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Sociology Students Attack Global Problems

After many iterations of one of her course, “Global Issues and the United Nations,” Jackie Smith, Department of Sociology, observed how disappointed her students were with the ineffectiveness of international organizations charged with resolving the most critical global issues of our time – poverty, environmental degradation, climate change. Her response to . . . Read more

Solstice User’s Guide

You can now connect your laptop and other mobile devices to the projectors wirelessly in Rooms 203, 231, 232, and 233 in David Lawrence Hall using Solstice technology. Solstice not only enables you to project your screen, but also allows you and your students to simultaneously share files and windows . . . Read more

Strategies Adapt to Any Class

Students become engaged in activities that force them to reflect upon ideas and upon how they are using those ideas.   Without sacrificing breadth of coverage, we can increase depth of understanding when students engage with material and immediately attempt to use it.  When students regularly assess their own degree of . . . Read more

Strategies for Learning Student Names

Student: “Hello, Professor Smith!” Professor Smith: “Hello….you!” Student: “Do you have my paper?” Professor Smith: “Sure!  Uh, well, what was your last name again?” Student: “It’s, Smith, remember?  Just like yours?” Professor Smith: “Oh, right, of course.  Yes, I remember your last name; just remind me of the first?” Student: . . . Read more

Strategies for Teaching Large Classes

Large courses with enrollments ranging from 100 to 400 students present challenges for new and seasoned instructors:  How is it possible to integrate teaching strategies to promote engagement and lasting learning in a huge auditorium packed with students? For example, Psychology, one of the University’s most popular undergraduate fields, requires . . . Read more

Student Feedback

By Robyn Cutright EDITOR’S NOTE:  Throughout this term, TA Services will feature articles on topics relevant to teaching assistants. Faculty members may also find these articles useful. For this month’s installment, we are reissuing an earlier article by Robin Cutright on the importance of classroom assessment techniques. There is no . . . Read more

Students Participate in Large Chemistry Classes

A common perception among faculty is that classes with enrollments of more than 100 are not conducive to student participation, let alone lively discussion. George Bandik, however, has been engaging students in his large chemistry classes for 30 years and still looks forward to opportunities in each class to draw . . . Read more

TAs and TFs: The First Line of Response

By Melissa Swauger, TA Serveices, CIDDE Did you ever have a student disappear from class mid-semester only to return on final exam day? Or one who revealed a personal life in disarray when trying to explain his/her chronic absenteeism? How about a student who did poorly on an exam but . . . Read more

Teaching award winners sustain student enthusiasm for learning

This issue of the Teaching Times features interviews with the 2003 winners of major University of Pittsburgh teaching awards—five recipients of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and two recipients of the College of Arts and Sciences Bellet Teaching Excellence Award. These seven faculty members represent diverse schools and departments. Nevertheless, . . . Read more

The Awkward Silence

It’s an inevitable occurrence in any college classroom: the awkward silence that follows an instructor’s question to his or her students. Why aren’t they responding? Do they understand the question? Did they read the assigned material? Who will crack first – them or me? When silences occur in a classroom, it’s . . . Read more

The Inclusive Classroom Discussion

A college instructor was showing a documentary about the work of the charity, Doctor’s Without Borders, serving refugees in the mountains of Iraq. After the video, the instructor posed the question, “What do you think?” One student responded, “It’s just foreigners benefiting from free medical care.” Hurtful, divisive comments can . . . Read more

The Next Class: Think-Pair-Share

With such a broad array of valuable teaching methods available, University instructors can find it difficult to know just where to begin, much less what strategy to adopt.  Rather than letting indecision undermine action, consider introducing one new activity in the next class. “The Next Class” provides teaching suggestions that . . . Read more

Using POGIL To Create Learning Activities

Rick Moog, professor at Franklin and Marshall College, will return to campus Nov. 5 to lead an all-day hands-on workshop on Process Oriented Group Inquiry Learning (POGIL), a teaching method based on guided inquiry. The effectiveness of POGIL is supported by a decade of research funded by the National Science . . . Read more

Writing Essay Items

Essay questions can be effective measures of your students’ ability to perform higher order thinking processes: in particular, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. When writing essay questions…. Keep in mind which type of knowledge you intend to assess. This will help you with the wording of the question. Define the desired . . . Read more

Zines & Feminist Pedagogy

By Kimberly Creasap, Sociology & Women’s Studies In the spring semester I received an email from one of my Women’s Studies students that began, “I am sending you this email to tell you that I had a small revelation in my life recently that made me realize how much I . . . Read more