Eight tips to becoming an even better teacher

A new academic year is upon us, and with it teachers are contemplating strategies to further enhance their practice.

Perhaps you are considering ways to make your class more inclusive, planning to start a teaching portfolio, or exploring methods of blended learning. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Saskatchewan has compiled a list of teaching tips that may help you get there: 

  1. Include information in your syllabus on how you make use of formative feedback and provide some details about your own teaching philosophy. These help to build rapport with students and start the term off on a positive note.
  2. At the end of each class before you rush to your next task, take two to five minutes to note your insights on individual lessons or activities. Then at the end of the term, review these notes to see what changes to make to the next iteration of your course.
  3. Use formative assessment tools, such as two-minute memos or Top Hat, to obtain a clearer picture of your students’ progress and to increase their metacognition and engagement in the learning process.
  4. Move away from throw-away assignments and have students create learning materials that can be built on by future classes. This should also decrease concerns around academic integrity.
  5. Increase opportunities for students to engage in active learning through the use of video by flipping some of your classes. Take it even a step further by having students create multimedia projects in lieu of more traditional assignments.
  6. Integrate activities that have your students evaluate online information from within your discipline. In the end, this will improve the overall quality of their research.
  7. Implement inclusive assessment strategies, such as providing more frequent feedback loops, and providing choices among assessment types (posters, portfolios, oral exams, videos, etc.). This will increase your students’ confidence in their ability to succeed.
  8. For group projects, give students strategies and tools for learning and utilizing each other’s strengths. In addition, provide students with clear expectations not only for the overall project, but also their own individual contributions.

For further exploration of these tips and topics, attend sessions during the Fall Fortnight, from August 28 to September 8. Attend in person or online. Learn more and register at usask.ca/gmcfortnight.

Share this story