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All posts in Course Development

Keeping Online Learning Active

Active learning occurs when students are engaged with the course materials and/or each other using the CourseWeb tools using strategies that promote learning. Here are some guidelines to make your online activities more effective: Keep your students’ efforts directed toward the parts of an activity related to their learning, and . . . Read more

Course Rationale

The course rationale is a brief statement that explains the purpose of the course and how its place in either the University’s or your department’s curriculum.

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

Collaborative Learning

“Collaborative learning,” “cooperative learning,” and “group learning” are terms that refer to an instructional approach in which students work together to accomplish a common learning goal. Collaboration can be as simple as a two-minute, in-class exercise involving pairs of students or entail more complex, term-length projects in or outside of . . . Read more

Active Learning Activities

Active learning is the process of engaging students in activities that encourage them to think about what they are doing. The students, usually in groups, get hands-on experience with the subject matter and can assess their own degree of understanding and skill at handling the concepts being taught. With the . . . Read more

Modeling Strategies for Engaging Students

In this issue of the Teaching Times, several accomplished instructors share their approaches for increasing student engagement in the classroom including author, James Groccia (Auburn University), and two Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award Winners. NOVEMBER 2013 Contents: Modeling Strategies For Engaging Students Author Models Strategies For Engaging Students Read Article > . . . Read more

Author Models Strategies for Engaging Students

James Groccia, professor of Higher Education at Auburn University, is the author/co-author/co-editor of numerous book chapters and journal articles and 11 books on teaching, learning and higher education including Evidence-Based Teaching (2011).  His visit to the University was sponsored by the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE). “Most of us . . . Read more

School of Engineering Focuses on Flipped Class Model

Active engagement is known to contribute to learning, and it is particularly important to engage students in large classes (e.g., greater than 75 students), where interaction between faculty and students is often lost.  To address this challenge and improve learning, the Swanson School of Engineering is introducing a flipped, or . . . 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

Active Learning in Large Biology Classes

Active learning happens when students engage with course content in ways that promote deep processing and higher level thinking. To Biology professor Valerie Oke, it means making deliberate choices about how to use class time, leveraging the use of peer activities, and emphasizing the value of practice. Professor Oke teaches two . . . 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

Course Roadmap: A Visual Summary of the Content of a Course

By Sean Garrett-Roe, Chemistry I teach a Physical Chemistry course, “Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Kinetics”, to a class of about 35 senior chemistry majors. The course takes students through three broad areas of physical chemistry which, on the one hand, are conceptually very different from each other, but, on the . . . Read more

Active Learning with Writing, Experimenting, and Simulation

With their grant, Marlin Mickle, Electrical Engineering, and Michael Spring, Information Sciences, will create Active Learning with Writing, Experimenting, and Simulation (ALWES), a project to develop learning materials on wireless networks and radio frequency identification systems. The rapidly developing technology of wireless communication makes it virtually impossible for textbook publishers . . . Read more

Active Learning in the 21st Century

“Active learning lies at the very heart of modern learning theory,” commented K. Patricia Cross, David Pierpont Gardner Professor of Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley, in a keynote address at a conference on Teaching and Learning in the Next Century.*   Active learning was one of six items cited by . . . Read more

A Common Syllabus – A Common Dilemma

David SchmidtTA Development ServicesA common syllabus should act as a road map and guide for both teacher and student. It keeps everyone on track so that they all arrive at a stated destination at a stated time. It should, however, allow time for interesting side trips and necessary pit stops. . . . Read more