Introducing: The Commons
Find practical online/blended course planning strategies. More content will be added throughout the summer!
Commons Front Door

Instructional Strategies

Engagement of students is essential for their learning.  In order to maintain interest in, achieve a working knowledge of, and eventually master a subject or concept, students need opportunities and environments that support reflection, practice, constructive feedback, and collaboration. These engagement strategies are explored in the pages linked below. 

Feedback on Your Teaching

Exam Icon - sheet of paper with a pencil

Feedback Overview Page

Whether you are looking for feedback on your teaching from your students in the midst of the semester or making sense of your course evaluations or looking for a colleague to come into your class to observe, we have curated resources to assist you.

Line drawing of a cat looking to the right

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are a collection of activities to gather feedback during instruction.

Feedback icon - paper and pencil

Mid-Semester Feedback

Mid-semester feedback lets instructors "check the pulse” of their class partway through the semester.

icon of two people exchanging feedback

Peer Observation of Teaching

Peer Observation combines the examination of course materials with in-class observations and collegial discussion to enhance teaching and learning within the classroom.

Teaching Methods

eugenio-mazzone knowledge

Teaching Methods Overview

When designing a course, you have to make important decisions about WHAT to teach — the content and skills you want your students to learn, but deciding HOW to teach.

Students walking across a bridge as giants, a river barge cruises by on the water with containers containing the major components of course design: Outcomes, Check for Learning, and Activities

Course Design Overview

In the most successful courses, students think deeply about the content, practice applying it, and get feedback along the way.

Online Learning and Teaching

Online Learning and Teaching

Well-designed online courses consistently provide students with a great deal of flexibility, interaction, collaboration, and engagement.

An instructor calls on students who are raising their hands to respond.

Check for Learning

These assessments yield valuable information about the learning taking place within your course to the benefit of both students and instructor.

Student lying on bed studying her laptop.

Hybrid Learning and Teaching

Think about how you can take advantage of new kinds of online tools and activities that become the focus of more in-depth explorations during in-class time.

folks in discussion around a campfire

Discussions

Including discussions in your teaching methodologies, whether whole class or small groups, allows students to think more deeply about the concepts they are learning.

Students engaged in active learning during class.

Flipped Classroom

Like the best classes have always done, this approach supports instructors playing their most important role of guiding their students to deeper thinking and higher levels of application.

Woman lecturing to a class.

Effective Lectures

Lectures are best suited when the main objective of the class is for students to acquire factual information.

Essentials of Learning

Essentials for Learning - Minds in Action

Essentials of Learning

Learning results only from what the student does and thinks. The instructor can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn.

map on table with camera, shoes, magnifying glass, pipe, and other items spreadout over it... gearing up for an adventure

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is any learning that supports students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems or authentic situations.

bruno-martins Acquiring Knowledge

Acquiring Knowledge from Texts

Teaching strategic reading is one of the most under-used methods for increasing student learning.

Teamwork by raw pixel

Group Learning

Working in groups gives students more responsibility for their own learning and helps them accomplish higher level thinking because they have to articulate their logic and reasoning.

A hawk moth on a wall at the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center.

Activate Prior Knowledge

One of the challenges for students is activating their appropriate knowledge to deal with novel situations. Instructors help students learn how to apply their existing knowledge to new problems.

brain icon for metacognition or hinking about our thinking.

Metacognition

This ability is essential to effective learning and critical thinking because of its role in evaluating the success of current approaches and the extent to which they can be improved.

Starting the Semester Strong

Man crossing river while holding pack over his head.

Starting Strong

Students feed off whatever you bring into the classroom, so show up to class the way you want your students to show up -- on time, eager to engage, happy to be there, and prepared for the task at hand.

man looking over map on a road in the woods.

An Effective Syllabus

Your syllabus is an invitation to your students to participate in your course by informing them of its rationale, learning outcomes, and content.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Inclusive teaching and learning is a mindset, a way of thinking that asks you how best to create opportunities for all students to connect with you, the course material, and each other.

Career Dynamics Syllabus

Graphic Syllabus

What story is your syllabus communicating to your students? A good course guides students on a path of discovery, and a graphic syllabus invites them to join you on that journey in ways that set the tone for the entire semester.

A Group of female students work on computer-based problems with an instructor at the base of the UT Tower, the Texas Capitol looms in the distance.

Managing the Learning Environment

The intersecting contexts of the learning environment work together to create a dynamic ecosystem of physical, virtual, and cultural space. When managed well, all students have the opportunity to thrive.

Waves of Change in the Classroom

Teaching LARGE Classes

A large class generally includes 100 students or more, but there is no single definition. In some cases, a large class may refer to a class of 50-70 students or it may a 1000 students in a single cohort.