Teaching Strategies: Incivility in the College Classroom

Broadly defined, classroom incivility is any action that interferes with a harmonious and cooperative learning atmosphere in the classroom. Uncivil student behavior not only disrupts and negatively effects the overall learning environment for students but also contributes to instructors' stress and discontent. The articles in this section describe forms of classroom incivility and ways to reduce disruptive behavior in the college classroom.


Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship at University of Michigan

The articles and other resources listed [on this site] give useful information about designing and teaching effective presentations on the responsible conduct of research and scholarship. Topics include how to make effective use of case studies, how to integrate ethics education within the research setting and experience, and how to foster critical thinking and problem-solving about issues of research and scholarly integrity. Items available online here can also be found as CTools Project Tool.

The International Center for Academic Integrity (Clemson University)

The ICAI is a forum for students, faculty, teachers and administrators who are interested in issues related to academic integrity.  The site has numerous links to online resources, conference announcements, assessment guides, and research.   

UC-Santa Clara’s Teaching Toolbox: Classroom Civility

Definitions and resources related to incivility in higher education; includes a section about responding to specific kinds of incivility, including: 1. Annoyances and minor disruptions, 2. Dominating discussion, 3. Aggressive challenging of teacher, and 4. Disputes between students and demeaning comments.

Managing Classroom Conflict (University of North Carolina, 2004)

Newsletter from UNC Center for Teaching and Learning addressing classroom conflict. Includes a section about preventing incivility by promoting social cohesion in the classroom.

Wireless in the Classroom: Advice for Faculty (University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2011) 

This link offers helpful advice on setting ground rules and establishing an etiquette for use of laptops in the classroom.

Reducing Incivility in the University/College Classroom (Morrissette, 2001)

Incivility in the classroom is offensive, intimidating, or hostile behavior that interferes with students’ ability to learn and with instructors’ ability to teach. This paper identifies factors contributing to uncivil interactions in the classroom and provides practical strategies designed to avoid or diffuse such conflicts.

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