Teaching and Advising
MSU prepares students to graduate equipped for careers and further education. Working alongside world-class faculty mentors, students discover new knowledge that helps to improve quality of life around the globe. This supportive and collaborative learning environment helps students succeed in competing for national and international scholarships and awards.
Guided by the faculty on the Teaching Excellence Action Committee, the Center provides faculty with resources for achieving excellence in teaching.
See Teaching Tips below
Faculty Learning Communities
Classroom/ Learning Space Design
Blended Course Design
Bobcat 4 X 4 Design
Summer Reading List
Ken’s (CFE Instructional Designer) Favorite Books on Teaching: A collection of my favorite books for enhancing teaching and course design:
- Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James Lang Shows how to make small changes to teaching that have a big impact on understanding, information retention, skill development, and engagement.
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel Incorporates recent discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive psychology and turns them into practical teaching and learning strategies. This can be particularly useful for large introductory courses that rely heavily on quizzing and exams.
- Teaching Naked by Jose Antonio Bowen Includes lots of ideas and tips for enhancing teaching and course design with and without the use of technology.
- How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et.al Incorporates recent discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive psychology and turns them into practical teaching and learning strategies. This book transitions well from theory to practical strategies.
- Teaching What You Don’t Know by Therese Huston Tips and strategies for teaching subjects and content that you are not an expert in.
- The Online Teaching Survival Guide, 2nd Edition by Judith Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad A lot of what you need to know to get started with online teaching, including organizing online courses, being present as the instructor, and building community online.
Shihua’s (CFE Instructional Designer) book recommendations on: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), teaching tips, and classroom assessment techniques.
- Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education by Tomas Tobin.How faculty can implement Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in higher education to reach every student.
- Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success by Andratesha Fritzgerald.How to identify and eliminate barriers, and to design inclusive learning environments so all students can succeed.
- UDL in the Cloud: How to Design and Deliver Online Education Using Universal Design for Learning by Katie Novak and Tom Thibodeau. How to design and deliver online courses from the learners' perspective. It also provides evidence-based practices to design for everyone and remove potential barriers for all students.
- UDL Navigators in Higher Education: A Field Guide by Eric Moore and Jodie Black. How to get started with implementing UDL in higher education.
- McKeachie's Teaching Tips by Wilbert McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki. Practical strategies for maximizing learning for every student. These teaching tips are supported by research and instructors can adapt them to their own teaching practice.
- Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd edition), by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom assessment techniques (C.A.T.s) designed by Angelo and Cross to provide students with feedback on the learning process before summative assessments.
Tips for wrapping up a course at the end of the semester:
- The Last Class Session: How to Make It Count Short article on strategies for wrapping up a course in ways that help students integrate content, prepare for exams, and request useful feedback for the course.
- Ending the Semester Includes additional ideas for wrapping up a course as well as using the course to look forward, i.e. how to reach out to you for letters of recommendation.
- Parting Ways: Ending Your Course Provides strategies for ending a course with both academic and emotional closure.
- A Tutorial for Making Online Learning Accessible to Students The tutorial provides background information about the universal design framework and guidance in making online learning accessible to students.
- 10 Ways to Tackle Linguistic Bias in Our Classrooms This short article provides 10 culturally inclusive teaching best practices for faculty to recognize and combat prejudices when it comes to how our students speak and write.
- This Semester, Don’t Forget Participation Feedback! Try these five best practices for assessing and offering feedback on participation, especially for faculty who are teaching in culturally diverse environments.
Communicating with your students, accessibility and universal design:
- Don’t Spam Your Students and Other Practical Communication Tips Offers practical advice and tips for communicating with students, including frequency of messages.
- 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course Try these 20 practical tips for teaching an online course that is accessible and inclusive to all learners.
- Universally Designing in Universal Chaos This article provides three practical tips with specific examples applying Universal Design for Learning principles, i.e. remaining predictable and true to myself, maintaining consistency, and allowing options.
- Show Them You Care 4 Ways to build supportive in-person or online classrooms that generate equity among students
For a Mid-Semester Energy Boost:
Boosting Student Motivation Through Connected Reflection
Short article with examples of reflective questions that can help boost motivation, metacognition, and community.
UDL Is Essential In Post-Secondary Pandemic Learning
Leveraging Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will help ensure effectiveness and a level of normalcy in an unexpected new learning reality during COVID-19.
- Energize Your Online Course with Group Work
A how-to guide for making the most of digital breakout rooms. Managing breakout rooms is not terribly complicated, and this article provides some simple tips that you can get comfortable with (and eventually master) some key skills.
What Students Want: A Simple, Navigable LMS Course Design
Short article for creating a simple, consistent organization scheme for an online course with live, synchronous class meetings.
Show Them You Care
4 ways to create a supportive learning environment for in-person or online courses with a focus on first-generation, low-income and/or minoritized students.
Why Flipped Classes Often Flop
Makes the case for including some type of grade incentive built into the structure of flipped classes to get students to complete the asynchronous readings and recorded lectures.
