Instructional Methods & Activities

Student Feedback

It's important to provide students with performance feedback so they can be successful in understanding and demonstrating course goals. To be effective feedback should be:

  • understandable - using language the student will understand
  • selective - two to three things the student can do something about
  • specific - link to examples in the student's work
  • timely - in time to inform the next assignment, class work
  • contextualized - link to learning goals, assessment criteria
  • nonjudgmental - descriptive, focused on the learning goals
  • balanced - positive reinforcement along with improvement areas
  • forward-looking - suggestions for improving upcoming assignments
  • transferable - focused on processes, skills, self-regulating abilities
  • encouraging a growth mindset - encourage students' ability to succeed

McKeachies’ Teaching Tips 13th Edition (2011, 110) 

Engaging Discussions

Engage students in discussions:

  • start a discussion with a common experience, a controversy or disagreement, questions
  • give students questions at the end of class for discussion in the next class
  • have students evaluate the validity of internet sources
  • give different assignments to teams of students
  • ask students to turn in questions on the assignment
  • ask students to teach back content

McKeachies’ Teaching Tips 13th Edition (2011, 110) 

Incorporate Lecture

The lecture is an age-old instructional strategy when approached judiciously:

  • no more than 10-15 minutes
  • summarize material over a variety of sources
  • no more than 10-15 minutes
  • summarize material over a variety of sources
  • focus on key concepts, principles, ideas
  • analyze materials, pose questions and problems, develop a hypothesis, bring evidence to bear, evaluate alternatives, use examples, think together with students to show your process
  • provide periodic summaries, check for understanding, ask for examples
  • ask students to summarize major points (minute paper)
  • provide exercises and space for notes
  • use automated polling response systems - clickers
  • pair with small groups activities

McKeachies’ Teaching Tips 13th Edition (2011, 110) 

Activate Learning

Active learning strategies are powerful and engaging:

  • Think, Pair, Share
  •  Team Learning
  •  Debate, Discuss, Dialogue
  •  Pose Questions
  •  Problem Solving, Critiques
  •  Simulations, Case Studies
  •  Teach back
  •  Brainstorm
  •  Role Play, Games
  •  Peer Feedback, Peer Tutoring
  •  Personal Reflection
  •  Action Plan
  •  Stump the Class
  •  Research, Explore
  •  Discovery learning
  •  Prove or Disprove

McKeachies’ Teaching Tips 13th Edition (2011, 110)