Teaching Tip of the Week Archives

How to Turn a Check for Plagiarism Into a Teachable Moment

From copying an entire essay that was submitted years before by another student, to forgetting to write down references, the majority of instructors will encounter at least one case of plagiarism in their teaching career. However difficult these confrontations may be, avoiding them means losing potential teachable moments. Learning how to address plagiarism without it being a punitive moment can make your job easier and your relationship with yo... 

Small steps to improve digital accessibility

A wide variety of disabilities affect people’s capacity to take in words and photos and can range from major to minor and from temporary to permanent. It may feel overwhelming to produce digitally accessible content for everyone, but there are plenty of small steps you can take. Make your web content more accessible by following these quick and simple steps.  

Produce your own teaching and learning resources with the Media Creation Lab

Enhance your courses by creating your own impactful multimedia asset at the Media Creation Lab located in Alumni Hall. The Teaching Center’s new Media Creation Lab is a broadcast-grade digital media studio designed for the development of a wide range of multimedia content to assist instructors in producing their own innovative and effective teaching and learning resources.  

Classroom technology updates and reminder

A number of upgrades to classroom technology have been made at Pitt Public Health, including new wireless microphones and projectors. Please remember to turn off any tech that you are not using and/or shut everything down at the end of your lesson!  

Thinking about using open resources in your classes?

If you are thinking about using open resources/ digital publications for your course, check out the article "Why Digital Publishing is the Future in Education," which explains how open resources mean to promote equity and personalized learning in addition to lowering upfront educational costs.  

Did you know?...Provost's Diversity Institute for Faculty Development

Faculty interested in deepening their teaching practice are encouraged to attend workshops which aim to increase awareness about diversity and to help instructors develop skills needed to teach in a diverse, multicultural environment. Remaining sessions cover topics, such as: mental health support, LGBTQIA communities, intersectionality, and equity.  

Soothing the sting of cruel student comments

Reading students’ comments on official end-of-term evaluations – or worse RateMyProfessors.com – can often be painful and upsetting. So it’s no surprise faculty skim the written section and focus on the quantitative ratings. Check out this week's Teaching Tip for some suggestions for soothing the sting from those hurtful student comments.  

How to take action before your CourseWeb classes are archived

If you taught a course between fall 2016 to summer 2017, your CourseWeb class will be archived and moved to a backup server on May 10, 2019. If you want to keep your CourseWeb courses handy and in your CourseWeb dashboard, you need to perform one of two options: submit an exemption request form or export and import your course.  

How to increase OMET student survey response rates

With OMET student surveys now available to students, it is time to start thinking about implementing effective strategies that encourage students to provide feedback. While you should be reminding students, inside and out of class, to complete the surveys prior to the deadline, here are some less-than-obvious tips that can help to increase your response rates.  

More ways to emotionally engage

Last week’s teaching tip provided you with ways to tap into your student’s emotions to activate student learning. These four principles for engaging students utilize active learning techniques in new and exciting ways. This week explores two more of these principles.  

Active learning is out: engagement is in

Instructors can activate student learning through tapping into emotions. Four principles for engaging students utilize active learning techniques in new and exciting ways. This week’s teaching tip explores two of those.  

Resources for Gender-Inclusive/Non-Sexist Language

Create a learning environment in which people of all identities are included and welcomed with the power of language to strengthen academic writing and discussion, foster a respectful learning environment, and reflect professional best practices.  

Mid-term evaluations: How to give them and why you should

Mid-term evaluations are a great tool for getting constructive feedback from students before it is too late to make adjustments to improve teaching effectiveness. Learn how to implement mid-term evaluations in six easy steps!  

Make your lectures open students’ eyes...and keep them open

Lectures are not always going to look like they do in the movies, where students are held captivated by their professor’s charismatic genius. Planning large lectures to be engaging and effective in student learning can prove difficult in an age of short attention spans. Learn the top tips that various academics from all over the world recommend on how to keep your lectures interesting.  

What can you do with Top Hat?

Top Hat allows you to do so much more than take polls. It offers a suite of tools that make it easy for you to promote active learning at no cost to you or your students and makes teaching effective and fun.  

Make sure your course is available to students

Making your CourseWeb course available to students is not as intuitive as it may seem. Here's a quick refresher to make your course available to students in five steps.    

The Semester is Over: Now What?

Although your course might be over, it has not yet concluded. That's because the end of the semester is the perfect time to take stock of your course and reflect on your teaching.   

Learn the signs of distressed students

Learn what resources Pitt has to help students in distress from the University of Pittsburgh's Care and Resource Support team (CARS) and the University Counseling Center. It is important that faculty and staff are aware of the signs of distressed students to be able to intervene and provide students with the appropriate school resources.  

How to increase OMET student survey response rates

OMET student surveys are now open. Find out how to increase the number of responses you get from your students. Check out these tips from faculty around the university who have received high response rates. 

Doing qualitative research just got a bit easier for your students

Doing research that involves surveys just got a bit easier for students and their advisers. Pitt students can now activate, publish, and administer Qualtrics surveys without the need for adviser approval.  

How to mitigate difficult conversations in your class in 7 steps or less

However uncomfortable difficult conversations may be, avoiding them means losing potential teachable moments. Use the following seven steps to create a classroom environment that helps students develop the skills to engage in difficult conversations.  

Find professional development opportunities for your needs

Professional development opportunities to improve your instruction are abound! In addition to in-house workshops provided by the Educational Programs, there are numerous workshops offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning. Find out where you can learn more about these opportunities.  

Integrating mind mapping tools in your teaching

Mind mapping tools have become all the rage thanks to their ability to engage students, encourage brainstorming and generate discussions - not to mention that most are free and easy-to-use. Find out what they are and how to implement them into your teaching. (You can also see several mind mapping tools in action at the EdTech Extravangza on October 11.)  

Get students to ask more questions using this simple trick

Asking "Does anyone have any questions?" will most likely not get many students raising their hands, especially at the beginning of the semester. Most questions students have go unasked for this reason. Use this simple trick to find out what your students want to know.  

Shake those first class jitters

It's true that most everyone is nervous at the beginning of a new semester — seasoned instructors included. Use these practical tips to help squash nervousness before your first class!  

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