Category Archives: Teaching

The Sound and Fury (When Classroom Discussions are Difficult)

Sometimes class discussions are difficult because students are hesitant to participate or because one student tends to dominate. And sometimes—as we’ve heard from faculty in these turbulent times—they’re difficult because emotions are running high and some students may be angry or anxious. Here are a few resources to help faculty navigate these challenges. Teaching Trump […]

Knowing Thyself Gets a Hand from Exam Wrappers

Most of us can identify with the chagrin students feel when they earn a grade that they’re not happy about. But, as with most of life’s stings, the disappointment comes with a learning opportunity. An exam wrapper (or assignment or project wrapper) can help students understand what happened and what they can do to improve their learning. A […]

Election Tensions can Spill into the Classroom

The following blog post from the University of Michigan invites us to thoughtfully consider the teaching challenges and opportunities afforded by this often hostile election season. It asks that faculty from all disciplines encourage students to think critically and hold civil discourse about the many fraught topics in the campaigns both before and after the […]

First Day of Class

Even if you have extensive teaching experience, the first day of class can create some nervous jitters. So, we’ve collected a few suggestions, tips, and resources here that will help your class get off to a good start. One of the most frequent recommendations we hear from faculty is to arrive at the room both […]

Using Collaborative Learning Experiences to Support Student Success

This post is contributed by Dr. Ellen McShane, Director of Academic Success Programs at UVM. Author George D. Kuh (2008) has identified collaborative learning experiences as a “high-impact practice” that allows students to succeed in college. Collaborative learning experiences can include study groups in courses, team-based course assignments, peer tutoring, and cooperative learning projects that […]

De-Stressing Students

As we all know, the end of the semester is a stressful time for both faculty and students. While we can’t eliminate most of the causes of stress, we can mitigate stress’ negative effects on our physical and emotional states by taking care of ourselves. Informing our students about resources to help deal with stress can go a […]

Michael Wesch’s Latest Work

According to Dr. Michael Wesch, his new website, myteachingnotebook.com, focuses on “the pursuit of joy in teaching and learning.” I first saw it in August and made a note to myself to share it here in mid-semester, when the geese are flying south and we aren’t sure if it’s getting colder and darker or just […]

Mobile Devices in Class – Yes or No?

Premise: all students want to text in class and will do so surreptitiously if they can, so many faculty feel the only way to keep students focused is to ban mobile device use altogether. Many blog posts and articles on texting, cell phone, or mobile device use in class seem to start with this premise. […]

Fostering a Comfortable Classroom Environment

It’s that time of year again when faculty are thinking about how to better engage their students in the classroom. The first class meeting can often set the tone for the whole semester, and establishing norms for classroom interactions goes a long way towards creating a more welcoming and respectful learning environment for everyone. One way […]

New STEM Mentoring Seminar Announced

Conducting research can be a transformative experience for undergraduate students, especially when their research supervisor serves as an effective mentor. We invite you to join us for a 10-hr faculty seminar, beginning in late August, that examines how faculty can enhance their mentoring skills regardless of career stage. The seminar will use case studies, extensive […]

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