EDvice Exchange

EDvice Exchange is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching‘s blog. It serves instructors in the Temple community and other institutions of higher education. This resource provides effective, research-based teaching practices for your consideration.

Highly-charged discussions around current events can make students from a variety of backgrounds and points of view feel silenced and alienated in class by other students or even by a professor. But if thoughtfully handled, they can be highly productive for students, teaching them how to listen empathetically and actively to other points of view and even collaborate across them, giving them practice in critical thinking, and creating new connections to course material.

Designing Writing Assignments to Defeat Cheating

Although plagiarism detection tools can assist instructors to catch cheaters, a better alternative is to design writing assignments that discourage such behaviors in the first place. On top of that, each of the techniques discussed below can result in better writing from all students, not just those who might be tempted to cheat. By adopting three simple principles, not only will you find yourself dealing with fewer plagiarism cases, but you'll also provide more opportunities for your students to become better writers!

Online Learning, Participation

We all know how empowering and motivating it feels when we’re part of a community working hard toward a common goal--perhaps now more than ever. That feeling of connecting and belonging; having a voice and knowing you’ll be heard; knowing you’re supported and supporting others: this is what community can feel like in an online course. But community is more than a feeling. Indeed, the research tells us that these are key ingredients to student success in your course, and by extension, to retention in the major and in college.

Mindfulness is becoming more popular in American culture. As the large body of research about its benefits continues to grow, increased attention has been paid to integrate mindfulness into educational institutions, from K-12 schools to colleges and universities.

Creating a space where students feel empowered to engage in discussions on challenging issues can help your students develop active listening and critical thinking skills, resulting in intellectual growth. Our students benefit from exposure to different perspectives and experiences from their own, even if they may push them out of their comfort zone. It is important, however, to be intentional about when and how you hold such discussions for them to be productive and meaningful.

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