Create a class and research environment that builds community, fosters belonging, and promotes mentoring.
Successful class learning happens when instructors foster a supportive learning climate where the individuality of each student is valued, allowing for transformative learning for each student. Such a climate is the result of a collaborative effort between and among instructors and students. Student participation strongly depends on feeling included, respected, and understood as having varied lived experiences. When instructors are aware of the links connecting identities of students in the course – or in a research lab or other learning environment– they are better able to engage all students. Inversely, negative practices, often unconsciously engaged in such as exclusion, stereotyping, and microexclusions, can prevent students from engaging in the course. In our work and our working relationships, instructors in every academic area should strive to exemplify dignity, groundedness, compassion, and mindfulness.
Learning happens when minds are buzzing, pushing the limits of existing knowledge and capacity. The pedagogical practices suggested in these pages, organized by broad topic, help instructors to shift from focusing attention on course topic and material to focusing attention on student learning.
Connect with Students
Students learn best when they see themselves as connected to their instructors, something which is possible in both small and large classes, and in any discipline.
Active and Engaged Learning
Bringing students to the limits of their knowledge and capacity deepens learning– rehearsing, applying, transferring, and creating activities bring students to those limits and beyond.
Community and Belonging
If students feel comfortable and “at home” in your class, they take risks, enjoy learning, and are able to reach out when they are in need.
Collaborative Learning: Groups and Teams
Collaborative learning advances learning and essential skills of communication and task management, vital skills for an educated person.
Training students to think rigorously, systematically, and with strategies that enable new ideas and connections is at the heart of the university experience.
Active, engaged learning during a lecture is essential, and good lecturers master strategies to ensure all students are not just listening, but learning.
Trauma-Informed Pedagogy seeks to understand and acknowledge students’ experiences and to create an environment in which they feel welcomed and supported.
Contemplative pedagogy involves teaching methods designed to deepen awareness, concentration and insight.
Pedagogical Strategies for Intercultural Learning
Adapted from a talk by Prof. Milton Fuentes, these strategies will help you discuss equity, inclusion, and diversity (EDI) in the classroom, and apply an EDI-centered approach to course development.
Cultivating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Students who become familiar with inclusive teaching become more open-minded and empathetic, more knowledgeable about other points of view, better prepared for a diverse workplace environment.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Design and deliver all course elements for maximum accessibility to give every student equitable opportunities for success.
Options and considerations as you develop your attendance policy and respond to special situations.
When Students Fall Behind
Use campus resources to connect students with academic and other support offered by campus partners.
Supporting Smart “Studenting” Behavior
Supporting student learning isn’t all about what you plan to do. It’s also about what we find ourselves needing to do. The advice we give below is about supporting learning with a consistent approach that balances flexibility and expressions of care with an expectation for college-level achievement. [Coming soon!]
For more information or help, please email the Office for Faculty Excellence or make an appointment with a consultant.
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