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usable syllabi under construction

Creating Usable Syllabi

We're all familiar with the frustrations that come from students not reading the syllabus. But I've come to realize the problem isn't one of whether or not the syllabus is read, but one of if and how it's used.
classroom hacks

“Classroom Hacks” a Podcast for Educators 

The goal of the “Classroom Hacks” podcast is twofold: we are trying to provide an avenue for perspective and advice on teaching and we try to incorporate a little bit of lightheartedness and humor to help remind each other that we can relate to our interconnected, educational plight.
Syllabus syllabuses syllabi

Three Ways to Visualize Your Syllabus

While the syllabus forms the foundation of a course, it doesn't always reach it's full potential. By nature, the syllabus is linear. The daily plans...

Engaging Your Class in Peer-Listening During Presentations

Being teachers and instructors, we frequently include oral presentations into our syllabi. Unlike other group or individual activities, Power Point presentations on a particular...
office hours

Student Centered Office Hours

Those of us who teach Creative Writing usually have the luxury that our students actively choose to be in the class. When they come...
Group project assignment

Raising the Stakes: Group Projects as Competitive Contests

Group projects regularly cause trepidation but structuring them as competitive contests leads students away from generic and predictable outcomes.
unruly class

Engaging the Unruly Class

An unruly class can leave us feeling flustered, frustrated, and downright helpless. Try these strategies to help refocus your students' attention.

Opening up Office Hours

A common complaint of college instructors is how many of their students don’t come to office hours when they are struggling. As instructors, we...
Class discussion

Is it Really All My Fault? Sharing on In-Class Discussions

I’ve become familiar with the resistance to classroom discussions, but, until recently, I always assumed good discussions were lacking because students are, generally speaking, lacking in “critical thinking.” But last week, something happened that made me reconsider.
international teaching assistants meaning negotiation

Meaning Negotiation in International Teaching Assistant Preparation Classes

For International Teaching Assistants, meaning negotiation plays a vital role when it comes to interactions with native English speaking undergraduate students in the laboratory or in the classroom. In this article, I share a few tips that can help ITA instructors or coaches guide ITAs through their interactions with their (future) undergraduate students.
Feedback Creative Writing

Creative Writing Feedback: On Finding Praise

There’s a lot of talk in teaching circles about feedback—how to give an appropriate amount that doesn’t overwhelm the student (or the teacher’s workload) and balances praise and constructive criticism. Finding praise is, of course, characterized by its very verb as the part where you have to strain yourself, what you include to soften the blow your critique.

Three Tricks to Learning Students’ Names

I pride myself in knowing all of my student’s names by the end of the first week of class. This is no easy task...
engagement students

Five Ways to Effectively Engage Students

I am frequently asked, “How do you do what you do?” and I always say, “I just do it.” So,when prompted to discuss how...
literacy teaching higher education

Learning to Read Online

In introductory writing classes with a research based project, most of us spend time teaching students how to read academic journal articles. We understand how to...

On What I Hope This Site Can Be

A Message from the Editor: For those of you that know me, and no doubt today, at the start of this project, many of you...

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Syllabus syllabuses syllabi

Three Ways to Visualize Your Syllabus

While the syllabus forms the foundation of a course, it doesn't always reach it's full potential. By nature, the syllabus is linear. The daily plans...
critical thinking activity for college students

Zombie Apocalypse & Critical Thinking

It can be difficult to engage students in critical thinking, but this activity helps students think outside the box and anticipate problems. I've found...
career profile assignment

The World as Seen, Heard, Experienced, Written

An assignment sequence where students explore the world of the arts, beginning with photography and increasing in writing involvement and critical scrutiny through the worlds of music and film before finally concluding in a work of literature. Through these various lenses, students examine both the status of these arts, what goes into evaluating them, and their relation to their campus, its history, and the world at large.