Strategies

As memories of Spring Break fade and we head into the final stretch of winter term, it's a great time to think about student motivation. How effectively are your courses engaging your students and motivating them to learn? 

How Learning Works book cover

While it can sometimes feel that students simply choose to be engaged or apathetic for their own reasons, the research on motivation clearly indicates that instructor choices significantly affect students' investment in learning. And motivation plays a key role in how effectively students master course material. As Susan Ambrose and her co-authors argue in How Learning Works (Jossey-Bass, 2010), research shows that people are motivated to learn when they:

  1. See the value, either intrinsic or extrinsic, of learning the particular material or skills, and
  2. Believe they can succeed.

What teaching strategies do these motivational factors suggest? To help students appreciate the value of the learning goals in your course, you can: Read more »

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Cooperative learning involves having students work together to maximize their own and one another’s learning (Johnson, Johnson & Smith, 1991). This page provides resources about cooperative learning, designing effective small group activities, and guidance for creating and sustaining effective student learning groups in engineering and lab courses. Read more »

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The resources in this section compare the two, complementary functions of evaluation. Formative evaluation is typically conducted during the development or improvement of a program or course. Summative evaluation involves making judgments about the efficacy of a program or course at its conclusion.

Formative vs. Summative Evaluation (Northern Arizona University)

Questions Frequently Asked About Student Rating Forms: Summary of Research Findings

 

Related topics under teaching strategies:

Evaluation of Student Learning, (Testing, Grading, and Feedback)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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The first days of class are important in setting the tone for what is to come, and it is crucial to think carefully about how you present yourself and how you get the course established. The links in this section provide information and suggestions for getting started effectively on the first day of class.


Learning Students' Names (University of Nebraska)
List of 23 techniques for learning students’ names in both small and large class settings.

The Most Important Day: Starting Well (Wright, 1999)
Ideas for faculty members on how to use the first day of class to start building relationships with students.

The First Day of Class (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Seven tips for handling your first meeting with students, and specific strategies in response to common concerns of beginning teachers.

101 Things for the First 3 Weeks (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
Specific ideas for generating interest in course material, building community in the classroom, helping students transition into the course, and encouraging active learning. Read more »

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