Modes of instruction

A variety of teaching strategies
New faculty members should explore the many and varied teaching strategies available to them.  Different subjects lend themselves to different strategies, different learning styles mean students learn better with some methods than others, and a varied repertoire keeps students engaged and interested in the subject matter.  Faculty themselves also stay more engaged when using a variety of instructional strategies to deepen student understanding.

Match teaching strategy to learning need
A top priority of faculty members is to match the learning needs of students to appropriate teaching strategies in order to maximize quality and quantity of student achievement.  With teaching experience it becomes clearer which strategies work better than others, but faculty members with less experience need to rely on research addressing learning needs, the wisdom of colleagues, and a bit of trial and error.  If new faculty members track student performance and the way they teach from the outset of their careers, it will take less time to hone in on the strategies that work best for their students.  Continuous monitoring of this alignment between teaching strategies and learning assures that teaching evolves to match changing student learning needs.

Learn about students
Faculty need to know their students in order to choose teaching strategies effectively.   There are a number of ways to do this, depending upon class size, context, and the type of course.  Examples include handing out index cards for students to respond to certain questions, using an online survey to extract data in particular categories, setting up group introduction presentations, administering a pretest on course content, asking for a show of hands concerning familiarity with concepts or learning styles, etc.  Determine a way or ways to become familiar with who your students are, their prior education history, aspirations in the field of study, why they are taking the course, how they best learn the materials, questions they have about the course, and follow through by reading, collating, analyzing and factoring what you learn into your teaching plans.

Explore the possibilities
New faculty members often teach as they were taught, but in this age of increasing knowledge about how students learn, wide availability of new technologies, and extensive research on the most effective teaching methods, there is little excuse for limiting teaching repertoire to traditional methods alone.  In addition to lectures, presentations and demonstrations, faculty may use large and small group discussions, problem solving, case study, projects, student presentations, collaborative inquiry, simulations, original document analysis, laboratory and field study, and many other strategies.  In addition to these, faculty should explore service learning, community engagement, capstone projects, alternative assignments, and other ways for students to do the work of scientists, writers, historians, engineers, educators, artists, business leaders, or medical professionals as they complete coursework.

Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive Teaching
Center for Instructional Development and Research, University of Washington
This site provides an examination of how to expand your repertoire of teaching strategies for working with a diverse student population, including links to recommended reading.

The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children
Delpit, L.D., in Landmark Essays on basic writing, Halasek, K. & Pearson Highbert, N. (2001)
This essay explores the divide in the dialogue on how best to educate students of color.

Culturally Responsive Teaching
Teaching Diverse Learners, Brown University
Culturally responsive teaching is defined, and elements of responsive teaching described with “what” and “why” components to support instructors.

Listen to Students

What do Faculty Learning from Students?
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Magazine (Spring, 2008). Vol. 3
These honest reflections from faculty offer insights into what faculty learn when they pay attention to students.

How Students Learn

Considering How Students Learn
Project Kaleidoscope (2008). Guide to Engaging Learners: Engaged Learning. 
An informal alliance supported by the National Science Foundation and the W.M. Keck Foundation

This site offers a discussion on addressing how students learn.

How Students Learn versus How we Teach
Excerpt from Gardiner, L.F. (1998). Why we must change: The research evidence, Thought and Action. University of Hawaii, Honolulu
This set of tips flows from research about the ineffective job American education is doing in addressing student learning needs.

Assessing How Students Learn
Cerbin, B. (March, 2009). Carnegie Perspectives, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Educator Bill Cerbin argues that if the goal of higher education is to improve students’ future performance, then the common practice of assessing what students have learned is not enough.  What is also required is “assessment that reveals how students learn.”

Understanding How Students Learn: A New Model Course in Applied Quantum Physics
Redish, E.F., Steinberg, R.N. & Wittmann, M.C. (2002). Posted by Physics Department, University of Maryland
This site provides an overview, classroom materials, a teacher’s guide, course philosophy, a course outline, and a reflection on how students learn.

Teaching Students How to Learn
Murray, B. (June, 2000). Monitor on Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 6
College students struggle to find effective learning strategies, but professors can help according to this article.

Sampling of Teaching Strategies

Teaching Strategies and Disciplinary Resources
Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan
The purpose of this site is to assist faculty by providing online teaching strategies and resources.

Teaching and Learning Resources
Center for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Texas, Austin
This is a compilation of resources to support instructors as they choose among teaching strategies.

Strategies in Clinical Teaching
School of Medicine, University of Kansas
This community-based faculty development site offers teaching modules designed to provide quick facts about teaching issues.

Explore Teaching Strategies
Office of Information Technology, Digital Media Center, University of Minnesota
A variety of teaching strategies that employ digital media are examined.

Light Illuminates Better Teaching Strategies
Lenger, J. (2001). Harvard Gazette Archives
This article provides an overview of a study that resulted when Harvard’s president asked “How can we assess the effectiveness of undergraduate teaching?” leading to a 15 year study of educational outcomes.

Teaching Strategies and Methods
Auburn University
This site compiles teaching strategies from Brown University, Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, Stanford University, and many others.

