For Those Who Teach

Better Questions are the Answer

Good answers depend on good questions. That’s why we work so hard on the content of our questions and why we should work with students on how they ask their questions. What also helps to make questions good is asking the right type of question.

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You Got Students Talking about Their Experiences, Now What?

“Get students talking about their experiences!” I heard this recommendation in a couple of sessions at the recent Teaching Professor Technology Conference, and the admonition does rest on sound premises. Students learn new material by connecting it to what they already know. If a teacher

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Grading Participation: An Alternative to Talking for Points

Is there a way to motivate and improve student participation without grading it? I raise the question because I think grading contributions gets students talking for points, not talking to make points. Verbal students make sure they say something, but often without listening to or

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Unraveling the Messages Our Behaviors Send to Students

How we teach begins and ends with behaviors. It’s good to remind ourselves of that every so often. Most of the ingredients identified as the components of effective instruction—things like clarity, organization, and enthusiasm—are abstractions. They’re intangible, without physical form. Their presence or absence is

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An Intriguing Participation Policy

I was looking at participation policies in a collection of syllabi this week. I wouldn’t give most of them high marks—lots of vague descriptions that don’t functionally define participation and then prescribe instructor assessment at the end of course with little or no mention of

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Structuring Discussions: Online and Face-to-Face

I found a nice set of online discussion activities that strike me as good in-class discussion activities as well. One of the reasons discussion so often fails or doesn’t realize much of its potential is the absence of structure. The discussion is too open-ended. It

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Fostering the Reciprocity of Learning

In the July 10, 2013 post, I shared some ideas about learning with students precipitated by an article that made an interesting distinction between “doing for” students and “learning with” students. The post generated some good responses and prompted Aron Reppmann, a philosophy professor at

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The Teaching Professor Conference 2024

June 7-9, 2024 • New Orleans

Connect with Fellow Educators at The Teaching Professor Conference!