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Tips for the classroom

We know how challenging it can be to manage a classroom and keep students engaged, especially if it’s your first time teaching. Below, you'll find some useful resources to help you capture and hold your students’ attention and have a seamless classroom experience. We encourage you to refer to these tips throughout your teaching career at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Tips for Student Engagement

  • Be spontaneous! Do an activity out of the norm every now and then
  • Have breaks for applied exercises every 20 minutes
  • Conduct individual debates (one student vs another) on relevant, current social issues pertaining to your course
  • Be enthusiastic! Showing excitement about the material helps to create an energy in the class
  • Conversations, questioning, activities, discussion, application, entertainment, hula hoops!
  • Give multimedia presentations and incorporate video clips, pictures, etc., in your lectures
  • Use games to build teams and have fun while learning!

Tips for Using Social Media & Technology

  • Tablets can be linked to computers, projectors and the Cloud so that students and instructors can communicate through text, drawings and diagrams
  • Online collaboration tools like Google Apps allows students and instructors to share documents online, edit them in real time and project them on a screen
  • Clickers and SmartPhones can be used to quickly and easily survey students during class. This is great for instant polling, which can assess students’ understanding and help instructors adjust pace and content

Tips for Creating a Positive Classroom Climate

  • Encourage open classes with dialogue or have an Open mic for questions!
  • Treat class time as a “business meeting” by having the same expectations (i.e. showing up on time, behaving professionally when addressing each other and you)-it’s training for the real world!
  • Giving students  a warm-up activity as they enter can get them focused on your class and help fill time effectively as class is starting
  • Prevent class disruption by preparing students either via the course outline/course website or verbally during the first class regarding expectations for your course
  • Only 1 rule-do not interfere with the learning of others!
  • Establish ground rules and make an effort to connect with students
  • Let students know that if they are going to be disruptive, they can leave the room. They are free to come back when they are ready.

Tips for Assessment and Evaluation

  • Have brainstorming sessions by presenting an open-ended question. Then have students work in pairs to share ideas.
  • As the instructor, challenge their responses but correct any misconceptions and summarize main points
  • Create mini-take-home assignments on experiential learning completed in class
  • Use chain notes to answer online discussion questions. Ex. “What is one thing you learned today?” Each student would write something different on the paper that is passed around the classroom until all have participated
  • Mix tools: multiple choice, short answer, essay questions, true and false
  • Assign one-minute papers: Ask students to write down the answers to these questions- What was the most useful thing you learned during this session? What problems or questions do you have?
  • Polleverywhere.com is a great tool to use to poll your students anonymously