Faculty Blog: How do you manage student stress levels?

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!

2 comments on “Faculty Blog: How do you manage student stress levels?”

  • G
    November 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

    One of the conferences I go to each year, starting Fall 2015, is scheduled in such a way that it offers a break for my students in weeks #07. But as we approach DST, Thanksgiving, etc., I use the following techniques to keep them interested/motivated:

    1. Relaxed assignment schedule
    2. In-class elevator pitch of their research projects
    3. Guest lectures (friends and former students in industry) that can help current students relate what they are learning in class to what they could be doing outside
    4. Social gatherings — pizza and a (root) beer in KBC
    5. Movies and documentaries (relevant to the course: The Imitation Game, Silicon Valley, The Martian, CodeGirl, etc.)

    I’d be happy to share in-depth information with anyone that’s interested.

  • Mary Durfee
    November 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I try not to schedule an exam or important part of their grade in week 8 (or there abouts). I call it “brains on the sidewalk week.” I noticed that students seemed to made incremental progress until about week 8 when everything fell apart. After a week or 10 days, student progress picks up and grows lots faster than before the collapse during brains on the sidewalk week. I try to give them small things to think about or maybe a simulation while waiting for the transformation.

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