Learner Engagement

Small Teaching, Big Ideas

James M. Lang, author of Small Teaching reminds us that teaching involves a feedback loop of constant improvement. His premise: small tweaks can make a big difference in student success. Here are a few of the simple, innovative ideas he proposes to enhance learning and retention. Retrieval Bookends: When you begin class, ask students: “What was […]

Leading Effective Discussions

How can instructors ensure class discussions are effective? First, let’s define some characteristics of good discussions, and why they are valuable for learning. Discussions work best when students: Are interpreting concepts (and learning) from each other Are bridging the gap between instructor-speak and their own understanding Are engaging in active and thoughtful inquiry Can incorporate […]

Enhancing Student Success with High-Impact Practices (HIPs)

In case you missed it, here is a brief summary of CETL Director Brian Smentkowski’s workshop on High-Impact Practices. The AACU explains the problem in their HIPs overview: “On almost all campuses, utilization of active learning practices is unsystematic, to the detriment of student learning…”                     […]

Avoid These 5 Big Problems in Online Teaching

What are some of your biggest challenges with online teaching?  Here are some common problems that we hear about, and how you can easily avoid them. 1. The Absent Instructor. After all the upfront work required to prepare an online course, it can be tempting to let it run on “auto-pilot” once the semester starts. This is one of online students’ top complaints; they may feel isolated and alone in […]

Inspiring Student Learning: The Five C’s

Looking for tried-and-true ways to get your students motivated? Joe Ruhl has found some effective methods that will inspire new generations of students. He calls them the “Five C’s” and in a nutshell, he recommends these five easy-to-remember elements that you can integrate into your course design to help inspire student learning: Choice (e.g. a variety of different projects) Collaboration (teamwork) Communication – […]

Educating Generation Z

Consider the characteristics of Gen Z students coming into your classes, comfortable in their digital world, and ready to fully engage online to prepare for their future career. Are your courses providing the kinds of experiences, projects, and skills-based practice that will motivate and challenge these students? Or are you playing it safe with old-school lecture and testing? Taking risks […]

4 Easy Ways to Integrate Multimedia

New tools are making it easier than ever to incorporate great multimedia online; not just for lecture content and tutorials, but also for students projects and assignments. Meet the free and friendly tools of Web 2.0 – many allow simple one-click sign up via Facebook, and a very short learning curve. Assigning your students cloud-tool based projects can help them build 21st century skills, and offers creative alternatives for formal written papers. Here are 5 resources […]