Student Learning

 

This occasional paper discusses research showing how student personal response systems (often called 'clickers') can support student learning. It gives specific strategies for using clickers to assess student knowledge prior to the course, check students' understanding of new material, administer tests, document attendance, and more. The paper also discusses challenges and proposes best practices for using clickers for a range of purposes. 
 
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In this CRLT Occasional Paper, we describe specific classroom strategies and teaching behaviors that have been demonstrated to improve the success of a diverse body of students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses. We also provide practical advice to individual faculty members who are seeking to implement these teaching strategies. Extensive research on why students leave STEM fields suggests that individual faculty can play a key role in supporting and retaining a diverse student body in STEM. Although underrepresented groups may have the most to gain, retention-conscious teaching practices are likely to have a positive impact on the persistence of all students in STEM.

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Creating high quality educational assessments requires both art and science: the art of creatively engaging students in assessments that they view as fair and meaningful, and that produce relevant data about student achievement; and the science of assessment design, item writing, and grading procedures (Worthen, Borg, & White, 1993). This Occasional Paper provides an overview of the science of developing valid and reliable exams, especially multiple-choice and essay items. Additionally, the paper describes key issues related to grading: holistic and trait-analytic rubrics, and normative and criterion grading systems.

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This Occasional Paper describes some of the differences that Millennial students bring to the classroom and outlines four principles for teaching Millennials successfully. To illustrate how these principles inform specific teaching strategies, we highlight examples of innovative teaching by U-M faculty.

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