End-of term course evaluations will open at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, December 1. Many on campus have had great success achieving a response rate above 70%, which is remarkably good for a survey like this. How do you encourage students to participate? What do you say or do that provides them with opportunities, reasons, or incentives to give you the constructive feedback you need to improve?
Beginning last spring semester, instructors were given the ability to add customized questions to end-of-term evaluations. Have you tried adding any questions? If not, why not? If so, please share questions that have resulted in good insight.
The next few weeks are the toughest in the academic year for students (and maybe for instructors too!). It’s been a long time since Labor and K-Day, and as the days get colder and darker, students struggle to stay motivated through to the break. What do you do as an instructor to shake things up or keep things interesting during this stretch? Share your favorite tips and techniques!
Evidence suggests that having students explain things to each other provides increased retention and depth of understanding. This suggests that we should encourage discussion of class and homework. However, allowing this kind of collaboration can lead to outright copying or make it difficult to measure an individual’s effort and understanding. How do you define collaboration so students can strike this balance as they do the work for your class?
Research has shown that student attention (and retention) starts to decline after about ten minutes of lecture. Many instructors have therefore implemented small breaks or instructional mode changes approximately every ten minutes during class. Share your favorite ways to regain student attention on the CTL Faculty Blog, and receive a small gift, or just view the blog to see what others do!
Giving students good feedback is essential to learning, but, especially in big classes, this can take time. What techniques do you use to strike this balance as efficiently as possible?
As the first round of exams arrives, share how you get your students ready. Do you post old exams and solutions? Ask students to write questions? What works best to help students feel prepared?
Electronic communication through Canvas, e-mail, or other means is a powerful way to connect with students. However, especially in larger classes, it can be a huge time commitment to keep up with a flood of messages. How do you set boundaries, direct students, or otherwise manage this kind of communication?