Friday, April 21, 2017

Teaching and Learning Links of the Week: April 21, 2017

A roundup of four intriguing posts and articles from around the Internet

They're Not All Introverts

It is not uncommon to assume that students who do not participate are introverts. This blog post identifies numerous additional reasons why a student might not participate in discussions and suggests that fostering participation first requires recognition of all the various reasons students might be hesitant to speak up in front of the class.

Mastering the Boring Basics

In the never ending quest to improve our teaching, it is all too easy to focus on "big" things like adopting the latest innovative teaching technique or developing a truly pioneering new activity or assessment. This article briefly summarizes James M. Lang's idea of "small teaching", which highlights how little, everyday, seemingly mundane changes to teaching--like arriving to class just a few minutes earlier--can have a big impact on the quality of teaching and learning.

Anyone Can Establish Rapport

Establishing rapport with students is important for learning, but some instructors might feel that they don't have a personality naturally conducive to establishing strong rapport. This article describes research suggesting that rapport is based only in part on the personal characteristics of the teacher. It also relies heavily on what the teacher does to demonstrate commitment to teaching and care for students' learning. Any instructor can establish strong rapport within the constraints of their own personality and comfort.

Open Educational Resources (OER) FAQ

Have any general questions about open educational resources (OER)? This recently published FAQ from EdTech Strategies might be able to help.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Teaching & Learning Links of the Week: March 24, 2017

Teaching & Learning Links to See This Week
A roundup of four intriguing or informative posts and articles from the around the internet:

"Why Won't They Ask Us for Help"
The results of a survey of students indicate some of the biggest reasons (including student, environmental, and instructor factors) as to why students do not seek out the help they need from instructors. 

"5 Ways College Teachers Can Improve Their Instruction"
Author Norman Eng offers pedagogical tips from a K-12 and marketing perspective.

"How to Teach Students How to Read on Screens, And Why You Might Want To"
Digital literacy skills are becoming increasingly essential for all students to be successful in college. This article shares some helpful strategies for both instructors and students.

"When Students Self-Segregate"
One professor shares his thoughts and observations as he wrestles with the question of how to handle (if at all) situations in which students students self-segregate in the classroom.

Do you know of an interesting article that you would like to share with the ATLE community? Let us know! Email

Friday, March 17, 2017

Teaching & Learning Links of the Week: March 17, 2017

A roundup of four intriguing posts and articles from around the Internet

The Distracted Classroom

Every teacher is eventually confronted with the distractions posed by digital devices in the classroom. This article offers an interesting take on this ubiquitous problem and how teachers can approach it, all based on a new book detailing the cognitive neuroscience of distraction.

Doing "Participation Points" Right

Awarding points for participating in class discussions is a common tactic for extrinsically motivating students to take an active role in their learning. This article offers helpful advice for implementing a participation points system and provides an "engagement rubric" that can be used to score student participation and, perhaps more importantly, to communication to students what they should do to be an active learner.

Measuring Active Learning in the Classroom?

Many teachers strive to promote active learning in their classrooms, but how can they know how active their classroom really is? This article describes an app named Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching (DART), which analyzes classroom speech patterns to provide a rough measure of how "active" a classroom is. This article highlights the broader question: How can active learning be measured?

From Virtual Reality Consumption to Creation

Virtual reality is beginning to find its place in certain educational settings, but as of now creating virtual reality content seems out of reach for the typical teacher or student. This article describes efforts to make possible virtual reality content creation for education.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Teaching & Learning Links of the Week: February 10, 2017

A roundup of four intriguing posts and articles from around the Internet.

Lowering the Stakes With Online Writing

Engaging students in introductory composition courses can be challenging. This post details one instructor's success in increasing students' engagement (and performance) through the use of low-stakes writing assignments on Tumblr.

Assessment Strategies for the Flipped Classroom

Successfully teaching a flipped class requires regular use of assessment to gauge the degree to which students are prepared to engage in in-class learning experiences. This article provides four strategies for conducting assessment in the flipped classroom.

Designing a Humanities Lab

Who says scientific disciplines are the only ones that can or should have laboratories? This post discusses the formation of a lab in the humanities and the positive impact the lab has had on students' learning and engagement.

Two Myths About Teaching and Learning

This brief blog post discusses two elements of "common knowledge" about teaching and learning that, while commonly believed, are not supported by empirical evidence. It includes links to additional information for those interested.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Teaching & Learning Links of the Week Jan. 27, 2017

A roundup of four intriguing or informative posts and articles from around the internet:

“The Benefits of Peer Learning”


Peer teaching (where students learn from and with each other) is one approach among many available to teachers to promote learning. Students generally feel safer asking other students and they speak each other’s language. When this approach is selected purposefully, and planned and evaluated carefully, it leads to improved learning experience.

“3 Ways You Can Use Name Tags to Engage Students”

Many faculty have students use name tags or table tents on the first day of class to reduce anonymity and establish rapport. In this post, the author shares three ways to improve engagement and collaboration among students using name tags. For example. Use different name tag colors to instantly form groups or pick students with different name tag color to answer questions.


“Bridging the Gap between Pre-Work and In-Class Sessions in the Flipped Classroom”


In flipped classroom, students do pre-class preparation and come to class to apply content or solve problems related to what they have prepared. In this article, the author shares four different low-tech strategies that can help your students connect with your classroom pre-work; 1) class discussion points, 2) case studies, 3) students as teachers and 4) birds of a feather.

“How to Undermine Your Own Authority
The author argues that we need to convince students that they should learn for themselves and not just for the grade. He suggests giving students some ownership and control over the course, which means we have to give up some of our control. Some interesting tips to undermine your own authority and give students control are offered.