Engaging students in learning
Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives.
Flipping the classroom
A pedagogy-first approach to teaching in which in-class time is re-purposed for inquiry, application and assessment in order to better meet the needs of the individual learners.
Promoting student engagement through active learning
Active learning requires students to participate in class, as opposed to sitting and listening quietly. Strategies include, but are not limited to, brief question-and-answer sessions, discussion integrated into the lecture, impromptu writing assignments, hands-on activities and experiential learning events. As you think of integrating active learning strategies into your course, consider ways to set clear expectations, design effective evaluation strategies and provide helpful feedback.
Leading dynamic discussions
While “good” discussions can be a powerful tool for encouraging student learning, successful discussions rarely happen spontaneously. Preparing ahead of time will help you delineate a clear focus for the discussion and set well-defined parameters. This will enable the class to address important topics from multiple perspectives, thus increasing students’ curiosity for, and engagement with, course content.
Responding to disruptions and incivility in the classroom
Passionate disagreement can become disrespectful. That’s when discussion sheds more heat than light, impairing the ability to make arguments based on fact or to listen past preconceptions.
Large lecture instruction
Large classes (100+ students) should not be limited exclusively to lecture-based teaching. In a large class participation can be designed to get students actively solving problems, interacting with one another and the instructor and processing course material.
Teaching with technology
In-classroom technologies — podium-based computers, wireless, real-time response systems (e.g., clickers) and web-based tools (e.g., blogs, online forums, wikis, podcasts, etc.) — continue to change rapidly. These tools have a high potential for supporting student learning in creative and innovative ways when properly aligned with the instructor’s learning objectives and course content.
Service-learning refers to learning that actively involves students in a wide range of experiences, which often benefit others and the community, while also advancing the goals of a given curriculum.
Office hours give students the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of confusion or interest that cannot be fully addressed in class. It is important for UW instructors to encourage their students to come to office hours and to use that time effectively. We have two guides to help you: Face-to-face office hours and Virtual office hours.