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student engagement

Student Engagement Articles

Maintaining student engagement can be difficult, especially as we near midterms where students' minds are preoccupied with any number of papers, exams, or presentations....
office challenge

The Office Challenge

Office hours can feel long, laborious, and lonely when no one shows up, especially in the beginning of a semester. One way I've found to increase my students' use of office hours is to challenge them to meet with me. 
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.

Sidewalk Chalk

An activity designed to help students understand the vulnerability that comes with public photographs, particularly in the context of war images.

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.
in-class activity

Post-It Notes Activity

This is a great first-day exercise used to create a sense of community as well as clarify questions or misconceptions about the course. It can also be used mid-semester as a check-in for the class.

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...
writing process

Lego: The Building Blocks of Writing

One of my favorite in-class activities is simple, easy to set up, and, most importantly, it involves Lego. I often use this in composition...

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Revision activities

Five Revision Activities

Five revision activities you can use either inside or outside the classroom to show the importance and effects of revision. 
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.
workshop creative writing feedback

QCS Workshop Responses

Silence in the classroom can be awkward, especially when your students are tasked with discussing their peers’ work in a creative writing workshop. I’ve found...