- Our Online Learners Need More Empathy and Less Criticism
A good reminder that having empathy for our students and their circumstances can go a long way instead of labeling them as a certain type of student.
- When This Is All Over, Keep Recording Your Lectures
Read about one instructors experience with recorded lectures in a large enrollment course during the pandemic, including why he plans to continue with using them after the pandemic and how he was able to get students to still come to class.
- Seven Ways You Can Foster a More Inclusive LGBTQIA+ Learning Environment
This article discusses some relatively easy ways to make any learning environment more inclusive for all learners.
- Using Google Jamboard (An Online Interactive Whiteboard)
This 12 minute tutorial shows you how to use Google Jamboard as an interactive whiteboard.
These tips provide some really good advice on teaching hyflex or simulcasting a course as well as tips for engagingstudents in Zoom and teaching in a virtual classroom:
- Teaching Hyflex: It’s A Genre Problem
Sound advice if you are simulcasting an in-person class to students attending virtually.
- 3 More Tips for Teaching in a Virtual Classroom
This short article provides ways to set some ground rules around attending virtually and a couple ideas for keeping students engaged in a WebEx session.
- Simple Tips for Engaging Students in Zoom
If you missed our most recent workshops on conducting live, synchronous online sessions, this article captures several tips and strategies from those workshops. Note you may need to login with your NetID and password to access through the MSU Library.
- This Semester, Don’t Forget Participation Feedback!
Rethinks how to incorporate and acknowledge student participation.
For the first week of a new semester:
- Early Week Classroom Activitie This article provides ways to build community and connections between students at the beginning of the semester and each week in the course
- A Game a Day: Fun and Dynamic Synchronous Online Learning This article has some engaging ice breakers to help students build rapport and connections.
- Developing the Professor-Student-Student Bond in Virtual Courses This article has three activities to help students build bonds as a foundation for problem-solving activities. Note that access to this article may require authenticating to the Library’s access to The Teaching Professor electronic resource
From the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD):
Empowered Teaching Toolkit: Beginning to Prepare for "Difficult" or "Controversial" Conversations Watch the video Now
Empowered Teaching Toolkit: Beginning to Strategize for Classroom Incivility Watch the video now
Empowered Teaching Toolkit: Beginning to Find Joy as an Academic Watch the video now
- Synchronous Online Discussions: Preparation, Facilitation & Wrap Up This short teaching blog post talks about how to provide some structure to live, synchronous online discussions to make them more effective and engaging for the students.
- Encouraging Student Engagement During Synchronous Meetings: Preventing Midterm Drop-Off This short article offers tips and strategies if students begin to drop off in course with live, synchronous online sessions.
- Creating Magic in Your (Online) Classroom This short article offers 6 ways to connect better with your students in an online setting.
Making the Most of Synchronous Sessions in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) This article discusses ways to adapt project-based or problem-based learning to live, synchronous meetings in a blended or online course.
7 Ways to Assess Students Online and Minimize Cheating This article offers advice on how to assess students online and minimize cheating. Note that you may need to register or login with your MSU access to view this Chronicle of Higher Education article.
6 Tips for Teaching Online and In-Person Simultaneously: The article, 6 Tips for Teaching Online and In-Person Simultaneously, outlines two approaches and offers 6 tips for when students are learning simultaneously online and in-person for the same class.
- Using Blogs for Online, Hybrid or HyFlex Teaching: The teaching professor in this article, Using Blogs for Online, Hybrid or HyFlex Teaching, offers an online activity or assignment using blogs for ongoing reflection in an online or blended course.
- Who Is Missing from College During the Pandemic? A Lot of Students, Actually: You may have noticed that attendance in your courses this fall has been down. While this article and associated podcast from EdSurge does offer some strategies for intervening when students drop off or stop attending courses, it can help put low attendance in context and perspective for you.
- Managing and using the chat tool in online classes: As students and instructors rely more on video conferencing platforms to replace interaction that takes place in the classroom, this article from FacultyFocus, “Managing the Chat in Online Teaching: What We Can Learn From Live Streamers,” offers some strategies for managing and using the chat tool within WebEx, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.
- Using student-centric words to motivate your students: The words we use to frame our assignments and assessments can impact our student’s levels of engagement with them. The following article from Edutopia, “How to Choose Words That Motivate Students During Online Learning” shows how framing our assignments and assessments with the right student-centric words can help increase motivation to complete them.
- Spotting Fake News:The Library offers this online tutorial on spotting fake news. Use these instructions to embed the Spotting Fake News Tutorial in Brightspace for your students.
- How Technology Can Trick Us: In the Science, Technology, Ethics and Society Blog, Kristen Intemann, Professor of Philosophy, Department of History & Philosophy asks how technology can trick us.
- The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Follow these steps to access The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical
Pedagogical Tips through the Library:
Follow this link: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/montana/detail.action?docID=4659728
Login with your NetID and password.
Read the book online or download it as a PDF (if you download the book of any chapters, you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader).
If you have a teaching tip related to teaching in a blended or online format to share in this section, please send a description and any related resources or examples to [email protected]