Effective Lectures
Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Creative use of lectures is examined through topics such as: smart lectures, dynamic lectures, improving your lectures, lecturing effectively, and many more.

Lecture Free Teaching in Seven Steps
Wood, B., (2005). American Biology Teacher, Vol. 6, No. 67, p. 334-342
, University of Maine
This instructor explores her increasingly creative teaching once she got away from lecturing in her biology courses.

Award Winning Teachers on Teaching
Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University
This lecture series highlights award winning faculty at Stanford University.

CTL Project Showcase
Center for Teaching and Learning, Brigham Young University
The BYU faculty members have developed a number of nationally published and award-winning instructional media. 

Using Small Group Assignments in Teaching Research Ethics
Pimple, K.D. (2002). Poynter Center, Indiana University, Bloomington
This strategy encourages students to express their opinions in a college class, in spite of reservations they may have to do so.

Teaching with Simulations

Web-Human Physiology Teaching Simulation
Coleman, T. & Doherty, C. University of Mississippi Medical School & Skidmore College
This physiology teaching simulation presents educators and students with full web access to Tom Coleman’s classic physiology simulation program HUMAN. It has been used for simulation labs, as a lecture demonstration tool, and by many universities. Simulated experiments can be run in 5 areas: challenges to standard physiology, comparative and environmental challenges, clinical challenges, artificial organs, and pharmacologic intervention.  Outputs can be tabular and graphic.

Teaching American Politics with a Semester Long Simulation
Brooker, R.G., Department of Political Science, Alverno College. Presented at the April, 2007 Midwest Political Science Association,
Chicago, Illinois

This paper describes a simulation focused on Congress, and includes political issues, public opinion, interest groups and elections.

Simulations for Teaching Political Science
The American Political Science Association
Links to a number of simulations are on this site in areas such as: redistricting, non-violent conflict, politics, policy decision making, legislative issues, model general assembly, national budget, and more.

Disability Simulations as a Teaching Tool: Some Ethical Issues and Implications
Behler, G. (1993). Journal on Postsecondary Education and Disability, Association on Higher Education and Disability, Vol. 10, No. 2
This paper focuses on some major ethical issues when employing disability simulations as a teaching tool in college level courses.

Case Teaching Notes: "Global Climate Change: Evidence and Causes"
Knabb, M., Lutz, T. M. & Fairchild, G. W. Departments of Biology and Geology, West Chester University
This case study explores the evidence for and causes of global climate change incorporating the use of "clickers" in the teaching format.

Spice Publications
Stanford Program on International and Cross Cultural Education. Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
This site offers for sale a number of simulations appropriate for middle school to community college on a variety of topics for sale.

E-Learning Content Library Simulations
Open College
This site provides simulations for many concepts in science, economics, and math.

Simulation Nation: The Promise of Virtual Learning Activities
Prensky, M. (2009). Edutopia, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This article explores the rationale for using simulation in learning settings.

Teaching Resources

National Science Digital Library
Open Educational Resource Commons, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.
This is an extensive list of educational materials for STEM disciplines with comments by those who have used them.

Developing Critical Skills
Woods, D.R., Felder, R.M., Rugarcia, A. & Stice, J.E. Chem. Engr. Education, 34(2), 108–117 (2000).
This paper explores the notion that most professors do not know how to help students develop good analysis skills, and explains a process for doing so.

Teaching with Primary Documents

Primarily Teaching
Summer workshops for educators using historical documents in the classroom, The National Archives
These workshops are offered around the country, and the site also has numerous teaching materials, lesson plans, and regional resources for educators.

Teaching with Documents: Lesson Plans
The National Archives
This site contains reproducible copies of primary documents from the National Archives, along with activities using them in the areas of History, Civics and Government, organized by era.

Teaching with Original Historical Sources in Mathematics
Laubenbacher, R., Virginia Polytechnic and State University & Pengelley, D., New Mexico State University
This website offers many links and suggestions for using original historical sources in teaching mathematics.

Teaching with Case Studies

Case Studies in Science
State University of New York, Buffalo
This series of articles, videos and power points explores the use of case study, along with example cases used by faculty around the country.

Engineering and Technology Case Studies
Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment, Stanford University
These real examples explore how gender shapes engineering and technological innovations.

Case Studies in Ethics
College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
These cases are designed to teach ethics to students by creating a conflict in the students’ minds. Links include: Developing and using cases, engineering, science, and student centered cases. Articles about case study are linked to the site as well.

Case Method Website: How to Teach with Cases
Foran, J., Department of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara
General materials to help faculty members learn to teach with the case method.  For specific cases, see the “teaching notes” section of the case.

Using a Teaching Case
Kennedy School of Government Case Program, Harvard University
A shorthand guide on how to use the teaching cases posted for sale at:

Teaching with Student Projects

Student Projects in Linear Algebra
Arnold, D. (1997-2006). College of the Redwoods
This community college instructor has posted student math projects over 10 years, along with some resources to help design student project assignments.

Teaching with Images

When Images Rule
NEA Higher Ed. (Feburary, 2010). Advocate, Vol. 27, No. 3
This publication contains a number of articles addressing the use of images in teaching to enhance student learning.


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