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It has long been established that student attention often begins to decline after 10 to 15 minutes of lecture (Stuart, John, & Rutherford, 1978); retention also drops considerably after the first 10 minutes (Hartley & Davies, 1978).  This can be problematic when your class lasts for an hour and fifteen minutes! Utilizing active learning strategies […]

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There are many ways in which in-class instructional time can seem overwhelming, especially to first time teachers. During my first TA experience I remember opening up a word document with the intention of writing up an agenda for the first week’s discussion. I kept staring at the document like it was a vast open prairie, […]

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Revisiting Review Sessions

This post is adapted from a November 2015 post by Joseph Michalka. With the semester drawing to a close and final exams approaching, review sessions are sure to be at the front of your student’s minds. While typically not as focused as a regular lecture, review sessions can help students draw connections between the various […]

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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 * A common complaint of faculty is that their students are unmotivated to learn. It does seem at times that our most brilliant lecture or most well-designed homework assignment just elicits […]

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Mid-Semester Student Feedback

by Amy Buchmann Gathering early-semester or mid-semester student feedback allows instructors to gauge what is working well in the course and determine what adjustments might need to be made.  There are several reasons for incorporating early-semester feedback into your course design and plan:  The information can be used to make changes during the current course. Students […]

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Encouraging Students to Read

By Susan Hall, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of the Incarnate Word Most of us have seen this downward spiral: We assign reading. Students—inexperienced at academic reading—find it challenging and don’t complete it. During the next session, we encounter blank faces, so we give an ad hoc lecture on the reading instead of […]

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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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