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Teaching Tips


The Faculty Senate Committee on Teaching and Advisement wishes you a wonderful Fall semester.  What inspires you as an educator?  This tip includes some eclectic resources around student engagement, meaningful grading, and mindfulness we hope you will find useful:
With many of us utilizing moodle to some extent for our teaching, the topic of student engagement in online discussion boards can be a central and ongoing priority. Explore this recent resource on active learning, deep contemplation, and metacognition about learning.
Looking to grade more meaningfully? This link explores creating “a classroom culture of choice and accountability”.
Did you know the Rubin Museum offers a meditation inspired by their art collection? Check it out to explore mindfulness creatively in your teaching and/or your life
*Have a teaching tip you’d like to share?  Please email
**Need a University service committee for Fall? The Senate Committee on Teaching and Advisement welcomes new members! Please contact Co-Chairs Steven Cox or Melissa VanAlstine-Parris.

This teaching tip draws inspiration from Teaching Excellence Winner Dr. Eugenia Villa-Cuesta, who describes qualities of effective teaching from her view:

“Good teaching leads to improvement in students’ learning (content and skills). Therefore in my classroom students work actively in the learning by doing, discussing, and creating so I can help them if they have misconceptions inside the classroom.  I also try to measure learning using before and after semester assessments and a wide range of formative assessments: clickers, concept maps, etc. That way I know if I did a good job as a teacher or modify accordingly if I did not.” 
Please join us to discuss teaching more during our Spring into Teaching Workshop on Tuesday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. in 159 Nexus. Contact Dr. Steve Cox or Dr. Courtney Weida with questions. 

Explore five key teaching tips from a new book on teaching and science, including ideas on avoiding student anxiety, focusing on care in teaching, limiting lengthy lectures, utilizing group work effectively, and emphasizing feedback over grades. Read more here.

On that note, please join us for a workshop with recent Teaching Excellence Winners Professors David Machlis (Finance and Economics) and Eugenia Villa-Cuesta (Biology) on Wednesday, March 6 from 1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. in Nexus 159.
P.S. Searching for a committee this Spring?  Consider the Senate Committee for Teaching!

Love the lecture or loathe it?  This paper considers the rich history of this form of educational address from early oral culture to contemporary TED talks and Khan Academy, with tips from the literature on lecturing.  Highlights include:

  • sharing passion and enthusiasm for the subject by telling students why you are personally interested in lecture topics – where possible, this could be a link to their personal research

  • linking the lecture current news 

  • using relevant and current examples to illustrate points

  • drawing on students’ experiences

  • using rhetorical questions to encourage students to keep on track

  • using live links to the web to demonstrate currency of the material presented. 

How do you approach lectures (or not)? Please share some tips. 
Searching for a committee this Spring? Consider the Senate Committee for Teaching! Contacts:

The Senate Committee on Teaching & Advisement wishes you a wonderful end of semester and holiday season!  Please enjoy these tips for this time of semester:

How do you close your class?  Would you consider a 1-minute paper, or a re-cap of closing connections to the next topic?  Check out this brief blog post for more ideas.
This post considers the end of the semester in terms of a checklist for improving courses and your productivity as faculty – enjoy!
Do you have any tips on how to end classes that really worked well for you?  Please email to share.
Please save the date for our POGIL workshop (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) on Tuesday, January 22nd from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in NEX 126.
The Senate Committee on Teaching & Advisement always welcomes new members – please email us if you are looking for a Spring committee:, or

Are you feeling overwhelmed this time of semester?  Are your students experiencing burn out? When you have a little time to re-evaluate, please enjoy these resources on time management and avoiding burn out. This post invites you to examine time allotment to reconfigure.

Here’s a related podcast on managing your time as a faculty member – or if you’re short on time to listen – scroll down for a quick list of 5 low tech and tech-friendly time management tips.

*(Time permitting) please share some of your own time management teaching tips:

*Searching for a University service committee that manages time well? Consider the Senate Committee for Teaching & Advisement. Please contact Chair Steve Cox or Co-Chair Courtney Weida.

As professors, many of us feel we teach for the love of it.  But what is the role of happiness for our students?  How does their productivity connect with a sense of happiness?  Check out this brief and (we hope) interesting article on teaching and student emotions, productivity, and the re-humanization of education.

Also, this link investigates different ways of bringing joy and creativity into thinking and taking notes through mind-mapping.
*Do you have a tip on keeping students happy, while keeping the curriculum healthy, so to speak?  Please share:
**Need a University service committee that embraces teaching? The Senate Committee for Teaching & Advisement welcomes new members! Please contact Chair Steven Cox.
Follow FCPE at:

For further information, please contact:

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