topics. In the first, we considered two reasons to teach controversial topics and three frameworks with which to do so. The second addressed how to develop a conducive classroom environment by building relationships with students and preparing to draft ground rules for […]

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This is the third installment in our series on teaching controversial topics. In the first installment, we considered two reasons to teach controversial topic and three frameworks with which to do so. The second installment addressed how to develop a conducive classroom environment by building relationships with students and preparing to draft ground rules for […]

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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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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 address how to create the appropriate classroom […]

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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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