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Teaching Tips


#13 End of Semester Survival Tips

Although this teaching tip has a traditionally unlucky number, it serves to wish you and your students the best of luck through the end of semester with some survival tips.

* Not feeling the rhythm at the end of your semester? Try focusing in on essential grading, making a daily to-do list, and working to eliminate non-essential digital distractions to experience some relief. More here.

* This article points out that some students with learning disabilities may experience end of semester panic and need support in areas like organizing, prioritizing, and asking for help. Read more here.

* Finally, Professor Hacker Blog comes to the rescue with some general suggestions for faculty about winding down, including updating your cv, posting an end of semester blog/announcement, and backing up your (moodle!) course.

#12 Explores Universal Design in Higher Education

Originally part of structural accommodations in architecture to allow access for people with disabilities, universal design can also be applied in teaching to reach those with disabilities and address diverse learning needs.

This checklist encourages professors to consider ways in which universal design can be brought to each aspect of teaching, from providing scaffolding tools (e.g., outlines, class notes, summaries, study guides, copies of projected materials with room for note-taking) to diversifying course activities (lectures, collaborative learning, small group discussions, hands-on activities, Internet based resources, educational software, and fieldwork). Read more here.

#11 Teaching with Digital Distractions

Courtesy of Cindy Arroyo, please enjoy some tips on teaching with digital distractions from Mark Bauerline’s recent lecture, Academic Engagement in the Digital Age:

  • Consider a balance of typing and writing of assignments to enhance student learning. Some students perform poorly when studying from typed notes and may ‘cut and paste’ without learning content.
  • Read, reflect, and revise: Develop activities that encourage students to slow down and invest more time and thought in their learning process.
  • Engage both information retrieval and knowledge. Consider carefully what course information can be quickly googled versus material to be reflected upon more critically.

For more ideas, check out this link.

#10 Using Rubrics in Teaching

The last Teaching and Advisement event addressed various approaches to using rubrics in teaching. This link includes more tips for making rubrics work effectively, including:

  • Using parallel language across various criteria
  • Employing student-friendly terms so they can understand and apply your feedback
  • Using descriptive language for clarity and specificity

Read more here.

This link is a collection of reflections about how rubrics can inspire educators and students, as a sort of “conversation” and “reflection tool.”

If you are interested in exploring various types of rubrics further, this resource may also be of use.

And thanks to Lawrence Hobbie, please also enjoy this link about balancing your time and efforts in teaching.

#9 Advice for the Advisers

TAs Spring 2012 advising starts up for faculty, this tip includes a quote and some resources to support your efforts. Enjoy!

Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

*Adelphi-specific links, suggestions, and goals for advisement

*Sample questions to ask advisees and agendas to maximize the advising session, such as following up with an advisee who’s having trouble midsemester to maximize time spent in scheduling sessions

*”Resources on more than 100 topics in advising, from Learning Styles to Working With Parents, Ethics to Generational Issues. NACADA is the National Academic Advising Association.”

#8 December 12, 2011 Reflect, Refresh, and Renew

This final teaching tip of 2011 invites you to reflect, refresh, and renew towards the end of the teaching semester.  Happy Holidays and look for more tips in 2012!:

*Psychologists remind us that endings are important human learning experiences.  This link provides some final course activity examples, such as providing a memento of important quotations for students, or discussing next steps for professional development in relation to the course and future professions.  Read more at this link.

*There are many different ways to approach culminating course activities apart from a final exam – from presentations to portfolios, and reflections on what readings or activities to keep for future semesters.

*Some professors take some time during semester break to document and revise the courses they have just taught while the experience is fresh in their minds. More suggestions here.

#7 Coping with Academic Stress

As the end of the semester approaches, this teaching tip encourages reflection on teaching and stress. The book “Coping With Faculty Stress” describes generally successful de-stressing strategies for academics within 7 categories: social support, physical activities, intellectual stimulation, entertainment, personal interest activities, self/time management, and keeping a positive attitude.

Here are some additional ideas:

  • Time management tips for busy professors
  • A blog post of different coping methods for stress, including taking a quick nap, keeping to-do lists, and creating a checklist to streamline advising. Read more here.
  • A resource list of books for dealing with academic stress.
  • Here are some varied approaches to making the best of stress for professors and students.

#6 November 11, 2011 How Experiential Learning Opportunities Can Enhance Instruction

This tip invites us to explore how experiential learning opportunities can enhance instruction:

*Here’s an experiential learning resource including visual models and theories

*This blog post explores resources and examples of university collaborations with communities

*This article addresses the values of experience and place in learning, particularly in terms of exposure to diversity, research opportunities, community engagement, and chance encounters. Read more here.

#5 October 31, 2011 Exploring the Impact of Technology in Teaching

Happy Hallowe’en! This tip offers some resources and an event exploring the impact of technology in teaching:

This link discusses technology distractions in the classroom and strategies for overcoming them.

The Faculty Center for Professional Excellence offers many technology resources and approaches.

#2 September 20, 2011 Reflecting on Student Learning

With the semester underway, it may be a great time to think more deeply about teaching and learning for the upcoming weeks. Here are some tips for reflecting on student learning:

* Consider backward design in your teaching by starting with a goal you have for your students, devising how you will know students have reached/approached that learning goal, and then using those frameworks to shape the learning experiences planned. Read more discussion here.

* Explore generative topics in your teaching. These curricular themes are typically interdisciplinary, accessible, interesting to professors and students alike, and relatable to prior life experiences.

#1 September 8, 2011 Learning Student Names

The Senate Committee on Teaching and Advisement wishes you a wonderful semester. Our first teaching tip addresses learning student names in class, which poses a challenge for many professors. Some strategies that can help include: taking a photo of students or copying their IDs (with permission, of course) so you can review names and faces, and/or taking a moment to look at each name and face when taking your attendance, and/or reviewing names directly after you’ve seen and interacted with the students in class. It can also help to link a fact or concept with a person for better recall (e.g. Jennifer loves indie films, Bob takes ballroom dancing lessons, etc). Learning names can make a great icebreaker and/or slightly artistic activity in the case of name tags, UN-style name cards, etc. Some professors find that knowing student names can help with future interactions in terms of the classroom atmosphere, class discussions, and student engagement.

More resources here or here.

Follow FCPE at:

For further information, please contact:

Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE)
Alumnae Hall, Room 123
p – 516.877.4220
e –