teaching strategies

Q: How do I identify the best technology for my course? What questions should I be asking?

A: Always start with your learning objectives or goals for your course. Consider which technologies or tools will best support or enhance those objectives or goals. What does the tool make possible for your large course that you perhaps wouldn’t be able to accomplish without it? Other questions to consider include those of accessibility, cost (to yourself and students), ease of use for you and your students (e.g., Is there a learning curve to use this tool? Are students being asked to navigate too many different technologies?), and whether there is university support for the tool in the event that you need help. Of course, you are also welcome to consult with CRLT or technology support services within your department if you have a goal but are unsure of which tool will best help you accomplish it. CRLT also has a database of examples of U-M faculty using instructional technology, if you’re looking for some ideas.


Q: What is the role of participation or attendance in relation to technology in a large class? Read more »


Consultation services are available to faculty, post-docs and graduate students affiliated with the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor campus. If you need to consult about a time-sensitive matter call during business hours to speak to a CRLT consultant at 734-764-0505.

Request an instructional strategies consultation


Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University

The following list presents the basic principles and teaching strategies that underlie effective learning. These principles are distilled from research from a variety in disciplines.
1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.
Students come into our courses with knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes gained in other courses and through daily life. As students bring this knowledge to bear in our classrooms, it influences how they filter and interpret what they are learning. If students’ prior knowledge is robust and accurate and activated at the appropriate time, it provides a strong foundation for building new knowledge. However, when knowledge is inert, insufficient for the task, activated inappropriately, or inaccurate, it can interfere with or impede new learning. To apply this principle, consider the following teaching techniques:

In order for students to develop mastery in a particular field, there are many component skills they will need to gain in order to be successful. Therefore it can be particularly useful to spend time identifying those component skills and developing assignments or activities that aid students in developing those skills. This process can broadly be referred to as providing scaffolding for your course content.

Scaffolding Student Learning: Tips for Getting Started

This provides a basic overview of what scaffolding is and highlights the importance of making component skills explicit for students. Also see the links to sample assignments at the bottom of the article.

Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#849 Supporting Student Success Through Scaffolding

This posting below at five scaffolding strategies to help novice learners: Procedural Guidelines, Partial Solutions, Think-Alouds, Anticipating Student Errors, and Comprehension Checks.

IDEA paper: Promoting Deep Learning Read more »


In any discipline or field, a key goal as well as challenge is supporting the learning of all students. Through programs, consultations, and resources, CRLT supports teachers in creating learning environments where students of all identities and backgrounds can flourish. This page features a range of online resources that define inclusive teaching and provide specific strategies for practicing it.

CRLT Resources

Overview of Inclusive Teaching at the University of Michigan: This webpage provides a definition and overview of inclusive teaching and its research basis.

The Research Basis for Inclusive Teaching: This webpage provides an overview of the kinds of evidence that demonstrate inclusive teaching practices can benefit all students' learning.

Principles and Strategies for Inclusive Teaching: This document lists specific strategies for fostering four dimensions of inclusive teaching. Instructors can use it to reflect upon practices they already use or might adopt. Read more »