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Higher Education Best Practices - Teaching & Learning

Since 1999, NEA has partnered with the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network to provide practical advice to college and university faculty on how to more effectively teach higher education students. Their Thriving in Academe guides have included guides to using social media in the classroom, how to command the attention of students, how to "flip" your classroom, how to teach for "deep learning," and more.

Small changes to make to your teaching today
Read about small things you can do in your classroom today to make a difference in students' learning.

Be a better advisor to students
Academic advising plays a key role in student success. Can you do it better?

How To Do Small Group Work
Small group work can be very effective, but few instructors do it well.

Empowering first-year students
The first year of college is a critical time — and often perilous. Can you help?

What's going on in other faculty's classroom?
In this pedagogy care package, learn your colleagues' tips and tricks.

What is teaching anyway? Our answers to this question may seem chaotic.
But under the chaos exists a deeper order. Understanding this deeper order can help your teaching. (Two-sided, tabloid-size printable PDF here)

What We Can Learn from Research on Teaching
Find out how to use a growing body of evidence in your approach to students.
(Two-sided, tabloid-size printable PDF here)

Setting boundaries between faculty and students
Find out how to think about and map boundaries in your professional life.

Learning from Turning Points in Our Teaching Lives
Do we really reach our teaching potential by mid-career?

Are you a model teacher?
Being a model teacher is within your, and everyone else’s, grasp.

Interactive Lecturing
Find the middle ground between active learning and lecturing.
Evidence-based instruction
How do you choose the best strategy for your college classroom?
Small Teaching from the Science of Learning
Small changes to your teaching, implemented tomorrow morning, can improve student learning in your courses.
The Best College Teacher
How do we get better as teachers? What you can learn from the outstanding teachers around you.
Inside-Out Classrooms
Let the Internet deliver your lectures AFTER class, so that you can use your class time more wisely.
Get Their Attention
Have you ever faced disengaged, unfocused students? It’s frustrating, right? Learn how to get their learning back on track.
Peer Observations
Classroom observations of your peers at work can be powerful tools for improvement—so long as you avoid some pitfalls.
Teaching Creative Thinking
Have you figured out how to teach your students the most important skill for the 21st century? Here is a new teacher-learner paradigm that goes beyond active learning.
Simplify Grading
Our current grading system doesnt work well for students or faculty. Consider this alternative that restores rigor, motivates students, and saves you time.
Teaching Naked
Its not what you think! How to keep technology out of the classroom, including online content, and create more time for teaching and learning in the classroom.
           The Three D's
How to effectively use three styles of teaching: directing, discussing, and delegating in the college classroom.
Seven Ways of Learning
Our teaching experts offer specific strategies to accomplish the seven ways of learning among students, including behavioral learning, cognitive learning, and more.
Online Teaching
Expert Sally Kuhlenschmidt envisions how teaching an online class would proceed if we started from our strengths, such as wisdom, courage, and honesty.
Giving Good Feedback
To learn, students must receive high-qualify feedback But who has the time for that? Find out how to provide the feedback students need without burning out.
Paradox Power
You see yourself as a learner-centered teacher, but you still have to grade and cover the material. You feel conflicted. How do you turn that conflict into something positive?
Rethinking Office Hours 
How do you move past passive, question-answering, superficial interactions and use your office hours to propel students to the next level of learning?          
SLO Assessment
Faculty, Assessment, Productive, and Fun. These four words are not usually said in the same breath. But they can be....
Deep Learning
If you've decided that the real purpose of higher education is to instill deep learning, check out this Thriving in Academe to find out how to make your students what you desire to see — deep learners.
Teaching with iOERS
By using interactive open educational resources or iOERS, we can capture students' attention and refocus them on content and knowledge.
Stereotype Threat 
The concept of stereotype threat offers a comprehensive approach to identifying the stereotypes that may be sabotaging your students' performance, and strategies you can use.
Getting Students to Do the Readings
Few things are more frustrating to a college teacher than to begin a discussion of the readings assigned during a previous class and discover that a significant number of students haven’t done the readings. This issue’s Thriving in Academe offers encouraging news: There are classroom strategies for ensuring that students keep up with class readings—and students actually welcome them.
Clickers and Classroom Dynamics
Clickers in the classroom? This issue’s Thriving in Academe provides a look at an innovative instructional tool that the author promises will liven up your classroom, promote student discussion, and aid in on-the-spot assessment of student learning. Sound interesting?
The Assumptions We Make About Diversity
Despite the occasional controversy around the concept of diversity on our campuses, most college instructors want our classrooms to be inclusive. Yet sometimes we don’t know where to start. The authors of this month’s Thriving in Academe suggest that we don’t let our assumptions about diversity get in the way. Instead, we should recognize the many and sometimes invisible ways that we and our students bring diversity into the classroom.
Helping Students Embrace Deep Learning
The concept that one size fits all doesn’t have much of a place in education since we’ve begun to understand better how brains work and people learn. This issue’s Thriving in Academe author suggests ways instructors can use the Kolb Learning Style Index to identify their own cognitive processing preferences and those of their students. From this knowledge they can develop more effective teaching strategies.
Meet Your Students Where They Are: Social Media 
We're used to engaging students in the real world, now it's time to engage them in social online spaces like Facebook and Twitter. Online social networking has become an integral space for many of our students to live out their daily personal interactions. So what's an ethical instructor to do? Leverage this new media to meet your needs and those of your students.
Teaching Rigorous and Reflective Thinking
Providing our students with current information in a specific field of knowledge may not mean much if they don’t know how to think about what they’re learning. Critical thinking is a much-used but often imprecise term. Yet its importance cannot be denied. This issue’s Thriving in Academe provides some relatively painless approaches to encouraging critical thinking across the disciplines.
Redesigning Teaching to Meet All Students' Needs: Responsive and Productive Courses
Traditional college students—those in the 18 to 22 age range—have been joined by a new cohort of students of different ages and backgrounds, and with different goals for their education. How can professors organize their classes so that all students learn? This issue of Thriving in Academe advises instructors to consider integrating training methods into their traditional approaches.
The Ideal Course and the Dream Team
Most college teachers like to work alone, following the century-old paradigm of teaching. But for those who like to challenge the "norm," team-taught, interdisciplinary courses can be the ideal way to develop rich content and reinvigorate higher education teaching and learning. This issue's Thriving in Academe offers tips for designing and improving the interdisciplinary, multi-educator course.
Writing as Instructional Practice
In this issue’s Thriving in Academe, author Stephen Bernhardt of the University of Delaware challenges long-held faculty assumptions about whose business the teaching of writing really is, dispels myths about how writing instruction works, and provides tips on taking the drudgery out of writing instruction and making it a tool to promote learning.
Designing Instruction for Significant Learning
Most faculty care deeply that the students they teach learn. To most of us, this means that students grasp the content of our courses. Consequently, we design our courses around the topics we hope to cover. But if we truly want to help students learn, we might try designing our courses around what we want our students to learn and how they will best learn it.
Keep the Magic Alive
Learn to incorporate active learning.


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