Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) allow instructors to monitor students’ progress throughout the term. CATs help answer the questions, “What are my students learning? How effectively am I teaching?” The articles and links in this section provide comprehensive information about CATs, including their purpose and their use across disciplines.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs): An Introduction (Enerson, Plank, & Johnson, 2007)
Summary of Angelo & Cross’s volume, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. This handout briefly outlines those techniques that are easiest to use, interpret, respond to, and modify; detailed examples of each technique are included.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (National Teaching & Learning Forum)
Discussion of why faculty should use CATs, including benefits to students and instructors. Contains a table with descriptions of eight common CATs and how faculty members can use the data collected from them. Read more »


Ethical Reasoning Value Rubric (Association of American Colleges and Universities)

This rubric is intended to help faculty evaluate students’ work that demonstrates learning about ethics.   The AACU defines Ethical Reasoning as “reasoning about right and wrong human conduct.  It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions.” 

Curbing Academic Dishonesty in Online Courses

Topics covered in this short article include conducting online assessments and combatting plagiarism.  A list of resources on recognizing plagiarism and preventing academic dishonesty is also provided.   

Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices Read more »


A successful course depends on the planning that precedes it. The articles and links in this section serve as planning guides for both faculty and GSIs. They provide instructions for creating a syllabus.

Preparing to Teach

This section of CRLT's website includes a variety of resources to help with syllabus construction. The first is a brief discussion of the purposes of a syllabus and important items and policies to include. The other three include examples drawn from the various settings in which GSIs teach.

  • Creating Your Syllabus (pdf): This document provides information about how to compose a course syllabus, including what kinds of general and institutional information should be included. This checklist is particularly useful to new instructors designing syllabi for the first time.

  • Sample Section Syllabi (pdf): This document provides two sample syllabi for courses with multiple sections. The first sample is from a sociology course, and the second sample is from a psychology course. This document, in tandem with the "Creating Your Syllabus" resource, is useful for new instructors designing syllabi for the first time.


Problem-based learning (PBL) is both a teaching method and an approach to the curriculum. It consists of carefully designed problems that challenge students to use problem solving techniques, self-directed learning strategies, team participation skills, and disciplinary knowledge. The articles and links in this section describe the characteristics and objectives of PBL and the process for using PBL. There is also a list of printed and web resources.

Problem-Based Learning: An Introduction (Rhem, 1998, National Teaching and Learning Forum)

This piece summarizes the benefits of using problem-based learning, its historical origins, and the faculty/student roles in PBL. Overall, this is an easy to read introduction to problem-based learning.


Online teaching is increasingly common at many types of higher education institutions, ranging from hybrid courses that offer a combination of in-person and online instruction, to fully online experiences and distance learning. The following resources provide guidelines for creating an online course, best practices for teaching online, and strategies for assessing the quality of online education.

CRLT Occasional Paper #18: Online Teaching (Zhu, Dezure, & Payette, 2003)
This paper explores key questions to consider when planning an online course and provides guidelines for effective instructional practices.

Instructional Design (Illinois Online Network)
An ever-changing collection of articles related to teaching online (including Tip of the Month), basic resources, and spotlight issues. As this site is well-maintained, it is worth occasionally checking in to see if new material has been added. Read more »