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Teaching Tips from Our Faculty
Use Daily Questions to Motivate and Reinforce Content
To reinforce grammar and vocabulary in Spanish and help students get to know one another better, Nidia Flis uses examples of characters from manga and anime to frame a "question of the day". Her strategy aims to motivate, inspire, and build self-confidence while students learn in-person and online during the ongoing pandemic.
Small Groups in Zoom Build Community
Lyn Jones employed a strategy of weekly Zoom meetings. A poll was used to find available times, then students were assigned to one of three small cohorts that met in Zoom.
This practice "created community because students interacted and discussed so thoughtfully and insightfully together. Students left the semester noting those required Zooms were their favorite parts of the course."
Sharing Inspirations to Start the Week
Stephanie Ries posts "Monday Inspirations" each week of classes.
"Every Monday I post something to encourage my students. From taking time to meditate to encouraging them through adversity. Many students have commented these Monday inspirations have gotten them through the semester."
Use Canvas Quizzes for Weekly Check-ins
Molly Ferguson developed her first online class for Summer 2020. She used a weekly check-in via Canvas quiz to fill the gap of in-person office hours.
"My online class filled out a four-question reflection at the beginning of each week, and this helped me catch misunderstandings about due dates, confusion about assignments, and individual personal issues students were facing. I was able to follow up with these students and work with them to stay on track in the class."
Professor Kathryn Ludwig teaches ENG 103 Rhetoric and Writing, with 25 students per class. Professor Ludwig scheduled one-on-one check-ins with each student during the transition to remote teaching.
Quick-Thinking Student Communication
When Dr. Guohe Zheng’s audio connection wasn’t working during his check-in with his Japanese 101 class, a quick-thinking student reminded him about their GroupMe.
“I use GroupMe regularly to confirm that everyone is fine, has Wi-Fi, and can concentrate on their classes. The communication takes place only on cell phones, avoiding [confusion] with an already crowded laptop screen,” says Dr. Zheng.
Taking to Twitter to Connect
Teaching Assistant JJ Gramlich’s English 104 students set up a class Twitter account at the beginning of the semester communicate with one another.
“It's really come in handy. It's a great way for casual, low stakes, and frequent interaction,” says Gramlich.