TEP TeachBlog header student engagement « Teaching Effectiveness Program

Faculty reflection: A large-class instructor asks students to look around

Large-class teaching presents many challenges, which I learned firsthand last term when I taught a 170-student introduction to environmental humanities course, ENVS 203. The course is part of the core sequence required for all Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors, but also fulfills the Arts and Letters Group Requirement, which means a significant percentage of [...]

Polling Systems: Creating Student Engagement

Clickers are not a new educational technology: the hand-held personal response devices have been commercially available for use in college classrooms since the 1990s and are now commonplace in large lecture courses;  they have been used in a wide range of disciplines to promote student interaction with the course content and each other. On the surface, [...]

Connecting Students to TLC Support

One way to help your students improve their academic success in and beyond your classroom is to highlight resources available in the University Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). TLC offers academic support for all students, from the freshest of freshmen to seasoned transfer students, from strong and capable learners to those struggling simply to stay [...]

The Science of Good Teaching: Program Invites Wide-Ranging Innovation

Action! It’s 2 o’clock on Monday of Week Nine. Professor of Biology Judith Eisen and Associate Professor of Chemistry Andy Berglund’s Biology/Chemistry 140: “Science, Policy, and Biology” students—just over 90 of them—are settling into pod-style tables dotting HEDCO 220. Today’s topic: genetic testing and gene modification. This is one of 21 new or significantly revised courses [...]

UO Faculty Define the ‘Best of Gen Ed’

At TEP’s “Best of UO General Education” event May 17th, College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Ian McNeely presented telling statistics to about 40 faculty attendees: • UO has 777 group and multicultural requirement satisfying courses; more are added every term. • Calculated in terms of student credit hours, general education courses bring [...]

Revisiting Twitter as an Educational Tool

Twitter, the popular microblogging site that allows users to post 140-character “tweets,” both intrigues and irritates faculty, according to a Faculty Focus survey. Some embrace it as a clever way to teach concision and get students writing, thinking, and connecting with the course material and one another. Others consider it distracting and antithetical to sophisticated [...]

‘Yes, And…’: UO’s Freshman Interest Groups Break Boundaries, Forge Connections

One of UO’s undergraduate FIG assistants remembers the first day of his own College Connections course: “The professor began the class asking us ‘Why are you here?’” The student, now a mentor to this year’s freshmen, was surprised—indeed, why hadn’t he taken a year off? What did he want? Was he just taking the expected [...]

International Classroom Follow-up

In February, TEP, the American English Institute and the College of Arts and Sciences hosted a workshop on the teaching implications of the rise in UO’s international student numbers: this year the institution welcomed 2,524 students from around the world—the eighth year in a row record-setting numbers. At that event, participants voiced recommendations both for individual [...]

International Classroom Workshop: Institutional Recommendations and Teaching Tips

On Friday, Feb. 1, about 45 members of the faculty, GTFs, and administrators met for the International Classroom, a panel and workshop about the teaching implications of the near doubling of UO international student numbers in just five years. “I thought the enthusiasm and reception were excellent—I’m convinced we need to hold these events regularly,” said [...]

Getting Students to Think Critically

As part of my job here in the Teaching Effectiveness Program, I help facilitate the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club in partnership with the University of Oregon’s Science Literacy Program (SLP).  The SLP’s goal is to improve the general population’s science literacy by specifically addressing the topic in a variety of 100-level science courses.  In [...]