Skip to main content

Tips for the classroom

As an instructor, it can sometimes be challenging to manage student engagement and foster a positive learning environment in the classroom, especially if it’s your first time teaching. Below, you'll find some useful teaching and learning resources to help create a seamless classroom experience. We encourage you to refer to these tips throughout your teaching career at the University of Guelph-Humber. 

Humber College: Innovative Learning 

University of Guelph: Teaching Tips

Tips for Student Engagement

  • Be spontaneous! Engage students in activities frequently
  • Provide students with ongoing breaks from the content 
  • Facilitate discussions (group or individual) pertaining to your course content
  • Show excitement and enthusiasm about the material to help create an enriching energy within the classroom
  • Feel free to bring props into the classroom and incorporate video clips, Ted Talks, pictures, etc., in your lectures
  • Use games and a variety of activities to build teams 
  • Have fun with your students and enjoy the learning experience with them!

Tips for Using Technology

  • Tablets can be connected to computers and projectors so that students and instructors can communicate through text, drawings and diagrams
  • Online collaboration tools such as Google Apps and One Drive (Microsoft Office Applications) can allow 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 survey students during class; these are great tools for instant polling, which can assess students’ understanding and help instructors adjust pace and content. 
  • Additional fun and interactive online surveys include Kahoot and Doodle Poll

Tips for Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

  • Encourage open discussions and dialogues with a safe and comfortable space for critical thinking and an exchange of questions
  • Set positive expectations and standards for respecting classroom time (ex. Starting class on time, respecting others, and displaying appropriate and professional behaviour).
  • Consider starting your class with an ice-breaker activity to encourage students to get to know their classmates better, and become more comfortable with one another
  • Communicate course expectations and ground rules during the first day of class in correspondence and reference to the course outline learning outcomes

Tips for Assessment and Evaluation

  • Have brainstorming sessions by presenting an open-ended question. Encourage students to think about the questions, pair up with a classmate to share their individual perspectives and then share insights with the rest of the class
  • Consider creating mini-take-home assignments and projects on experiential learning and reflections from the discussions and activities completed in class
  • Feel free to use a variety of learning assessment tools, such as multiple choice, short answer, long answer/essay questions, matching, true and false, etc.
  • Create reflection based assignments to conduct a meaningful and deeper learning experience
  • Tips for designing a rubric