Author: Tami Strang

Using Video in Your Courses

Video is fast becoming a popular way to reach learners in new ways. Whether providing recorded lectures to students taking online courses, or using them to get students further before they attend a lab session, video provides another avenue to engaging students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Erping Zhu and Matthew Kaplan write that video can be used as a way to catalog your course lectures, demonstrate a concept to students, and reach online learners. Allowing students to access information asynchronously gives them the opportunity to revisit concepts when they Read More…


Staying Connected, Wherever You Are

Not too far in the past, staying connected with your colleagues entailed catching up in the hallway, chatting at a meeting or conference, or giving someone a ring from your office landline. But with today’s smartphones and tablets, a simple tap on an app can put you in touch with a community of peers anytime of the day or night, anywhere you might find yourself. Though it’s still up to you to seek out and build those connections, today’s social-networking tools certainly facilitate the process of sharing ideas and information among like-minded individuals. If you’re looking to connect online, Read More…


Student Perspectives on Research and Writing

Though it’s certainly possible — and absolutely necessary — to teach the fundamental principles and processes of writing a solid research paper, we often glean some of the most valuable and longest-lasting lessons from our own experiences. In this vein, our colleagues at Questia asked their readers: “what’s the best lesson you’ve learned about writing a great paper?” To read the top five student responses, visit the Questia blog. These remarks can give you insight into the student mind — and perhaps inspire you to ask your own students to share what they’ve learned from their experiences. Questia is the premier Read More…


Preventing Plagiarism: Tips for You and Tips to Share

Four Tips for You Taking steps to prevent plagiarism can help save you and your students from the unpleasant task of handling plagiarism. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Peter Elbow and Mary Deane Sorcinelli outline how you can take action to prevent plagiarism.

    Be clear in your syllabus about what plagiarism is in your course. Let them know what they’ll need to provide to show their research, as well as how you expect them to work with — or not work with — their classmates.
    Encourage questions. Let your students know that if they’re doubtful about proper citations
Read More…


Behind the Screens: Digitizing History

Prior to the advent and widespread adoption of digitization, you’d have to physically visit a library or archives in order to review a specific document. If your library didn’t have what you wanted, you’d need to travel to another library, request materials via interlibrary loan, or call to request a photocopy. Of course, these steps all assume that you knew what you were looking for, that you’d have the resources to travel, or that the holding institution would part with (or make a surrogate of) the materials. Enter the digital age. You can now access millions of pages’ worth Read More…


The Value of Information Literacy Instruction

The term “information literacy” may not be familiar to your students. However, information literacy skills — such as the ability to locate and access information, critically evaluate it, and then organize and present the information effectively — are certainly relevant to students’ education, and to their lives going forward. In your courses, you may help students acquire these skills through assignments and activities, or via instructional sessions in the library. You likely also emphasize the importance of proper grammar, style, and presentation, pay attention to the logic and clarity of students’ arguments, and reinforce the seriousness of plagiarism. By Read More…


Keys to Success in the Library

Guest Contributor: Katherine Johnson. Whether writing a research paper, or tracking down reliable sources to support our ideas, library research is a skill that can help you ensure that your information is sound. Katherine Johnson, Adult Services Librarian at Highlands Ranch Library, Douglas County Libraries, outlines tips to make library research effective, manageable, and enjoyable. Share this information with your students, or use them to brush up on best practices that you can apply when doing your own research at the library.
Though library research can seem like a daunting task, it does not have to be. With these Read More…


Reinforcing Productive Time Habits

We all have a list of things we need to accomplish — and often, it seems that they all need to be done at the same time. Unfortunately, no one’s ever figured out how to add more hours to the day — but we can certainly find better ways to manage the twenty-four hours we do have. How can you start building positive, productive habits that lead to more effective use of your time? Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens’ How to Study in College offers some suggestions that both you and your students can use to ensure you’re Read More…


Putting Off Procrastination

We know the importance of time management. We’re also familiar with the feeling of joy (or relief) that comes after finishing a daunting task. However, despite our best intentions, we’re often all too willing to put off what needs to be done. In How to Study in College, Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens offer suggestions for fighting off procrastination. Share these tips with your students who may find themselves habitually working on assignments until the last minute, or refer to them when you find yourself staring at a looming deadline.  

    Tell others about your plans.By making others aware
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Learning What NOT to Do

We all know the power of a good example. It can serve a model for our own efforts and increase our confidence that we’re setting out on the right track.

Perhaps you already provide exemplars when you assign projects, in order to help students see and understand your expectations. But students may not realize that a thoughtful critique of negative examples can also be instructive. To demonstrate this principle to your students, download an exercise from Dr. Constance Staley’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern, which offers a helpful way to teach your students through “mistakes.”