General Helpful Teaching Strategies

  • Learn students’ names.
  • Discuss class rules the first day, inviting input from students.
  • Encourage students with disabilities to meet with you privately to review their accommodation letter and discuss their learning needs.
  • Provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.
  • Be sure there are no architectural barriers; rearrange seats as necessary.
  • Consider ways to plan and adapt activities so students with disabilities can participate. Call AccessAbility Services for suggestions.
  • Arrive to class on time and prepared.
  • Give out or post daily outline and notes.
  • Try to face students when speaking.
  • Remember the power of positive language and humor.
  • Refer to your students as “women and men” rather than “girls and boys”.
  • Be clear and consistent when communicating; avoid vague promises.
  • Model the behavior you wish your students to demonstrate.
  • Encourage freedom of expression; model appropriate dissent.
  • Foster comradery, e.g. class buddies, study groups, team work.
  • Model appreciation of diversity and inclusiveness. Use inclusive language.
  • Avoid changing essential elements of the course once it has begun.
  • Leave time each class for questions, answers, and student feedback.
  • Give frequent, scheduled quizzes. Consider dropping the lowest score(s).
  • Provide study guides, practice exams, and thorough review sessions.
  • Share your mnemonics and other memory strategies.
  • If possible, offer multiple sections on exams with different types of questions (e.g. multiple choice, short answer, true or false, graph, map, essay) and allow students to choose two out of three of the sections. Within each section allow students to choose any eight out of ten questions to answer. If you include essay questions, allow students to pick from a selection of questions.
  • Consider allowing students to choose between an exam and a project.
  • Return quizzes and exams promptly and make time to thoroughly review answers.
  • Return final papers and projects with detailed comments.
  • Break large assignments into small parts with specific due dates.
  • Use visual, auditory, and experiential teaching methods.
  • Vary activities and participation to keep students engaged.
  • Encourage students to raise their hand before speaking. Give gentle cues if a student is speaking too long or off topic.
  • Offer weekly office hours.
  • Provide early and regular feedback about student progress.
  • Use Moodle to post your syllabus and assignments.
  • Be approachable and maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Notify your dean if a student is missing.
  • Contact AccessAbility Services for support or with concerns.
  • Maintain confidentiality about your students’ disabilities and accommodations.
  • Address problems as soon as they occur; seek help from colleagues as needed.
  • If you meet with a student to discuss behavior concerns, follow up with an email. If the problem persists or is disruptive, notify your department chair.
  • If a student exhibits behavior that is threatening to self or others, or appears to be in medical distress, call the police for help.
  • Refer students to helpful campus and community resources. If you suspect a student may have a disability, refer her to AccessAbility Services.