Teaching Tip of the Week Archives

Save time while making your new Canvas course by copying materials

There is no need to upload materials to your Canvas course if you have used them in a previous course when you can easily copy them to your new course! Find out how.  

The semester is over...now what?

The end of an unprecedented semester is perfect for taking stock of your course and reflecting on your teaching.   

Preparing your online assessments in Canvas

Online assessments raise academic integrity red flags, but there are some ways to create your quizzes to reduce those risks.  

Ways to encourage student engagement in your synchronous virtual classes

In case you missed it: check out this Faculty Focus blog post that presents various scenarios and strategies for engaging students in your synchronous classes should you encounter any of them.  

How to use the chat box for student engagement

Balancing the various elements at play in a Zoom class may feel more like a juggling act. Learn some takeaways from an unlikely source regarding how to engage your students via the chat box.  

Set up Turnitin and let it detect plagiarism for you

Canvas' Turnitin integration allows for you to check for academic integrity violations in written assignments. Find out how to activate this plagiarism detection software in your Canvas course!  

Aptly-named Speedgrader function makes grading assignments in Canvas quick and easy

The Speedgrader function in Canvas simplifies grading online by providing a clean interface and requiring fewer clicks to provide feedback and assign grades. Find out how to find and use this time-saving gradebook feature.  

Integrate Zoom directly in your Canvas course!

Read about a simple way to schedule your online synchronous class meetings directly from your Canvas course.  

Videos make your course interesting; Canvas makes it easy!

Recording short videos for your class is a simple way to add that human element into your class—even if it is online. Find out how some best practices for making short videos and how to incorporate them into your course Canvas.  

Canvas Groups facilitates student collaboration

While group work is a necessary evil of graduate coursework, Canvas’s Groups function can help to make coordinating, sharing, and collaborating easier for all involved.  P.S. - You can always add more or delete any extra with the functions on the right side of the Groups page.  

Set and manage expectations with Canvas’s Rubrics

It is annoying for instructors when a student ignores time-consuming feedback to flip ahead and concentrate on an assignment’s score. Equally frustrating is when students have no idea why they have earned a certain grade. The rubrics feature in Canvas allows for instructors to set and manage expectations on student work.  

Using the Assignments feature in Canvas

In Canvas, “assignment” is a catch-all word for anything to be graded by the instructor—whether or not any actual assigned work is collected. Find out the basics of Canvas’s Assignments feature in this Teaching Tip.  

Setting up your Canvas course: Modules v. Pages

Before diving too deeply down the rabbit hole that is the Canvas Instructor Guide, you can get your course set up started with this overview.  

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.  

Positive takeaways from the recent shift to remote instruction

With the unexpected shift to remote learning this spring comes several lessons learned for instructors and course developers. Read about five positive takeaways.  

Low tech options for high-quality teaching

Avoid the rookie mistakes in online learning by incorporating some low-tech solutions. Here are five.  

Ways to promote inclusion in your Zoom lessons

To create an inclusive atmosphere over online platforms like Zoom, you must be intentional. Adding some structural elements to your synchronous remote lessons can help you make the unexpected switch to online learning smoother for both you and your students and ensure that no one gets left out.  

Tips for Using Zoom for Essay, Thesis, Dissertation Meetings and Defenses

Read about some early best practices for holding a remote defense or student essay, thesis, or dissertation committee meeting.  

Instructional Technology Assistance 24/7 & Where to Find It

From the University and the Center for Teaching and Learning: 1) See our new guidelines for communicating with students as classes resume. 2) Visit teaching.pitt.edu for immediate access to resources on instructional continuity in the remote environment. 3) Read the message from Provost Cudd , which contains important information about available resources, as well as information about policies and facilities, and the Provost’s mes... 

Faculty: Do you have a question about teaching online?

The University Center for Teaching and Learning has a full knowledge base of answers to your questions. Simply select a platform or area or use the search box to find the information that you are in need of. There is also a student knowledge base that you can share with you students.   

7 Tips for Delivering Interactive Virtual Sessions in BlackBoard

Click the headline to find 7 helpful tips for when you take your first class online.  

Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Community Members

Join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) on Friday, April 3, in 548 of the William Pitt Union for the workshop, “Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Community Members.” Presented by Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, this educational opportunity for faculty and staff provides expert training in serving LGBTQ+ communities. There will be an Introductory Workshop from 11am-12pm, followed by a Skills-Based Workshop and Q&A from 12-1pm. Snacks ... 

How to get your students to ask better questions

Getting students to ask questions can be like pulling teeth! Many students are unwilling or unable to ask their own questions, afraid of embarrassing themselves in front of their peers and their instructors. Find out some best practices to spark your students’ curiosity so they start asking critical questions.  

Connect with other faculty at the next Teaching Partners meeting

The next Teaching Partners meeting is March 23 from 12-1 pm. If you are interested in learning about new developments within the Teaching Center or discussing important topics in higher education, be sure to mark your calendars! Teaching Partners is a faculty community that engages faculty who use the Teaching Center's resources to support and enhance their teaching practice. Lunch will be provided. To register, visit website  (seating is limit... 

Get into the groove with your research writing

Join the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Researchers’ Writing Group every Friday afternoon from 2-5 pm in Alumni Hall. This program aims to provide support and external accountability to faculty working on research. The time will be dedicated solely to research endeavors. For more information, contact Tahirah Walker at tjw88@pitt.edu or 624-6592.  

Search for an Article

Enter new item

Staff from student affairs and other authorized content editors can directly enter/edit items for “Things to Know” by clicking below.

Others should email phcomm@pitt.edu with the announcement details by Thursday prior to publication. The newsletter format allows for a headline, brief text (~55 words), an optional thumbnail image, and a URL for more information.

Enter announcements

Do you have a teaching tip to share?

Contact Kimmy Rehak for your tip to be shared with your Pitt Public Health colleagues.