Get Your Students More Involved

Ask students to get engaged in the learning process and they respond: perhaps not with enthusiasm (at least initially) but certainly with results. When active learning techniques are designed and implemented in line with evidence-based practices, they promote deeper engagement with course content and better retention of course material. The challenge for instructors is to incorporate activities which are appropriate, effective, and don’t require a great deal of time to design and implement. Incorporating active learning strategies into your classroom doesn’t mean an end to lecture. Consider breaking your class into fifteen or twenty minute chunks, and using some of…

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Are You Looking to Engage Your Students in an Online Discussion? Consider Piazza!

Online discussion forums offer several advantages over face-to-face classroom interactions.  Shy or self-conscious students are more willing to express their thoughts online.  Everyone in the class can participate.  Students can absorb and interpret perspectives shared online at their own pace and schedule.  Discussion posts tend to be more thoughtful and reflective.  Discussion posts can be revisited later. CourseWeb, Pitt’s implementation of the Blackboard Learn course management system, includes Blackboard’s built-in discussion forum tool.  Many Pitt courses use these tools to foster student-to-student and student-instructor interactions. Effective with the May 2015 Blackboard Learn upgrade, a new discussion tool is also available…

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A “Cord Cutters” Guide to the University

Imagine as an instructor being able to walk into a classroom and connect to a display to give your presentation without needing any cables. The idea of ditching the long VGA cable alone is probably enough to get you interested. Now imagine being able have your students work on an in-class assignment and present their work on the same display wirelessly to the entire class. Does that begin to open up new opportunities for in-class collaboration and group work? If I told you the Classroom Management Team (CMT) has started a pilot program that will launch this fall in the…

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